Get it straight, it didn’t lose, it was filibustered. By procedure demanded by the Republicans it had to reach 60 votes to pass.
So 54 (actually 55, Reid had to vote against for procedural reasons) Senators voted to extend background checks and 45 elected United States Senators decided that they could not support even this tiny common sense measure supported by about 90% of the public.
“Shame on you!” shouted two women in the gallery after the vote. One was Virginia Maisch, who grabbed the third clip from the gunman who opened fired at then-Rep. Gabby Giffords in the Tuscon., Ariz., shooting in 2011. The other was Lori Hass, whose daughter was injured in the Virginia Tech shootings six years ago.
Four Democrats voted no. Begich – Alaska, Pryor – Arkansas (a poll has 72% in that state supporting the measure), Heidkamp – N.D., and Baucus – Montana. I don’t have polling in the other 3 states, but I bet they’re not that far off Arkansas and the rest of the nation. These four Senators are betting that the NRA will help them in their next election more than pro-gun control forces will hurt them. I think they bet wrong.
My prediction: another tougher bill will be on the floor within 6 months and it will pass because the pressure will continue to build and gather committed activists.
This has just begun.
Update: Have to wonder if any of the “nos” today would have been changed if the bill had any chance of passage in the House. It didn’t, so it was easier for many to just go with the NRA on it.
This is relevant because it’s going to be hard to change the Senate dramatically. Begich, Pryor and Heidamp will struggle for re-election no matter what. Baucus can be reelected as long as he wants to. There are only a couple more GOPers in blue states like Ayotte or Toomey (whose bill it was). But the House can go blue in 2014 and then things become more possible even in the Senate.