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MILLER: Stand with guns
Senate Republicans plan filibuster of gun-control bills
Question of the Day
"Stand with Rand" was so positive for the public discourse, that we now need to "Stand with Guns."
Three Republican senators told Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid that they will filibuster bringing gun-control bills to the floor in early April. While procedurally they can't announce in advance, an old-fashioned filibuster about the facts of gun-control laws would be a great educational tool for a wide audience.
Freshmen GOP Sens. Mike Lee of Utah, Rand Paul of Kentucky and Ted Cruz of Texas are keeping their powder dry on what form their opposition will take to a motion to proceed to any legislation that includes additional gun restrictions.
I talked to Mr. Lee by phone on Tuesday about the announcement. He was reluctant to talk about the floor process, but would not rule out doing a filibuster like the 13-hour one Mr. Paul did on drones.
"I oppose restrictions that would limit the constitutional right of Americans, he said. "And exactly what form that opposition will take — beyond voting no — will depend on a variety of circumstances that are difficult to ascertain at this point."
The purpose of their opposition is to force Mr. Reid to get bipartisan support when attempting to abridge a constitutional right. "Limiting the Second Amendment rights of our citizens should go forward only if we have substantial, bipartisan consensus, rather than just enough votes to get around the majority party's dissenting viewpoint," the Utah Republican told me.
Mr. Lee is a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee that voted out four gun-control laws by almost entirely party lines. (Mr. Cruz is also on the committee.) He said that, "A lot of proposals in the Judiciary Committee were unconstitutional, but they also have a primary effect of limiting the conduct of law-abiding citizens rather than reducing crime."
That is a fact that you don't hear President Obama and other gun grabbers cite. The only major government study of gun-control statutes was done by the Centers for Disease Control in 2002. It concluded that not a single measure on any level of government reduced crime.
Mr. Lee, who clerked for Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito, wants to make it more difficult for the Senate to pass restrictions to the Second Amendment. During the budget debate last week, he offered an amendment that would require a two-thirds supermajority for any legislation that would undermine the Second Amendment. The vote was 50-49 for the measure, but the leadership made a new procedural vote on whether it was germane, so that it couldn't get 60 votes to be enacted.
Nevertheless, Mr. Lee was pleased with the vote count. "It was a conversation changer to get six Democrats willing to break rank and half the Senate willing to stand up and protect Second Amendment rights," he said. "We need to continue having that kind of discussion." Exactly.
And we ought to have that kind of discussion the week of April 8 when the upper chamber will vote on three bills that will infringe on the Second Amendment, as well as amendments including Sen. Dianne Feinstein's so-called assault weapon and high capacity magazines ban.
Polls have showed an increase in public support for gun control in recent months. This is due to President Obama using the bully pulpit of the White House and New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg spending millions of dollars on public relations and political campaigns. They and their allies are giving the public the false impression that more gun laws will make the nation — and our children — safer.
A "Stand for Guns" on the floor of the Senate would bypass a liberal media filter and give pro-Second Amendment lawmakers as many hours on C-SPAN as they need to educate the public on the facts.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Emily Miller is senior editor of opinion for The Washington Times. She is the author of “Emily Gets Her Gun … But Obama Wants to Take Yours” (Regnery 2013). Miller won the 2012 Clark Mollenhoff Award for Investigative Reporting from the Institute on Political Journalism.
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