Gun Safety Battle: Obama Says 'Stand Up'; McConnell Hides Behind Filibuster

This is the strongest push yet by the president for some sane gun laws. I don't believe anyone can watch this without believing that President Obama is using every weapon in his arsenal to push Congress and the country toward something resembling meaningful reforms.

One of the better moments was when the crowd spontaneously began chanting "We want a vote!" TPM:

“Some folks back in Washington are already floating the idea that they might use political stunts to prevent votes on any of these reforms,” Obama told the crowd, which included families of victims of the Sandy Hook shooting. “Think about that. They’re not just saying they’ll vote ‘no’ on ideas that almost all Americans support. They’re saying they won’t allow any votes on these provisions. They’re saying your opinion doesn’t matter. And that’s not right.”

The crowd broke into chants of, “We want a vote!”

At one point in his speech he calls for everyone to "stand up, stand up" and push their legislators to actually get this done.

Meanwhile, back in the Beltway bubble, threats of the filibuster continue, with Mitch McConnell hiding behind its skirts now. God forbid any of these people would actually stand up and DO what the people in this country who are not insane idiots in the NRA want.

Yes, Senator Turtle is cowering behind the filibuster rather than actually having an honest debate. Politico:

“While nobody knows yet what Senator Reid’s plan is for the gun bill, if he chooses to file cloture on the motion to proceed to the Reid Bill (S. 649), Senator McConnell will oppose cloture on proceeding to that bill,” McConnell spokesman John Ashbrook said in a statement.

Meanwhile, Senator Harry Reid to shake his fists and threaten the "nuclear option" on the filibuster. TPM:

“All within the sound of my voice — including my Democratic senators and the Republican senators who I serve with — should understand that we as a body have the power on any given day to change the rules with a simple majority,” Reid told Nevada Public Radio in a little-noticed interview Friday. “And I will do that if necessary.”

Reid said he had recently spoken with Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and President Obama to review their options, and then issued his ultimatum to Republicans: stop your relentless filibusters or the Democratic majority will strip away your power to do so.

“I’m a very patient man,” he said. “We made changes but the time will tell whether they’re big enough. I’m going to wait and build a case. If the Republicans in the Senate don’t start approving some judges, and don’t start helping get some of these nominations done, then we’re going to have to take more action.”

Reid's threat was in the context of the continued blockade on judicial nominations. I have my doubts if he'd threaten or even raise an eyebrow over the gun legislation. Hope springs eternal.

It is just insane that the gun provisions are something the country has a strong consensus about and yet nothing can get through the Congress. These legislators need to be forced to an understanding that the NRA does not have the power over them they think they do.


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