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Compromising With Insugents?
The First Steps to Sanity?
- Background Checks Proposal by Sen. Pat Toomey Gains Support -- PennLive.com
With the Senate set to begin debate on gun control legislation this week, a proposal to expand background checks for gun buyers picked up some key Republican support over the weekend.
- Toomey Unveils Background Check Amendment--Penn Live
"U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey unveiled a bipartisan amendment Wednesday(4-10) that expands federally required background checks for gun sales, but does not make them universal."
- Some Conservatives are Suspicious of The 'New Pat Toomey' After Gun-Control Compromise--PennLive.com
.". . . Gun rights proponents and Libertarians in Pennsylvania and across the country have pilloried the Lehigh Valley Republican. . . "
A Lethal Loophole?
I never thought I would see the day when groups would be grading Senators on their vote to open and limit debate. That is what happened when the U.S. Senate voted to debate and limit the debate on the first major firearms safety legislation since 1994.
It says a lot to me about the tone of American politics that there would be this much focus on even opening a debate that is probably long overdue. It would be easy, as many of the insurrectionists and insurgents that make up so much of the gun lobby, say that this is all an emotional response to Newtown. I think that Newtown was merely the tipping point of a debate that began with the Tuscon shooting, continued with Trayvon Martin, the Aurora theater, the Sikh temple in Wisconsin and Kansas City.
But the Toomey Amendment may have a potentially lethal flaw. While the amendment does expand background checks, it excludes private sales or transfers. This could create a large potential "gray market" and actually make the "Straw Purchases", where a person buys multiple weapons, that may be responsible for so many of the guns on the streets, easier.
It isn't as though doing the checks would be difficult on the surface. A person calls an 800 number and a quick background check is executed.
I fear that this is a view of things to come as the legislation moves along. The political allies of the NRA in both the Senate and the House will further try and weaken the bill to make sure that the manufacturers that they act as a lobby for can continue to profit. I only hope that those in Congress committed to a sane policy on firearms, and the public, can stand their ground.