Breaking: Ayotte a no on Manchin-Toomey; Update: Reid announces support for Feinstein assault-weapons ban; Update: Heitkamp a no, too

posted at 11:06 am on April 17, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

This is a big deal, and not just because of the swing of a single vote in the Senate:

“Last week, I voted to initiate Senate debate on preventing violence and protecting the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding Americans. Several proposals have been brought forward, and I’ve been carefully reviewing them all.

“There are responsible steps that can be taken to stop criminals and others who are already prohibited from possessing firearms under federal law from obtaining them. With those principles as a guide, I am cosponsoring the Protecting Communities and Preserving the Second Amendment Act, which includes needed reforms to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, addresses mental health gaps in the criminal justice system, and criminalizes gun trafficking and straw purchases.

“To further address the need to improve the nation’s mental health system, I also am co-sponsoring the Mental Health Awareness and Improvement Act. This bipartisan measure includes provisions of legislation I helped introduce that seek to improve mental health first aid training and increase the effectiveness of mental health care across the nation.

“I believe that restricting the rights of law-abiding gun owners will not prevent a deranged individual or criminal from obtaining and misusing firearms to commit violence. While steps must be taken to improve the existing background check system, I will not support the Manchin-Toomey legislation, which I believe would place unnecessary burdens on law-abiding gun owners and allow for potential overreach by the federal government into private gun sales.”

Presumably, Joe Manchin already knew this when he threw in the towel on his bipartisan compromise with Pat Toomey earlier today, but the announcement all but guarantees the demise of Democratic gun-control proposals scheduled for votes today.  The “defection,” if it can be called that, of a Republican who voted to allow debate on the bill will make it very difficult to convince red-state Democrats like Mark Pryor to support it — especially since it’s clear that it will go down to defeat.  Why risk the ire of 2014 voters just to back a failure?

If you missed it last night, go now and read Allahpundit’s explanation of Ayotte’s influence on the Senate Republican caucus, and how Ayotte signaled this from the beginning.  It now puts Democrats on defense, because the GOP didn’t just sit back and say, “No.”  They have an amendment of their own to counter Manchin-Toomey that addresses mental-health reporting in the existing background-check system, as well as authorizing better enforcement of it.

With the bottom falling out from under the entirely non-sequitur attempt to link background-check gaps to Newtown, in which background checks actually stopped the shooter from buying weapons legally, will Democrats support a solution that actually addresses some of the issues of the incident they’ve been citing as their inspiration?  Or will they kill the GOP amendment and leave themselves open to the same accusation they intended to level against Republicans in the event of failure of the bill?  If the Senate passes it, don’t expect Barack Obama to veto it and put himself in that position.

Update: Talk about strange timing:

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid announced support for an assault weapons ban Wednesday, a change in his position.

“I’ll vote for the ban because saving the lives of police officers, young and old, and innocent civilians, young and old, is more important than preventing imagined tyranny,” the Nevada Democrat said on the Senate floor.

The statement marked a reversal for Reid, who voted against renewing the assault weapons ban in 2004. Earlier this year, Reid opted against bringing an assault weapons ban penned by Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein to the floor.

Reid said he had had to “reassess” his position after listening to the arguments against an assault weapon ban and deciding that they were “absurd.”

Not as absurd as the term “assault weapons.”  Putting that aside, why flip now? Why take the political hit when the amendment is going to fail, and fail badly, within a couple of hours?  The time to support this amendment was a few months ago, when Reid’s influence might have helped with his red-state Democratic colleagues.  I doubt this will win Reid any new friends in Nevada, and it will probably cost him a lot of support … if he decides to run for another term.

Update: This is a body blow for Democrats:

With Heitkamp out, maybe Reid will think twice about pursuing the bill at all.

Update: An amusing point from Dave Weigel:

Did anyone bother to check with her first?

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Comment pages: 1 2

SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED!!

Ayotte: Thank you for doing the right thing.

REID: Go to hell you traitor!

TX-96 on April 17, 2013 at 12:27 PM

ruh roh

boy mika and joe are going to be pi$$ed tomorrow am….

going to go on another rampage

heh

cmsinaz on April 17, 2013 at 12:28 PM

Heitkamp knows better. She is the miracle in a red state.

Reid wants to kill all, so they don’t have the fiasco on their hands in 2014.

Out with Landrieu et all anyway.

