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Watch Out, Gun Owners: Congress Isn’t Done

April 30, 2013 by  

Watch Out, Gun Owners: Congress Isn’t Done
PHOTOS.COM

Just because Federal gun control failed in the Senate earlier this month doesn’t mean it won’t come up again in the 113th Congress.

Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), one half of the bipartisan Manchin-Toomey duo responsible for a piece of “compromise” gun control legislation that went down in flames April 17, is already making the media rounds with a second gun grab attempt on his mind.

Manchin said on “Fox News Sunday” that he intends to offer another, simpler version of the bill to the Senate — one that he plans to float before opponents with the aim of building the consensus he wasn’t able to find earlier this month.

Senator Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), who co-sponsored the dead bill with Manchin, publicly washed his hands of any further efforts at gun control last week, telling reporters: “The Senate had its vote. We’ve seen the outcome of that vote. I am not aware of any reason to believe that, if we had the vote again, that we’d have a different outcome.”

But Sunday, Manchin said Toomey is willing to give the gun grab another go — after the bill has undergone a cleanup that evidently is supposed to make it easier to understand for those Senate opponents who voted against it the first time.

If the bill runs clean, and people can vote on this bill, up or down, based on the merits of this bill — how it protects a gun, a 2nd-Amendment gun person; a law abiding gun, gun owner — it’s perfect for that person. If you’re going to a gun show you’re gonna expect to have a background check. If you’re buying online, whether it’s an out-of-state gun, or in-state — a background check. No intervening at all with family transfers or individual rights whatsoever.

From that bit of clarity, plus other comments Manchin made, it appears Gun Grab II will involve universal background checks, cross-referencing with medical records to ensure no one with a mental illness (the bill would presumably delineate which types) buys a gun, and another attempt to close the fallacious “gun show loophole.”

Manchin didn’t provide a clear timeline for when another gun bill might come to the floor, but this Congress has until the end of 2014 to play with the 2nd Amendment.

Ben Bullard

Reconciling the concept of individual sovereignty with conscientious participation in the modern American political process is a continuing preoccupation for staff writer Ben Bullard. A former community newspaper writer, Bullard has closely observed the manner in which well-meaning small-town politicians and policy makers often accept, unthinkingly, their increasingly marginal role in shaping the quality of their own lives, as well as those of the people whom they serve. He argues that American public policy is plagued by inscrutable and corrupt motives on a national scale, a fundamental problem which individuals, families and communities must strive to solve. This, he argues, can be achieved only as Americans rediscover the principal role each citizen plays in enriching the welfare of our Republic.

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