That, apparently, is the number of innocent people who had to die in one massacre for the Democrats in Congress to say enough is enough.
What’s the magic number for the Republicans?
What will it take for the Republicans to revive the ban on assault weapons, a weapon of war; to keep guns out of the hands of people on “no fly” lists; to demand common sense background checks and waiting periods for people who seek to own a gun?
An amazing and wonderful thing happened today.
The Republicans put the House of Representative in recess and stopped official broadcasting to prevent discussion, let alone a vote, on common sense laws — but the Democrats refused to be shut down. The Democrats broke the House of Representatives rules and continued to show their own video, holding a sit-in and declaring “no bill, no break,” broadcast literally all day by wonderful C-Span for the world to see and share.
Nothing like this has happened, ever.
I am so proud of the civil disobedience of the Democrats because they are trying to make important change and, I hope, making it impossible for the Republicans to ignore.
A polite but misguided caller to c-span tonight said the Democrats want to place people’s safety and the Second Amendment in jeopardy: “They are wanting to take away our guns completely so the terrorists can come into this country and take it over.”
The opposite is true.
The Supreme Court, in striking down bans of handguns, has made clear that the standard for self-defense in the home is not necessarily the same standard in public.
“The Second Amendment … simply does not present as tall a barrier to gun regulation as some would have us believe. The bigger barrier is the political disagreement about how to protect the public from gun violence,” explained attorney Eric Ruben in a recent piece in the New York Times. Ruben is an expert on the Second Amendment and a fellow at the Brennan Center for Justice (and happens to be a 1999 graduate of Saratoga Springs High School).
Americans overwhelmingly support the obvious expansion of background checks and denial of guns on people on no-fly lists.
The Republican should do the right thing: Allow a vote on these basic bills, and stand up and be counted.