Red states, don’t be fooled. These are always wolves in sheep’s clothing, always. Prior, Heitcamp, Landrieu, first and last, first.

Schadenfreude on April 17, 2013 at 12:29 PM

Cold dead fingers…

Akzed on April 17, 2013 at 12:29 PM

SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED!!

Ayotte: Thank you for doing the right thing.

REID: Go to hell you traitor!

TX-96 on April 17, 2013 at 12:27 PM

She should have not voted against the FILIBUSTER then.

RINO. They can’t be relied on. There should be NO COMPROMISE on the Bill of Rights.

There isn’t any compromise, nor any consensus. The government AND THAT INCLUDES THE SENATE HAVE NO AUTHORITY to interfere with it!

wildcat72 on April 17, 2013 at 12:29 PM

ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ

ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ

ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ

Schadenfreude on April 17, 2013 at 12:29 PM

She should have not voted against the FILIBUSTER then.

RINO. They can’t be relied on. There should be NO COMPROMISE on the Bill of Rights.

There isn’t any compromise, nor any consensus. The government AND THAT INCLUDES THE SENATE HAVE NO AUTHORITY to interfere with it!

wildcat72 on April 17, 2013 at 12:29 PM

Yeppers – she is an aristocratic scumhag. For now she must have gotten the message. Imagine that Sarah Palin helped her to win.

Schadenfreude on April 17, 2013 at 12:31 PM

Maverick and the Liceman will have payback for this, oh yes they will. You don’t step on the self-appointed senate Top Guns without having them come back with a little revenge.

Bishop on April 17, 2013 at 12:19 PM

Juan and Lindsey: The Senate’s first gay couple.

They’ve never seen a country they wouldn’t invade, nor a Constitutional Right they wouldn’t compromise.

wildcat72 on April 17, 2013 at 12:31 PM

Yeppers – she is an aristocratic scumhag. For now she must have gotten the message. Imagine that Sarah Palin helped her to win.

Schadenfreude on April 17, 2013 at 12:31 PM

She better prepare to be UNELECTED then. DemocRATS wont’ vote for her in that blue state hellhole she’s from, and if I were a Republican there I’d not cross the street to vote for her.

I’m THROUGH tolerating RINOS, no matter WHERE they are from. They aren’t the lesser of two evils. They are the GREATER EVIL. They undermine conservatives from behind. With knives.

wildcat72 on April 17, 2013 at 12:34 PM

Republican Sen. Ted Cruz admits background checks bill would not bring about national gun registry – @TPM

3 mins ago by editor

canopfor on April 17, 2013 at 12:34 PM

is more important than preventing imagined tyranny,”

Says the majority leader who rammed through Obamacare one of the most sweeping Trranny laws in the history of this nation.

unseen on April 17, 2013 at 12:34 PM

dirtengineer on April 17, 2013 at 11:34 AM

Thread winner.

Myron Falwell on April 17, 2013 at 12:39 PM

Republican Sen. Ted Cruz admits background checks bill would not bring about national gun registry – @TPM

3 mins ago by editor

canopfor on April 17, 2013 at 12:34 PM

No, not via the DOJ, but via every other state and federal agency that can house the data.

CurtZHP on April 17, 2013 at 12:39 PM

Putting that aside, why flip now? Why take the political hit when the amendment is going to fail, and fail badly, within a couple of hours?

Reid is keeping the gun debate in the public eye. when the amendment goes down if it goes down then Reid can pivot to assult weapons ban. He abandoned it because it was thought the background check bill was a better winner. Since it may very likely be shot down then what happens to the “gun debate”, well its dies a quiet death. But by Reid switching then the gun control debate keeps on going and going and going.

It’s not like Reid and Obama wants to talk about the budget or anything else of importance. The gun debate divides Amnericans. the elites don’t want a 2010 repeating itself. Any issue that is at 50/50 or close to it will be played up from now until 2014 to keep Americians from rally against the ruling elites.

unseen on April 17, 2013 at 12:40 PM

“I doubt this will win Reid any new friends in Nevada, and it will probably cost him a lot of support …”

Tired. So very tired. Of listening to silly thoughts of beating Obama, Reid, Pelosi, etc., etc., etc.

3.5 years from now when Reid is again running for Senate, the union buses will roll up to the casinos in Vegas and the Reid voters will pile in once again.

There won’t be any local media reminding them of his 2nd amendment votes. And those that will remember aren’t likely to have ever voted for him previously.

