Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Gun control defeated in Senate. #Orlando means nothing if you're paid by the NRA.

from our friend Xeni at Boing Boing:

Serious question: Isn't one of the primary purposes of our government to protect American lives? Because today, our government chose not to. Again.

One week after 49 Americans were shot to death in an Orlando nightclub, the Senate today voted no on four different measures to limit gun sales. At least they're consistent. Each time there's a mass shooting, and they occur with alarming frequency and regularity, our politicians do nothing. They tweet thoughts, talk on TV about prayers, and take absolutely zero action.

Today's deadlock was split predictably between Democrats and Republicans, on amendments that would block people who are the federal terrorism watch list from being able to buy guns. The proposed changes would have also closed loopholes in background check laws.

“As the votes were held, families of gun violence victims looked on from the Senate chamber,” writes Jennifer Steinhauer in the New York Times.

“Our constituents see a disturbing pattern of inaction,” Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, the Democratic leader, said on the Senate floor on Monday. “Sadly, our efforts are blocked by the Republican Congress, who take their marching orders from the National Rifle Association.”

From the Times:
Further action on gun safety measures or mental health provisions seemed unlikely before the fall election, given the rush to finish a series of spending bills and the relatively limited time that Congress will be in session before November.

In addition, the four gun measures were attached to legislation that contains several other thorny issues, such as the question of whether to take passports away from terrorism suspects, which suggests there will be little chance for further debate.
Related: Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump today “walked back” his earlier inflammatory remarks that armed clubgoers could have prevented the Orlando massacre.