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Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., right, and Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., finish a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, April 10, 2013, announcing that they have reached a compromise on background checks for gun buyers in the aftermath of the horrific Connecticut school shootings in December 2012. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

The U.S. Senate will have an all – out gun debate. It’s a debate the gun rights lobby did not want, and one group plans to punish the senators who LET it happen – especially Pennsylvania’s Pat Toomey, who was on CBS’s Face The Nation trying to be reassuring.

“There is not a single word in this legislation that in anyway infringes on the second amendment rights of a law abiding citizen,” said Toomey.

So he says. But the Gun Owners of America sent out a news release labeling Toomey a traitor, and I called up their legislative director Mike Hammond – and asked, “a traitor?”

“Well we think he’s pulled the same stunt that his predecessor Arlen Specter pulled, and that is, in order to cling desperately to his seat, he flips to the other position,” said Hammond.

Hammond points out that background checks would not have made a difference in recent high profile shootings.

“They passed background checks before they started shooting in Aurora and Tuscon,” he said.

“But that’s because mental illness wasn’t a part of it,” I said. “So if it had been, would that be OK?”

“If you mean mental illness should be defined differently so that an individual, simply by seeing a psychiatrist – and this is problem with Toomey incidentally – seeing a shrink, lose your gun phenomenon.”

It sounds to me like the Gun Owners of America are not in the mood to compromise.

“We’re on the verge, I think, of stopping gun control in America,” said Hammond. “And Toomey is desperately trying to resurrect it.”

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