Tired. So very tired.

Carnac on April 17, 2013 at 12:41 PM

Now do the right thing on the amnesty bill .

Lucano on April 17, 2013 at 12:43 PM

Says the majority leader who rammed through Obamacare one of the most sweeping Trranny laws in the history of this nation.

unseen on April 17, 2013 at 12:34 PM

The LGBTQRSTUV lobby will be pleased…

affenhauer on April 17, 2013 at 12:43 PM

Losing Heitkamp, who’s not up for re-election until the iPad 9 is released, is a big fail for Manchin-Toomey

— daveweigel (@daveweigel) April 17, 2013

what the talking heads don’t understand is those that cherish their rights don’t forget who voted to do away with those rights, no matter how long between elections.

unseen on April 17, 2013 at 12:43 PM

The LGBTQRSTUV lobby will be pleased…

affenhauer on April 17, 2013 at 12:43 PM

yeah damn fingers.

unseen on April 17, 2013 at 12:44 PM

Perhaps this is wrong but, from all I’ve seen and followed on Newtown, the only possible action that would/could have prevented the tragedy was for Lanza’s mother to have had him involuntarily committed. She chose not to do that and she died, along with a lot of totally innocent children and teachers.

As far as I know, you cannot pass a law against bad judgement by a parent.

The rest is no more than the use of a tragedy to advance an agenda.

IndieDogg on April 17, 2013 at 12:45 PM

The Wacko Birds have come home to roost?

ICanSeeNovFromMyHouse on April 17, 2013 at 12:48 PM

Any issue that is at 50/50 or close to it will be played up from now until 2014 to keep Americians from rally against the ruling elites.

unseen on April 17, 2013 at 12:40 PM

I don’t know about that. gun control is always a loser for the Dems. It makes them feel good to think they can beat the NRA, but for the most part there are a lot more hardcore pro-gun people than there are rabid gun grabbers.

If it was a possible for this to be a positive issue for them, using the deaths of 20 dead children would have done it. But even that didn’t work for them.

If it can save the life of just one child they’ll do it. As long as it doesn’t jeopardize their reelection chances. This issue is gone once this bill is voted down.

PetecminMd on April 17, 2013 at 12:51 PM

Republican Sen. Ted Cruz admits background checks bill would not bring about national gun registry – @TPM

3 mins ago by editor

canopfor on April 17, 2013 at 12:34 PM

He’s wrong or TPM is mischaracterising what he said. Sch-Man-Too only prevents the Attorney General from setting up a registry.

Here’s the Sch-Man-Too text:

(c) Prohibition of National Gun Registry.-Section 923 of title 18, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following:

(m) The Attorney General may not consolidate or centralize the records of the

(1) acquisition or disposition of firearms, or any portion thereof, maintained by

(A) a person with a valid, current license under this chapter;

(B) an unlicensed transferor under section 922(t); or

(2) possession or ownership of a firearm, maintained by any medical or health insurance entity.”

The limit on creating a registry applies only to the Attorney General (and thus to entities under his direct control, such as the FBI and BATFE).

Applying inclusio unius exclusio alterius, it IS permissible for entities other than the Attorney General, such as HHS or DHS, to create gun registries, using whatever information they can acquire from their own operations.

Under Sch-Man-Too, Sebelius could consolidate and centralise gun records from the information she gathered from healthcare providers or insurance companies. DHS could create a registry using info received from states like Missouri. The Department of the Army could centralise firearm information on current and former military through the VA, questionnaires, etc. Then, HHS, DHS, the VA, etc, could compile all of their individual data into one registry.

Resist We Much on April 17, 2013 at 12:55 PM

With the bottom falling out from under the entirely non-sequitur attempt to link background-check gaps to Newtown, in which background checks actually stopped the shooter from buying weapons legally, will Democrats support a solution that actually addresses some of the issues of the incident they’ve been citing as their inspiration?

Bwaaahahahahahahaha!!!!! Stop, you’re killing me.

Will Democrats actually support a solution that addresses the problem while protecting the rights of law abiding people they hate, instead of pushing a partisan liberal hatchet job they can use to bash half the country and raise gobs of direct mail cash at the same time??

Oh you kids, always saying the darnedest things!!!

