I was a little surprised that the Republicans skipped out on the gun control bill filibuster, allowing it to move forward to debate by a vote of 68-31. 16 Republicans crossing the aisle to allow it to go forward including Burr, who had been set to join the filibuster.
While it is merely speculation, I think several things are going on here:
- Republicans have decided to give Obama the “up or down vote” he’s badgered and waved the blood shirt for, in order to give the appearance of compromising.
- Republicans are figuring that they’re now turning the tables on Red State Democrats and moderate Republicans, forcing them to come out and record an up or down vote.
- Republicans have plotted to fill the legislation—whatever it turns out to be—with “poison pill amendments” that will either force Harry Reid to pull the bill, or force Democrats to vote against it, OR put enough pro-gun legislation in there to more than offset any background check compromise.
The possible amendments Republicans could add to the bill to make it toxic to gun-grabbers and/or attractive to freedom supporters is almost limitless.
- Apply the same background check standards to voter registration and voting.
- Revolk of the Hughes Amendment from Firearms Owners Protection Act of 1986, allowing manufacturers to once again build machine guns and selective-fire weapons for public sale… providing the purchaser goes through federal background checks, of course.
- Remove suppressors from the items affected by the National Firearms Act of 1934 and follow-on federal legislation, letting these hearing safety devices be sold over the counter.
- Institute national “shall issue” concealed carry.
- Make it a felony, punishable by 10 years in prison and $250,000 fine, for any attempt to build a federal database for the purposes of gun registration, with no immunity for elected officials, government employees, or law enforcement.
- Mandate that any firearm restrictions that affect the general public also extend to law enforcement, whether state or federal.
- Specifically exempt any firearm with detachable magazines, a pistol grip, bayonet lug, 30-round magazines,etc from state gun control legislation, due to their unquestioned utility as militia arms.
The list of ways to turn S.649 into the de facto “Gun Freedom Act of 2013″ is only limited by the minds of the Senate’s Bill authors. Let’s hope they have the good sense to use this bill to force the Democrats to show their constituents what they really think about liberty. If they can use the amendment process in such a way as to expand freedom instead of contract it, that is even better.