Saturday, April 20, 2013

Gun Control: Thanking a Senator

Wow!  This is a first!  Unforeseen Contingencies thanks a U.S. Senator!

I hadn't blogged on the Senate gun control votes when they were upcoming, but did spend a fair amount of time contacting members of the Senate urging "NO" votes, and writing friends asking them to do the same.  Despite what the president and his media advocates claim, it appears that senators were swamped with communications from constituents opposing gun controls.  Note that 54 senators voted against Lautenberg's magazine ban, and a full 60 senators voted against Feinstein's "assault weapons" (sic) ban.  Wall Street Journal has an excellent analysis of the dishonest political maneuvering by Harry Reid and the White House that led to this crushing defeat for Obama's agenda.

In short, Reid could have had these amendments hinge on a simple majority vote, instead of needing a 60 vote margin.  But that would have required that the amendments be subject to a floor debate and also that additional amendments could be proposed.  Reid and Obama were dead-set against public scrutiny of the amendments because the truth of these proposed laws would have been exposed (Manchin-Toomey did enable the creation of a federal gun registry, for one thing).  And there were pro-Second Amendment proposals that Obama & Co. opposed that would have had a good chance of winning.  For example, the Cornyn national reciprocity amendment had 57 "YES" votes.  (Why isn't Obama throwing a tantrum that this one was defeated by a minority vote?)  Other amendments could have been offered as well; a straight majority vote could have resulted in an even greater debacle for the gun grabbers, and Reid blocked this.  The entire affair was an attempt by "progressives" to cram gun control on an unwilling country.

Anyway, I wrote to various Senators urging them to vote "NO" on Tommey-Manchin.  After the vote, I again wrote them and either thanked them or demanded an explanation for what they'd done.  In return, I received an interesting reply for Sen. Max Baucus (D. MT), who voted against Manchin-Toomey.  I forwarded it to my aforementioned list of friends, along with a brief message from yours truly.  I post these below.  I don't agree with everything that "Max" says (e.g. these inane laws don't make sense in other states, either), but what we need from him isn't philosophical perfection -- we need him to vote the right way.  And in this case, that's what he did.  Thanks, Max.

Here's my email.
Hello all

Happily the Manchin-Toomey-Schumer amendment (national gun registry) was voted down, and so were the Feinstein (AWB) and Lautenberg (magazine ban) amendments.  I recommend you write your senators and thank them if they voted no on these things, and demand an explanation if they voted yes.  You can find their votes here:

I just received this from Sen. Max Baucus, who voted no on all three.  Even if he's not your senator, you should consider writing him a note of thanks for his votes on these amendments and for pointing out that the current administration is at fault.  This is a leading Democrat in the Senate, and he deserves encouragement for breaking ranks and speaking out against our out-of-control president.  (Not the first time he's done it; he also pointed out that sequestration was Obama's idea in the first place.)


To: xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: Why I Opposed Expanding Gun Control
Date: Fri, 19 Apr 2013 18:44:34 -0400

Max Baucus | United States Senator for Montana

April 19, 2013

Why I Opposed Expanding Gun Control

Recent tragedies have shaken all of us, and everyone wants to do their part to protect our children and communities from violence of all kinds.  That debate has sparked conversations around kitchen tables all across Montana.  Over the past few months, I have heard from thousands of Montanans, and it was very important to me that every one of you had a chance to weigh in on an open and transparent debate.
What I heard from you was clear: Montanans are overwhelmingly opposed to new gun control laws.  That is why I voted against legislation before the Senate this week to expand gun control.  And that is why I will oppose anything that infringes on the 2nd Amendment rights of responsible, law-abiding Montanans.
Montanans are passionate about our 2nd Amendment rights.  We teach our kids to respect that right, and we teach them to live up to the responsibility that comes with it - just like my father taught me when he gave me my first .22 when I was 13 years old.  What makes sense in other states, doesn't make sense for Montana.
Everyone agrees we need to do a better job keeping guns out of the hands of criminals, but infringing on the rights of law-abiding citizens isn't the solution.  The facts are clear: under the Obama Administration, federal weapons prosecutions have fallen to the lowest levels in over a decade.  The Administration isn't doing a good enough job enforcing the laws that are already on the books, so piling on more regulations just for regulations' sake won't do anything to make our communities safer.
We need real solutions that will actually make our communities safer.  That is why I supported funding for school safety and mental health resources.  And I supported a measure to force the Department of Justice to take a good, hard look at how they can use the tools they already have to keep guns away from criminals, without adding burdens on law-abiding folks in Montana.
A top-down, one-size-fits-all approach like the President is pushing simply won't work for Montana, and it won't work for me.  I will not support anything that infringes on the 2nd Amendment rights of responsible, law-abiding Montanans.
All the best,
Max Baucus
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