Following a full court press by the Obama administration, and specifically gun tzar Joe Biden, to legislate "stronger" gun law in the last several months ever since the Sandy Hook massacre, the initiative may have just suffered a terminal defeat following a failure to even pass a bipartisan background check amendment in the democrat-controlled Senate. CBS reports that "In a major setback for gun control advocates, the Senate Wednesday voted down a key amendment to the embattled Democratic gun bill, signaling the increasingly dim prospects of any meaningful legislative action aimed at strengthening America's gun laws. The bipartisan Manchin-Toomey amendment, a background check expansion devised by Sens. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., Pat Toomey, R-Pa., and a handful of other lawmakers, earned only 54 votes, falling six votes short of the 60-vote threshold. Vice President Joe Biden, who led the Obama administration's months-long lobbying effort on behalf of stronger gun laws, presided over the vote."
The vote effectively kills any hope for a comprehensive law, and makes a mockery of Obama's recent aggressive anti-gun initiative:
The failure of the Manchin-Toomey amendment, which was crafted over weeks of negotiation with the aim of attracting Republican support in both the Senate and, eventually, the House, could serve as the death knell for the larger piece of legislation, though it's possible Reid will bring new amendments to the floor at a later date.
In the hours before the vote, Organizing for Action, an advocacy group that works on behalf of the president's legislative agenda, urged voters to call their senators in support of expanded background checks. The Democratic National Committee (DNC) sent out similar emails, specifically targeting a group of Republican senators who had at one point appeared amenable to the Manchin-Toomey language. Meanwhile, a pro-gun group that had previously backed the ban pulled its support.
In the end, four Republicans voted in favor the Manchin-Toomey amendment, and four Democrats voted against it, excluding Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., who switched his vote from yea to nay for procedural reasons.
Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., one of those who broke with the GOP ranks, delivered a vehement defense of the bipartisan amendment in debate over the bill, and disputed the argument, touted by his fellow Republicans, that it would strip Americans of their Second Amendment rights.
"For over three decades in Congress, I have built as strong a record as anyone in this body in defending the Second Amendment. I have consistently opposed the efforts of anti-gun activists to ban guns and ammunition, staunchly defending the Constitutional rights that Arizonans hold dear," McCain said, continuing with a list citing his pro-gun credentials. But, he added, "Just as I have long defended the Second Amendment to the Constitution, I have also long believed that it is perfectly reasonable to use available tools to conduct limited background checks, as this amendment prescribes, to help ensure that felons and the mentally-ill do not obtain guns they should not possess."
"In my view, such background checks are not overly burdensome or unconstitutional," McCain said.
Obama will take the podium at 5:30 pm to speak about "commonsense measures to reduce gun violence" and justify this latest disappointment of an administration which should count its lucky stars, it has the labor force participation rate to fudge the unemployment rate with, and the Fed to ramp stocks higher, or else living in America today would be a very different thing if the full ugliness of reality was exposed for all to see.