I generally hold Alan Gottlieb in high regard. He runs both the Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) and the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms (CCRKBA). The latter was founded 40 years ago and has more than 600,000 members. I contribute to both. But I didn’t get Saturday’s email:
“If you read the Manchin-Toomey substitute amendment, you can see all the advances for our cause that it contains,” Gottlieb wrote. He then listed the gun rights advantages in the bill: “interstate sales of handguns, veteran gun rights restoration, travel with firearms protection, civil and criminal immunity lawsuit protection, and most important of all, the guarantee that people, including federal officers, will go to federal prison for up to 15 years if they attempt to use any gun sales records to set up a gun registry.”
The Washington Post filled in some of the blanks:
While leading gun-control advocates — including President Obama and New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg (I) — back the bipartisan proposal, the announcement of support Sunday from the Citizens Committee reveals that substantial parts of the bill are viewed as “wins” for the gun lobby, including provisions that would prohibit a government registry of gun ownership and make it easier to transport and market weapons across state lines.
Another gun rights group, the Independent Firearm Owners Association (IFOA), also is going along with the compromise. Headed up by Richard Feldman, a former successful regional director for the NRA, endorsed the measure as well. Feldman blew the whistle on the NRA in his book, Ricochet: Confessions of a Gun Lobbyist, but thinks there’s enough in the compromise for his much smaller group to support.
According to WaPo, even with the new language and new promises and guarantees and such, the bill has little chance of passing the Senate because too many Senators are fearful of losing their seats in 2014:
Some have already rejected its argument.
Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), who voted to proceed with debate, labeled the Manchin-Toomey agreement “unworkable and unfair to gun owners” in a message sent to constituents late last week. Because the plan would require gun purchasers to pay for a background check, “visitors to . . . gun shows across America will face a new tax of $30 to $50, and sometimes more, as they exercise their constitutional right to buy a gun,” Coburn said, adding that gun owners “will ignore and reject these changes.”
Other Republican senators who voted for debating the gun bill but plan to vote no on the amendment are Lamar Alexander (Tenn.), Bob Corker (Tenn.), Lindsey O. Graham (S.C.), John Hoeven (N.D.) and Johnny Isakson (Ga.), their spokesmen said Sunday.
Among Democratic senators, moderates Mark Begich (Alaska) and Mark Pryor (Ark.), who face difficult reelection fights in 2014, voted against proceeding with debate and are expected to oppose the overall gun bill. Max Baucus (Mont.), Kay Hagan (N.C.) and Mary Landrieu (La.), who are also facing difficult reelection prospects, voted for debate but have signaled they may vote against the Manchin-Toomey deal.
There must be some political benefit to Alan Gottlieb and Richard Feldman to go along with any attempt to infringe, but I don’t see it. If the bill infringes, it’s wrong and should be opposed. Making deals with politicians is highly risky, especially when they concern inalienable rights.