I have agonized over these events for the past year. It came up as soon as three days afer the event when I had a Top Comments diary to write. It came up in my Eight Days of NN13 diary, when I wrote this:
Friday, June 21: Breakfast brought to us by Amnesty International, with actual mimosas, and then the plenary session on gun violence. I could see them trying to go toward the real people/real stories route but we've HAD them, especially at Newtown, and that still doesn't work. This appears to be a more and better Democrat situation although we still have to be nice to Joe Manchin.And, tomorrow in the New York Times Magazine, we'll have the answer. Follow me below the great orange gunrest for what that answer is.
It's going to be depressing. Keep in mind the saying "The road to hell is paved with good intentions" as you read this. Here they are:
“To sit here and do nothing, I could’ve done that all day long,” Manchin said. “Let this be the happy retirement home.” Instead, for the first time in his 30-year political career, he acted against the N.R.A.'s wishes. He introduced legislation that would require universal background checks for commercial sales. Background checks have been federally mandated for firearm purchases from licensed dealers since 1994. The bill would have extended them to gun shows and all Internet sales. Manchin was aware that universal background checks would not have prevented the Newtown killings, because the shooter, Adam Lanza, used firearms that were legally purchased by his mother. Nonetheless, a confluence of factors at the time favored his efforts: a newly re-elected Democratic president personally stung by the gun tragedies that took place on his watch; a fractious and self-doubting Republican Party; the seemingly bottomless financial resources of the New York mayor and ardent gun-control advocate Michael Bloomberg, whose alliance of more than a thousand mayors throughout the United States, Mayors Against Illegal Guns, would sponsor an aggressive wave of TV ads; and the forceful but sympathetic lobbying presence of Gabrielle Giffords, the former congresswoman who had been shot in the head in Tucson, along with the voices of the Newtown parents whose children were killed.We still don't have a bill.
What happened? A bill WAS produced in hopes the NRA wouldn't fight it. It was even designed to be NRA-friendly. Manchin worked with the NRA lobbyists and he thought he was making progress. The NRA even thought they had desinged something that would pass. But the NRA has a Tea Party too.
a handful of smaller, more strident gun groups — most notably the Gun Owners of America and the National Association for Gun Rights — have continually attacked the N.R.A. for giving any ground, for negotiating with the enemy and, worst of all, for helping to elect lukewarm allies. -snip - On March 25, Dudley Brown, executive vice president of the National Association for Gun Rights, sent a mass email to thousands of gun enthusiasts that began: “It’s happening. . . . According to Politico, Sen. Joe Manchin is in secret negotiations with unnamed N.R.A. officials to sell out our gun rights. I’ve warned you from the beginning that our gravest danger was an inside-Washington driven deal.” In the email, Brown damningly referred to the deal as “the Manchin-N.R.A. compromise bill.”And, then, Manchin stopped hearing from the NRA lobbyists, who still claim that pressure from the other gun groups had nothing to do with their actions. No, the NRA said they would score the legislators on the vote. That was enough.
Incidental finding that I just can't resist here:
But for several other undecided senators, the gun bill constituted one political burden too many. This was evident during a meeting between Rob Portman, who is a Republican senator from Ohio, and several parents of the slain Newtown children. Portman told them, “You know, I have an A rating from the N.R.A., so I’m probably not going to support this.” At some point, 13-year-old James Barden, a brother of one of the victims, spoke up. “Senator, there’s over a thousand deaths from gun violence in Ohio every year,” he said. “I’m here on behalf of my little brother, Daniel. Do you think that this bill would save some of those lives?”How craven is craven? We know now.
Portman sat quietly for a moment. Then he said: “It could. It could.” But what the Republican senator did not say was that he had already disappointed conservatives by coming out in favor of same-sex marriage because of his openly gay son. By the spring of 2013 it had become axiomatic in the Senate that among the three incendiary social issues of the moment — gun restrictions, same-sex marriage and comprehensive immigration reform — a moderate Democrat could afford to vote for two of them, and a conservative Republican only one. Portman had already selected his hot-button issue.
So it came to a vote. Not a vote-vote. A cloture vote. 54-46. Not 60. Fuhgeddaboutit.
The article goes on to say that demography and progress will take care of this, but some of our gun people here don't buy the article's conclusions, so I have to conclude the Times is doing some kind of wishful thinking here. States have taken action, but that, as Meteor Blades has pointed out, has been a VERY mixed bag. No answers from the Times article either.
Thus, we mourn with the Newtown community, and we remember by performing acts of kindness. If only that would work to prevent more killings.
We Are All Newtown
Newtown Memorial Garden
“I have HOPE, hope that because of this new coalition of Americans, "change is gonna come". Newtown is no longer just a place, but a movement.”Americans from very different communities are locking arms and honoring the memories of the more than 30,000 victims of gun violence since 12/14 by performing acts of kindness. In this way, those lost to gun violence will be honored with action.
We Are All Newtown Blogathon posts from 9AM Eastern to 8PM Eastern, Saturday, December 14, every couple hours throughout the day. Featuring Monte Frank who is in Washington DC for the National Vigil For Victims of Gun Violence.