Patterico's Pontifications


Democrats Reject Common-Sense Gun Proposals by GOP

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:21 am

The Los Angeles Times does its level best to make it sound like Republicans blocked four gun bills last night in the Senate:

The Republican-led Senate on Monday voted down proposals to bar gun sales to terrorism suspects, notching another victory for gun rights advocates eight days after a gunman who had been on an FBI terrorism watch list killed 49 people at a nightclub in Orlando, Fla.

The votes marked the latest attempt by Democrats to break the congressional impasse on guns, a bitter partisan divide that long has blocked new federal regulations.

The body blocked all four proposed gun-related amendments – two by Democrats and two by Republicans – to a spending bill.

If you read that, and did not follow these matters closely (and trusted the L.A. Times), you could be forgiven for thinking that Republicans voted down the four measures even though two were proposed by one of their own.

That’s not what happened. What happened is: Republicans tried to toughen background checks and make it tougher for terrorists to buy guns, but their proposals were rejected by Democrats who instead wanted different measures that dispense with due process protections for law-abiding citizens trying to purchase firearms legally.

Politico (Politico!) (cached link) explains what actually happened, while still putting a spin on matters and trying to make it sound like Republicans’ fault:

Republicans and Democrats put forward dueling background check proposals . . . [T]he GOP plan, written primarily by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), pushes more resources to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System but doesn’t expand the universe of mandated background checks. His measure would also revise legal definitions on who is banned from owning a gun due to mental-health concerns. It also was blocked in the Senate, 53-47, rejected by nearly all Democrats but also Kirk and fellow Republican Sen. Cory Gardner of Colorado. Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) supported the measure.

The two parties also laid out opposing plans on preventing suspected terrorists from purchasing guns — and both faced quick doom in the Republican-led Senate.

“In the Republican Senate” — surely Republicans blocked both of these, no? Um, no.

The Republican proposal, which was written by Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn of Texas, would halt a sale only if a judge found probable cause that the person trying to buy the gun is involved in terrorist activities. Democrats say that burden of proof is too high. His legislation was blocked, too, with a 53-47 vote, with Republicans Kirk, Sens. Jeff Flake of Arizona and Susan Collins of Maine voting against it. Donnelly and Manchin voted with the GOP.

The near-party line votes occurred as Senate moderates made some movement toward a compromise plan to bar people suspected of terrorism from buying weapons — even though some Republican leaders were already skeptical of the effort, led by Collins.

Put it all together, and you learn that two GOP measures were shot down by Democrats, and two Democrat measures were shot down by Republicans. Indeed, one could even say that Republicans sought “to break the congressional impasse on guns” but were spurned by Democrats who wanted to claim that Republicans “have decided to sell weapons to ISIS.” (Keep reading; I’m not exaggerating.)

The squawking about the Cornyn measure (“they can’t possibly put their case together in three days!!!“) never seems to acknowledge that if you’re being put on a list, the government should already know why you’re on the list. The three days is time enough to grab that information, organize it, and present it to a judge.

Gabriel Malor explains what really happened last night:

On Monday evening, Senate Democrats put party over principle in rejecting common-sense, reasonable gun control measures. After the mass murder at Orlando gay club Pulse, Sen. Chris Murphy and his colleagues staged a flashy talk-a-thon in which they demanded that votes be taken on legislation strengthening gun control laws. The Senate Republicans agreed to the Democrats’ demand. Democrats got what they asked for, then blew it.

. . . .

Republicans were willing to link the terrorism watch list to a gun sales ban, as Democrats have demanded. The price of agreement was due-process protections for Americans placed on the list. But apparently due process is too much for the Democrats. They would rather have no sales ban than a sales ban that comports with the Fifth Amendment. The Democrats similarly rejected an incremental expansion of the National Instant Criminal Background Check System. Apparently, some gun control is not worth sharing credit with the Republicans.

Not content to merely vote against incremental gun control, Senate Democrats then decided to throw a tantrum about it. Murphy sleazed that Senate Republicans “have decided to sell weapons to ISIS.” Sen. Elizabeth Warren tweeted her agreement. Sen. Harry Reid nonsensically accused Republicans of blocking the very gun control measures Republicans had proposed.

Make no mistake: Senate Democrats rejected two incremental gun control bills for no other reason than that Republicans were voting for them. Democrats’ hatred for Republicans was more important to them than the moral standards they claim to possess.

But the media will continue to tell you that the “Republican led Senate” nixed all four proposals, making it sound as if Republicans voted against all four. This is because the media has an agenda, and because voters are easy to mislead.

You knew all that, but sometimes it bears repeating anyway.

UPDATE: Cornyn proposal provides for three days, not four. I have corrected the error.

33 Responses to “Democrats Reject Common-Sense Gun Proposals by GOP”

  1. Ding.

    Patterico (86c8ed)

  2. Anybody see Utah v. Strieff yesterday? Republicans in the Senate attempt to protect Due Process while Republicans on the Supreme Court undermine it at an alarming rate.