Sacramento on April 17, 2013 at 12:56 PM

PetecminMd on April 17, 2013 at 12:51 PM

couple things. First 2010 happened to a large part because the dems didn’t show up and the people upset at Obamacare and Obama’s overreach did in droves. I doubt the fundemental results would have been different if the dems did show up but I’m sure on the margins it would have. Those 700 seats that chaged hands in 2010 would maybe have been 350 or so. Gun control is a net loser for dems in red areas but it will drive the libs to the polls.

Second, With the GOPe on the baqndwagon for gun control also it really makes it hard to go hard core against the dems.

third the polls which I don’t believe but many in DC seem to take as fact seem to support gun control. They do live in a bubble. I think the amendment going down today if it does is reality starting to get through the media bubble.

unseen on April 17, 2013 at 12:59 PM

IndieDogg on April 17, 2013 at 12:45 PM

An armed officer at the school might have whittled the casualty list down to one. It’s not like he could hide his AR easily. I don’t understand all the heartache over this, Virginia Beach schools have “resource” officers. And their resources can stop this stuff right in their tracks.

Cindy Munford on April 17, 2013 at 1:01 PM

As far as I know, you cannot pass a law against bad judgement by a parent. The rest is no more than the use of a tragedy to advance an agenda. IndieDogg on April 17, 2013 at 12:45 PM

One cannot pass a law against bad parenting, but should the parent/s survive, should their offspring chose to steal their guns and kill people, they should be held liable and charged as complicit in the murder of innocents.

The left is always so quick to jump on a tragedy to advance their agenda as you said.

The further erosion of the Constitution will continue unavenged.

Our public servants no longer listen to us, but deign to reign over us, hardly does one any longer hear them mention, “What MY constituents want.” It is all about what ‘they‘ want for us…

Who the hell is supposed to be running this nation anyway?

We elect these people based on their record and what they tell us, the second they turn their backs, is the time to start that campaign to get them out of office!

I am so sick of watching every day the way this country is going.

Scrumpy on April 17, 2013 at 1:02 PM

****************** Brace For Political ImPact ***********!!

White House Press Secretary Carney rejects Sen. Rand Paul’s comment that Obama is using Newtown families as ‘props’ – @NBCNews

1 min ago by editor

canopfor on April 17, 2013 at 1:06 PM

Perhaps this is wrong but, from all I’ve seen and followed on Newtown, the only possible action that would/could have prevented the tragedy was for Lanza’s mother to have had him involuntarily committed. She chose not to do that and she died, along with a lot of totally innocent children and teachers.

Good people with guns in the school would have stopped it.

GardenGnome on April 17, 2013 at 1:07 PM

More: Carney says Newtown families are ‘here because their children were murdered’ asking Senate to do something ‘commonsense’ – @NBCNews

2 mins ago by editor

canopfor on April 17, 2013 at 1:07 PM

More: Carney says Newtown families are ‘here because their children were murdered’ asking Senate to do something ‘commonsense’ – @NBCNews

2 mins ago by editor

canopfor on April 17, 2013 at 1:07 PM

The fact that what the Senate is doing is neither commonsense nor would it have saved their children’s lives notwithstanding.

CurtZHP on April 17, 2013 at 1:18 PM

Perhaps this is wrong but, from all I’ve seen and followed on Newtown, the only possible action that would/could have prevented the tragedy was for Lanza’s mother to have had him involuntarily committed. She chose not to do that and she died, along with a lot of totally innocent children and teachers.

Good people with guns in the school would have stopped it.

GardenGnome on April 17, 2013 at 1:07 PM

Wasn’t she trying to get him committed?

cptacek on April 17, 2013 at 1:22 PM

More: Carney says Newtown families are ‘here because their children were murdered’ asking Senate to do something ‘commonsense’ – @NBCNews

2 mins ago by editor

canopfor on April 17, 2013 at 1:07 PM

In other words, they’re props.

White House Press Secretary Carney rejects Sen. Rand Paul’s comment that Obama is using Newtown families as ‘props’ – @NBCNews

1 min ago by editor

canopfor on April 17, 2013 at 1:06 PM

You say to-may-to, I say to-mah-to.

Chris of Rights on April 17, 2013 at 1:28 PM

LET’S VOTE!

claudius on April 17, 2013 at 1:32 PM

When is the ban on pressure cookers coming.
And envelopes.
You know, it will keep us safer.

