I’m not in the corner of the republicans or democrats; I am in the middle and solidly focused on the Second Amendment. If I am in a corner it is certainly in the Second Amendment’s, but only because I have been backed up that far.
Last week, I called out the 46 Democrats in the Senate who voted to surrender the Second Amendment to the United Nations, this week it seems 16 Republicans deserve a call out.
It started with several Republican Senators calling and pledging support for a filibuster. The effort hit a high before flipping 180 degrees thanks to Pat Toomey, a Republican from Pennsylvania. Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin III realized the bill was dying on the vine and was desperate to find a pro-gun Republican to ally with. He found Pat Toomey.
By crossing the line, Toomey joined forces with pro-gun control Democrats such as Chuck Schumer, Harry Reid and Diane Feinstein. That makes it sound pretty bad, and it should. However, Joe Manchin is well known as a conservative Democrat. Both Manchin and Toomey have benefitted heavily from the “A” rating they hold by the National Rifle Association for their previous positions on gun legislation too.
In getting Toomey on board, the legislation did get watered down a bit, but it also threw the Obama backed legislation a lifeline and rescued it from an early death. It also likely moved several Republicans across the line. To be more specific, 16 Republicans supported a cloture vote, which means they voted in favor of limiting debate and killed any chance of a filibuster.
Here is a list of the 16 Republicans and their NRA and NAGR ratings:
- Lamar Alexander (Tenn.) – NRA A, NAGR C rated
- Kelly Ayotte (N.H.) – NRA A, NAGR – rated
- Richard Burr (N.C.) – NRA A, NAGR A rated
- Saxby Chambliss (Ga.) – NRA A, NAGR A- rated
- Tom Coburn (Okla.) – NRA A, NAGR A+ rated
- Susan Collins (Maine) – NRA B+, NAGR D- rated
- Bob Corker (Tenn.) – NRA A, NAGR A, NAGR C rated
- Jeff Flake (Ariz.) – NRA A, NAGR A, NAGR A rated
- Lindsey Graham (S.C.) – NRA A, NAGR A, NAGR B- rated
- Dean Heller (Nev.) – NRA A, NAGR A rated
- John Hoeven (N.D.) – NRA A, NAGR A rated
- Johnny Isakson (Ga.) – NRA A, NAGR A- rated
- Mark Kirk (Ill.) – NRA D, NAGR F rated
- John McCain (Ariz.) – NRA B+, NAGR A, C- rated
- Pat Toomey (Pa.) – NRA A, NAGR A- rated
- Roger Wicker (Miss.) – NRA A+, NAGR A rated
Now there are a couple of ways of looking at this. President Obama immediately put distance between himself and the bill stating, “This is not my bill. There are aspects of the agreement that I might prefer to be stronger.” However, in announcing the bipartisian agreement, Toomey and Manchin asked Democrat Chuck Schumer—a co-sponsor of the original legislation—to abstain from the announcement. This could be merely a bait switch where Washington replaces the main actors to keep our vigilance to a minimum.
Of course, we can take the “troll” route and threaten to vote them all out of office. We could also say this is a pretty impressive list of Senators that have a strong record protecting our Second Amendment rights. Only two even dip down to the level of B+ and that could hurt our cause in the long run. Voting for cloture is far from a vote for gun control. It allows the legislative process to proceed and us [the voters] a chance to hear who really is supporting and the Second Amendment and deserves our vote in the future. For instance, Toomey said, I’ve got to tell you, candidly, I don’t consider criminal background checks gun control.” Yikes! Does he not also realize the implications of a national registry?
The main danger, of course, is the proposed legislation did not die without reaching the floor. The second danger is the bill will proceed in an open amendment status, thus any amendment can be added and becomes law if it passes the vote. Harry Reid is going to push for only three amendments to be voted on, but that will raise many logistical problems. Hmmm… it started with four bills; three were shot down; one will make it to the floor and Reid only want three amendments. Something is walking and swimming like a duck! This brings us to the call to action. This bill, and any misguided amendment that may be attached, needs to die a loud and horrible death. The bill will reach the floor of the Senate for a vote and when it does, it needs to be soundly defeated. Not by a small margin either. It needs to go down hard so the politicians understand the people will not stand for these assaults on our Second Amendment rights. Call your Senators today, tomorrow and every day until the vote takes place and make your voices be heard!