Las Vegas Sun

May 3, 2015

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Letter to the editor:

Filibuster of gun bill was cowardly

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It is beyond distressing to read David Brooks’ opinion, “The second wave of the conservative revolution,” in which he says Democrats “never made a compelling case that the (gun safety) bill would have directly prevented future Sandy Hooks or lowered the murder rate nationwide.”

First, since when is this the test for passing sensible legislation? Second, Brooks chooses to overlook the fact that, in our perverted form of Senate “democracy,” minority members are free to deny the majority — and by extension, the American public — a vote on this or any other important issue.

If — as the gurus on some of the Sunday morning talk shows claimed — the 46 senators who voted to filibuster the bill were so sure they were representing the majority of the voters in their states, Brooks needs to explain to us dimwitted citizenry why they weren’t willing to allow the Senate to vote on the bill.

Could it be, contrary to what Brooks claims, they are afraid of being thrown out of office by gun-safety supporters? Here’s hoping the majority of voters remain angry enough at this singularly cowardly act to punish each of them at the polls.

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  1. The Senate vote was not to filibuster but to allow debate. It failed to get the 60 Senate votes required to debate the proposed law. The Amendment died on the floor of the Senate. End of story.

    Carmine D

  2. The 2 other gun law amendments: Ban on assault weapons and ban on super clips also failed to muster the 60 votes to debate. Both these like T-M above died on the Senate floor. With a dozen more gun amendments still left, President told Reid to cease and desist. Why? Because Senate Dems were breaking ranks with the President and voting with the GOP. Being the loyal party President supporter, Reid obliged.

  3. Senator Reid called the shots on the Senate floor voting. He could have went right to the Senate vote on the proposed laws without a vote to debate. He chose not to do that. That's on him and the President. Just like it is on him and President for not bringing all the gun law amendments to the floor for a Senate vote.

    Carmine D

  4. "the country is now seeing the debate for what it is which is a democratic effort to pander to the far-left gun control political organizations."

    The country witnessed the debate for what it is which is a republican effort to pander to the far-right NRA lobby. When all but four GOP Senators vote against expanded background checks that are favored by 85-90% of us, you can't deny the lobbyists have prevailed over the will of the people.

  5. Author, it was defeated because the legislation was NOT sensible. Turn your wrath towards thugs, criminals and the violently mentally ill. Deal with the root cause. Don't infringe upon My Rights, the rights of law-abiding citizens.

  6. Your comment of 4:50 a.m. is precisely correct, CarmineD (Carmine DiFazio): "The Senate vote was not to filibuster but to allow debate. It failed to get the 60 Senate votes required to debate the proposed law. The Amendment died on the floor of the Senate. End of story."

    That is why the title on the letter is so very apropos. The Republican'ts couldn't face the potential results of even PERMITTING a free debate. Ergo - kill the opportunity for debate.

  7. For all who defended the language of the Toomey-Manchin "proposed" law for prohibition of a gun registry, answer a simple question: What was the penalty for violation of the prohibition in the T-M Amendment? The correct answer is none. Easy law to break if there is no specified punishment for doing so.

    Carmine D

  8. Wrong, Robert. Senator Reid called the shots on the protocol for voting on the "proposed" gun law amendments not the GOP Senators. I opine Reid went with the vote to debate because he feared a straight up and down vote on any of the gun law amendments would jeopardize reelection of him and his democratic Senators in 2014 and 2016.

    Carmine D

  9. Right at the top Future comments "Well - actually we need a reason to pass laws. There needs to be a real purpose for a law."

    Very true. But Future forgets the pragmatism of politics: the ideal will never be reached. Accept what is doable today and try for improvements in the future.

    As Future notes, John's letter states that the Democrats "never made a compelling case that the (gun safety) bill would have directly prevented future Sandy Hooks or lowered the murder rate nationwide." Quite true. But they made a strong case that it would be a good first step that the majority of the public would support. DUI laws cannot PREVENT future drivers from driving under the influence. They are, however, a good and a doable first step.

  10. Mayors Against Illegal Guns, The Brady Campaign and other organizations promoting the passage of gun control legislation continue to make one critical error: they assume that all gun owners are backwoods, tobacco chewing, pickup driving rednecks, possessed of an IQ in the low two digits. For those who wish to pass meaningful gun control laws, you must first reconsider your opinion of your opposition. You must also develop a well funded effort, far and away above Michael Bloomberg's $12 million advertising campaign to counter the lobbying efforts of the NRA, the GOA and the National Association for Gun Rights.

    Don't like that pesky, old Second Amendment? Then, repeal it. Elected representatives not possessed of the political will and moral courage to stand up to the cash and the lobbying muscle of the big, bad NRA? Then, elect new ones.

    If you wish to continue to get your heads handed to you on every occasion that a gun control bill comes before that gang of 535 unprincipled thugs we laughingly refer to as the United States Congress, please disregard the preceding message.

  11. Agree or disagree, the truth is there was no filibuster. Harry Reid didn't bring it to a vote because the Democrats couldn't muster enough to pass the bill and he didn't want a public defeat on air.

    Not the first time and not the last that one side blames the other for their lack of solidarity and intestinal fortitude. If there was a cowardly act it was avoiding the failure and blaming others.

  12. Like drugs, VidiVeritas wants to create a gun supplying black market gun business for his band of amigos across the border in Mexico.

    "Mexico has some of the toughest gun control laws in the world. But while drug cartels have well-stocked arsenals, law-abiding citizens struggle to get a permit to own a gun.

    Mexico is actually sometimes held up as an example of exemplary gun laws. Despite a sort-of constitutional guarantee of the right to bear arms, Mexico has only one gun store, which is run by the army, and severe legal restrictions on gun ownership.

    In the seemingly tranquil region of northern Mexico, at the foot of the Sierra Madre Mountains, it's an open secret that many people have guns for protection.

    "Most Mexican families do have guns in their homes, and they're illegal," said Alex LeBaron, a Chihuahua state representative and native of the town of LeBaron."

    If VidiVeritas gets his way more US guns will be available to smuggle across the border to Mexican citizens who can't get guns for home protection due to strict gun control laws that benefit the drug cartels.

  13. Tomfranklin: REf your 2:26 p.m. comment in which you state: "We have thousands of restrictive gun laws already on the books, if these laws were enforced it would go a long way toward keeping guns out of hands of the bad guys!"

    I don't have many facts, but only a suspicion that New York State has has more laws regarding guns than does Nevada. I'll almost GUARANTEE that New York City has more gun laws than does the city of Reno. How, specifically, will even ONE of those New York (State or City) laws, if properly enforced in and by New York, keep guns out of the hands of the bad guys in Reno? Or Las Vegas?

    Sounds like just another red herring from the pro-gun-violence crowd.