Oh, darn. I was really looking forward to getting on my horse and going cross-country with my trusty six-shooter. Oh well! Personally, I think the id
July 23, 2009

Oh, darn. I was really looking forward to getting on my horse and going cross-country with my trusty six-shooter. Oh well!

Personally, I think the idea was a great one. In a time of constant right-wing hate directed against an African-American president, why wouldn't you want those patriots to take their guns across state lines? Why, a teabagging party, anti-abortion rally or a revolution might break out:


An amendment that would have allowed gun owners to carry their weapons across state lines fell just short of passage Wednesday in a vote that revealed deep divisions among the Senate's Democrats.

Supporters included all but two Republicans and 20 Democrats, but the vote of 58 to 39 in favor fell two short of the 60 needed to defeat a filibuster.

Despite its defeat, the amendment, sponsored by Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), demonstrated the continuing power of the National Rifle Association and the gun rights issue in Congress. Rather than a setback, those backing the effort consider the vote a sign of strength for the Second Amendment and are planning more gun-related amendments to other legislation throughout the year. Afterward, Thune said he hopes the Senate will "reconsider this important issue" later this year.

It split not only Democrats, many of whom got to the Senate by supporting gun rights, but also the caucus's leadership: Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (Nev.), campaigning for reelection in 2010, voted yes, while his top lieutenants, Sens. Richard J. Durbin (Ill.) and Charles E. Schumer (N.Y.), led the push by liberal Democrats against the measure.

Offered as an amendment to the annual defense authorization bill, the legislation would have allowed people to carry concealed firearms across state lines, provided they "have a valid permit or if, under their state of residence" they "are entitled to do so." It was considered one of the most far-reaching federal efforts ever proposed to expand gun-permitting laws.

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