Senate Filibuster on Guns and Gun Control and What it Means

19 June 2016

Hello, again Insights.

Wednesday at around 11:21 ET, a filibuster on guns began led by Sen. Chris Murphy(D-CT). Representing Connecticut where the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting took place, he called out the Senate for not acting to pass common-sense gun regulations despite mass shootings happening almost every day. Over 30 Democratic Senators as well as one Republican Senator, Pat Toomey(PA) engaged in the filibuster. A simple measure that has widespread support among the American people has been in discussion. Banning suspected terrorists from purchasing guns. Over 85% of Americans support it and is quite common-sense. After the San Bernardino shooting, this measured was brought up and Republicans shut it down. It seems odd that they’re the “anti-terror” party, but they would allow those on the terrorist watch list to purchase guns.

The NRA is one of the many special interests that control  Congress. Their campaign contributions to mainly Republican politicians allow for them to have their agenda which is less gun control and more gun rights. Additionally, their money is used for lobbying against gun control.

Part 2: Democrats and Republicans bill

There are two different bills proposed by Democrats and Republicans each. Dianne Feinstein(D-CA) introduced a measure that if you are on the terrorist watch list or no-fly list, you cannot purchase a firearm. The list has a million or so people, according to the NCTC in December of 2013. An overwhelming majority of them, aren’t even American citizens. Estimates say that around 10,000 of them are American citizens which are still quite a lot. Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn(R-TX) had a slightly different approach to the issue. (It should be noted that he has taken contributions from the NRA). The question that has come up is what if someone is placed on the terrorist watch list by mistake or unlawfully. There would be due process for those on the list to potentially get off the list and have freedom to exercise their 2nd Amendment right. Some opposed to the Feinstein proposal would say that these measures wouldn’t have stopped the Orlando attack and would impede on those trying to exercise their 2nd Amendment rights.

Around 2 am ET on Thursday, the filibuster ended. The good news is that tomorrow, the Senate will vote on four gun control measures as part of a spending measure.

Link:  Open Secrets A site dedicated to tracking money in politics.

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