Sterling Holobyte on April 17, 2013 at 1:35 PM

Remember how the media last acted as if the Republicans attempting to filibuster this had political damaged themselves? What a difference a few days makes.

mwbri on April 17, 2013 at 11:12 AM

Yes, but when the bill goes down, it will be “entirely the fault of those evil Republicans, who don’t care at all about whether your kids live or die”.

Chris of Rights on April 17, 2013 at 1:35 PM

Why it almost seems like some of the Rs are learning about strategy and how to trap your opponent.

Hmmmmm.

I’m really struggling with this, but it does look a little like it.

kim roy on April 17, 2013 at 1:44 PM

This is disturbing because right now I’m trying to hold the door closed against a high-cap mag which is trying to get in here to kill me.

Bishop on April 17, 2013 at 11:32 AM

Vomit or pee on yourself. That should do it.

And also tell it that it’s breaking the law and that’s bad and it should stop.

/liberal logic

kim roy on April 17, 2013 at 1:49 PM

Tired. So very tired.

Carnac on April 17, 2013 at 12:41 PM

And it still took about 20% of the GOP voters to put him over the top. Had they voted GOP Angle would have won.

chemman on April 17, 2013 at 1:52 PM

Cindy Munford on April 17, 2013 at 1:01 PM

I taught in a high school that average 3000 students over the 17 years I was there. It had an armed resource officer but I guarantee that he couldn’t have stopped an attacker at the start of the shooting string. The campus was 36 acres (1/4 mile X 1/4 mile). Too many points in which an attacker could gain access. It had 20 classroom wings excluding the boys and girls locker rooms, Administrative building and gym. The only way to stop a committed attacker would be for teachers to be armed and willing to use the weapon.

chemman on April 17, 2013 at 2:00 PM

What else is he going to say? That he was taken in by the awesome personality of Chuck Schumer and the bright lights of the media?
He isn’t going to stand by it so much as it’s been attached to him in perpetuity.

Happy Nomad on April 17, 2013 at 12:18 PM

I agree. It would be fun to watch his stammering, though. There are some people who are seriously p!ssed about it here, including a bunch of GOP PA state reps who sent him a letter asking him to defend the 2nd Amendment and not push this bill. He’s toast.

PatriotGal2257 on April 17, 2013 at 2:08 PM

This is disturbing because right now I’m trying to hold the door closed against a high-cap mag which is trying to get in here to kill me.

Bishop on April 17, 2013 at 11:32 AM

Beat it to death with your pressure cooker.

CurtZHP on April 17, 2013 at 2:18 PM

chemman on April 17, 2013 at 2:00 PM

I was specifically speaking of the Sandy Hook situation, since the killer came through the front door. You are right that campus grounds and outlying buildings are hard to keep safe but I know at our schools, the only door that could be opened from the outside was the door by the office.

Cindy Munford on April 17, 2013 at 2:18 PM

Perhaps this is wrong but, from all I’ve seen and followed on Newtown, the only possible action that would/could have prevented the tragedy was for Lanza’s mother to have had him involuntarily committed. She chose not to do that and she died, along with a lot of totally innocent children and teachers.

As far as I know, you cannot pass a law against bad judgement by a parent.

The rest is no more than the use of a tragedy to advance an agenda.

IndieDogg on April 17, 2013 at 12:45 PM

She tried to have him committed – but the laws that the ACLU had recently helped pass in Conn. kept her from doing that. If anyone’s to blame for that…it’s the ACLU and the ignorant Conn. state legislators. The nutball had more rights and protection than his parent.

Solaratov on April 17, 2013 at 2:27 PM

Reid himself is becoming absurd.

jake49 on April 17, 2013 at 3:07 PM

I taught in a high school that average 3000 students over the 17 years I was there. It had an armed resource officer but I guarantee that he couldn’t have stopped an attacker at the start of the shooting string. The campus was 36 acres (1/4 mile X 1/4 mile). Too many points in which an attacker could gain access. It had 20 classroom wings excluding the boys and girls locker rooms, Administrative building and gym. The only way to stop a committed attacker would be for teachers to be armed and willing to use the weapon.

chemman on April 17, 2013 at 2:00 PM

Exactly!

dentarthurdent on April 17, 2013 at 3:53 PM

Proud of my Senator Kelley. Restoring faith that you’re not just a McCain/Graham female clone.

SuperBunny on April 17, 2013 at 5:27 PM

Didn’t expect it to turn to crap so soon, did you, Toomey?

Note well, Rubio, you’re next!

virgo on April 18, 2013 at 12:58 AM

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