The big compromise between Senators Manchin and Toomey on extending gun buyer background checks is dead. The U.S. Senate, as only it can, killed it – by voting 54 to 46 in favor of it.
The president walked into the Rose Garden, with Gabby Giffords and the Newtown families at his side.
“The gun lobby and its allies willfully lied about the bill,” explained Obama.
And how did they lie?
“The claimed it would create some sort of ‘Big Brother gun registry.’ This legislation in fact, outlawed any registry. Plain and simple. Right there in the text,” said Obama.
It’s true – the bill clearly prohibits the Attorney General from setting up a gun registry, but critics claimed that was a trick because it wouldn’t have stopped some other federal agency from doing it.
But there’s a bigger strategy here. The gun control side actually knew it would lose. The real reason they wanted the vote was to put on record the names of the senators who looked Gabby Giffords and the Newtown families in the eye and said – ‘we can’t help you, maybe next time.’
Well, there is a big suburban “middle” in America – who are worried there just might be a next time. They are wrapped up in their kids and what happened in Newtown gives them night sweats. As for the NRA’s school security plan – they didn’t move to the suburbs to send their kid to schools that need armed guards.
So the race to mobilize them is officially underway. And we are about to see whether the NRA’s fear of the Gun Grabbers can still trump a growing middle class fear of the Gun Pushers.