    Unlawful stop? Whatever. Pretextual intervening factors? Who cares? Fruit of the Poisonous Tree? What even is dis?

    “After the unlawful stop, his conduct was lawful.” Well… ok then.

    Leviticus (efada1)

  3. Greetings:

    And didn’t California’s US Senator Diane Feinstein look just divine standing behind Nevada’s Senator Harry Reid as he he again demonstrated his intention that no lie be left behind.

    11B40 (6abb5c)

  4. Coincidentally, I did my first oral argument at the Court of Appeals yesterday – representing the Defendant (as an appellee), where the State appealed a district court’s finding that a stop was unlawful where it was based solely on an officer’s suspicion (based on past encounters, but which he did not confirm with a plate check) that a suspect was driving on a suspended license. The State later argued that the stop was nonetheless justified because the officer subsequently witnessed a lane violation, despite the fact that the officer testified that the sole purpose of his stop was to investigate the license revocation.

    We’ll see how it turns out. One way or the other, I’m grateful that the New Mexico courts (in contrast to the Feds, via interstitial analysis) recognize the unconstitutionality of pretextual traffic stops.

    We are in serious trouble, 4th Amendment-wise.

    Leviticus (efada1)

  5. Anybody see Utah v. Strieff yesterday? Republicans in the Senate attempt to protect Due Process while Republicans on the Supreme Court undermine it at an alarming rate.

    Unlawful stop? Whatever. Pretextual intervening factors? Who cares? Fruit of the Poisonous Tree? What even is dis?

    “After the unlawful stop, his conduct was lawful.” Well… ok then.

    Leviticus (efada1) — 6/21/2016 @ 7:37 am

    Utah v. Strieff was about the Fourth Amendment. Due process is the Fifth Amendment.

    Gerald A (945582)

  6. Court of Appeals that sounds fancy good luck with your case i hope you win

    happyfeet (831175)

  7. The Fourth Amendment is applicable to the states under the Due Process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

    And, yes, there is basically no Fourth Amendment protection in automobiles since Navarette v. California, although the erosion had started with the Burger Court. Scalia was the only one of the Republican appointees to open the faucet halfway instead of all the way.

    nk (dbc370)

  8. The faucet washing away our privacy rights.

    nk (dbc370)

  9. But I’m glad to see that Mark Kirk was not going to vote for any kind of gun grab, whether Democrat or Republican.

    nk (dbc370)

  10. Its almost as if the Democrats are playing politics! Nah, that would never happen…

    Patrick Henry, the 2nd (ddead1)

  11. According to Rush, John Kerry has finally admitted that terrorism is more of a danger to the US than global warming. However, he isn’t about to acknowledge the Democrat party is worse than both of them put together.

    ropelight (596f46)

  12. The squawking about the Cornyn measure (“they can’t possibly put their case together in four days!!!“) never seems to acknowledge that if you’re being put on a list, the government should already know why you’re on the list.

    There are two problems with that:

    1) Most people on the no-fly list have no business being on it, and this would get discovered. This would raise questions about the validity of the no-fly list.

    I note it has been cited that 223 out of 244 people on the no-fly list were allowed to buy guns in some particular period of time. But nothing is said about what they did with the guns. True, this would be confidential information. But nobody seems interested in investigating, and you could do an anonymous study.the list. I think the number of those 223 possible terrorists who committed crimes is close to zero.

    Most people concede the utility of the no-fly list, so they have difficulty with the argument that there’s something wrong with people considered too dangerous to get aboard an airplane NOT being considered too dangerous to buy a gun. Conceding that a lot of names don’t belong on the no-fly list would spoil that very effective argument against Republicans, as would actually passing any kind of a law.

    2) Democrats basically take the position that if some people are unjustifiably prevented from buying a gun, the loss is outweighed by the gain (in crime or massacre prevention) so they are not bothered by the idea that someone might unjustifiably be prevented form buying a gun.

    But at the same time, Democrats will not concede, in this particular case that there could be anything wrong with the absolute discretion of law enforcement, although usually they don’t like anything to be determined on the mere say-so of the Attorney General or his designate.

    The Republicans, for the most part don’t criticize law enforcement, and so they don’t go further and say the No-Fly list needs review, too. Neither party will touch that argument.

    It therefore becomes a nice trap for Republicans.

    Republicans can’t use the same argument in reverse, that is,, why are some people on the no-gun list allowed to board airplanes, and why shouldn’t anyone denied the right to buy a gun be kept from going aboard an airplane, because it is generally conceded that the standard of proof to bar someone from going on board an airplane is higher than that required to stop someone from buying a gun (although it really should be the opposite, sice people going aboard an airplane are searched.)

    Arguments about due process become: Is it more important to prevent the occasional person from wrongfully being denied the possibility of buying a gun, or is it more important to prevent the occasional person from wrongfully NOT being denied the possibility of buying a gun. (given the risk of an occasional massacre that could have been prevented maybe this way.)

