April 8, 2013
Arizona senator John McCain teamed up with notorious gun-grabber and New York Democrat Senator Charles Schumer on Sunday to argue in favor of debating legislation in the Senate aimed at restricting the Second Amendment.
“I don’t understand it,” McCain said on CBS’ Face the Nation. “The purpose of the United States Senate is to debate and to vote and to let the people know where we stand.”
“What are we afraid of? Why would we not want… if this issue is as important as all of us think it is, why not take it to one of the world’s greatest deliberative bodies – that’s one of the greatest exaggerations in history by the way – but you know why not take it up, an amendment and debate. The American people will profit from it,” McCain said.
“If we go to the floor, I’m still hopeful that what I call the ‘sweet spot’ background checks can succeed,” Schumer added. “We are working hard there. Sen. [Joe] Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Sen. [Mark] Kirk [R-Ill.] have a few ideas that could modify the proposal.”
Comments by McCain and Schumer follow a letter sent to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Nevada Democrat. In the letter, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, Mike Lee of Utah, Marco Rubio of Florida and Texas Senator Ted Cruz stated they will “oppose the motion to proceed to any legislation that will serve as a vehicle for any additional gun restrictions.”
Jerry Moran of Kansas, Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma, Richard Burr of North Carolina, Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, Mike Enzi of Wyoming, Jim Risch and Mike Crapo of Idaho, Dan Coats of Indiana and Pat Roberts of Kansas also signed the letter.
Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, who was involved in early negotiations on an anti-Second Amendment bill, said the effort is little more than grandstanding by Rand Paul. “Is that about filibustering a bill to protect the Second Amendment, or is that about Rand Paul?”Coburn asked, according to the Wall Street Journal. “I’ve done more filibusters than Rand Paul is old.”
McCain peddled the discredited argument that universal background checks will keep firearms out of the hands of criminals. “Everybody wants the same goal to keep the guns out of the hands of criminals and the mentally disabled. Background checks are being conducted. Are they sufficient, are there ways to improve those? Then I think that’s something that the American people and certainly Congress could be helped by if we have a vigorous debate and discussion,” the Arizona senator said.
Senate Majority Leader Reid plans to bring anti-Second Amendment legislation to the floor later this month. A number of GOP senators came out in opposition to universal background checks after a bipartisan compromise on the legislation failed.
Republicans, however, are not opposed to restricting the Second Amendment. Iowa’s Chuck Grassley is working on an alternative to the Democrat bill. Grassley is the ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee. If he supports what is described as a “gun control lite,” many junior senators will find it more difficult to oppose legislation aimed at the Second Amendment.
On Wednesday, Obama’s press secretary Jay Carney said it would be “shameful” for Republicans to filibuster legislation in the Senate. Carney diligently followed the exploitative line used by Democrats to push for rolling back the Second Amendment. “The victims of Newtown — the 20 kids and the 6 educators who lost their lives — deserve a vote,” he said. “And that if you want to vote no, vote no. Don’t block a vote. That’s not doing service to the memory of these kids.”