    Sammy Finkelman (7a22e4)

  13. Correction: It would make sense to require a lower standard of proof to bar someone from buying a gun than to prevent someone from going aboard an airplane.

    The Democrats (who want more people prevented from buying a gun) use the inconsistency against Republicans because in fact the no-fly list has many people on it who are not on the no-gun list.

    The inconsistency can’t be used the other way — to argue we should put everyone on the no-gun list on the no-fly list.

    I got confused because the no-fly list is treated as if it were the list with the more dangerous people, but everybody realizes it is not.

    Sammy Finkelman (7a22e4)

  14. “Democrats Reject Common-Sense Gun Proposals by GOP.”


    DCSCA (a343d5)

  15. The democrats couldn’t care less about passing any gun control laws. In fact, making the Republicans look totally uncaring in the media is their only goal. It buys Hillary! some votes and they know when she is elected President, the Congress goes democrat and she’s appointing SC justices with a wink and nod, every gun control law will pass and be found 100% Constitutional right up to and including confiscation and total illegalization of all firearms.

    Let’s talk about what a Hillary! will do to the 4th,5th, 10th and 14th. This can be fun.

    Rev. Hoagie® (734193)

  16. Democrats don’t want gun control any more than they want the end of racism!!!

    These are the main issues and talking points with which they monger fear and get votes!!!

    Without a stable of “isms” and victimology, what do they really have?

    And now Patterico has joined them…. good move, dude!!!

    Pts (ce7fc3)

  17. …We are in serious trouble, 4th Amendment-wise.

    Leviticus (efada1) — 6/21/2016 @ 7:44 am

    We have been in serious trouble, lots of amendment wise, ever since I’ve been born. And I now qualify for membership in AMAC/AARP.

    Steve57 (ecac13)

  18. @17, wowser! Who’d have thought one of the the most widely sold handguns is also the most legitimately and illegitimately used handguns.

    In other news, narciso, the most popular dogs are the overlooked factor in biting incidents.

    If only we could eliminate popular dog breeds!

    Also, Democrats object to the conclusion that half of all people are below average. Women, children, minorities hardest hit.

    “This discriminatory practice has to end,” said New York Democrat Andrew Cuomo. “The statistical concept of the median and the mean must involve to be more inclusive.”

    Steve57 (ecac13)

  19. involve = evolve

    Steve57 (ecac13)

  20. he used to scribble for an alternative paper, down south, but he reached his full potential for category error,

    narciso (732bc0)

  21. In California AG Kamala Harris has successfully prosecuted fundamentalist math professor Michael
    Schwartz of infamously conservative Pepperdine for correctly using the formerly non-pejorative term “average” when casually discussing the fact that most married couples are indeed heterosexual.

    “it is intolerable in this day and age that the precious two percent of Americans who comprise the gay community are excluded from the term ‘average,'” said Harris.

    “But I’ve got the math right here,” protested Schwartz, before being condemned as a hatemonger and sentenced to twenty years in Pelican Bay’s renowned solitary confinement unit by Harris’ transgendered life partner Pat Kowlawski.

    Steve57 (ecac13)

  22. The LA Times would never in a million years say that the “Democrat-led FBI” failed to stop Omar Mir Seddique Mateen from purchasing a gun. Or that the attack on our consulate in Benghazi occurred when the State Department was “Democrat-led.”

    Cruz Supporter (102c9a)

  23. this is when it goes all monty python,

    narciso (732bc0)

  24. “I think she is traveling………”
    Obama can’t pardon someone unless they are charged, correct?
    Can Lynch charge herself and everyone else under Obama with a bunch of stuff the next to last day of his administration, so he can then pardon them?

    I’m assuming and hoping that Prof. Schwartz’s quandary is fictitious,
    but did Cuomo really say that?

    MD in Philly (34fa24)

  25. it’s like a sick joke, or as fielding mellish, put it, a travesty of a mockery of a sham,

    narciso (732bc0)

  26. It’s meant as a passive aggressive insult, narciso.

    Like when President Tiger Beat pretends to be pensively scratching his head with his middle finger.

    Steve57 (ecac13)

  27. MD in Philly (34fa24) — 6/21/2016 @ 4:33 pm

    Obama can’t pardon someone unless they are charged, correct?

    I didn’t like it when they did it, bit that is not correct.

    Both Gerald Ford and Jimmmy Carter issued pardons like that. * Jimmy Carter didn’t even name the people he was pardoning!

    * Ford of Richard Nixon, and Jimmy Carter of the Vietnam draft evaders.

    Sammy Finkelman (7a22e4)

  28. “The AR-15 only looks dangerous.” — Dana Loesch, CNN 6/21/16.

    This woman is a goddamned idiot.

    DCSCA (a343d5)


    DCSCA (a343d5)

  30. House Democrats are still staging a sit-in on the floor of the House, demanding a vote, on the bill(s) that lost in the Senate, so that they can get House members on the record, too.

    Sammy Finkelman (7a22e4)

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