“Why do we have a Second Amendment? It’s not to shoot deer. It’s to shoot at the government when it becomes tyrannical!”
— Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), on Twitter, June 23, 2016.
“Not with respect to the Second Amendment. The Second Amendment right to bear arms is to ensure that we always have a republic. And as with any constitutional provision in the Bill of Rights, there are adverse aspects to each of those rights that we enjoy as people. And what we just saw here is one of the bad side effects of someone not exercising those rights properly. But we’re not going to get rid of freedom of speech because some people say some really ugly things that hurt other people’s feelings. We’re not going to get rid of Fourth Amendment search and seizure rights because it allows some criminals to go free who should be behind bars.”
“Despite metal detectors and armed guards at the doors to the Capitol and leading to galleries overlooking the Arkansas House, a state lawmaker says he would feel safer if he were allowed to pack his own heat,” the AP reports.
“Republican Rep. Mickey Gates is proposing that lawmakers licensed to carry a concealed handgun be allowed to bring their weapons into the Arkansas Capitol and other publicly owned facilities throughout the state.”
“The House of Representatives approved its first effort of the new Congress to roll back gun regulations, voting to overturn a rule that would bar gun ownership by some who have been deemed mentally impaired by the Social Security Administration,” USA Today reports.
“The House voted 235-180 largely along party lines Thursday to repeal an Obama-era rule requiring the Social Security Administration to send records of some beneficiaries to the federal firearms background check system after they’ve been deemed mentally incapable of managing their financial affairs.”
Missouri U.S. Senate candidate Jason Kander (D) depends his support of background checks on gun purchases in a very effective ad.
“The head of Cleveland’s largest police union is calling on Ohio Gov. John Kasich to temporarily restrict the state’s open carry gun laws during this week’s Republican National Convention following Sunday’s shooting in Louisiana that killed three officers and wounded at least three others,” CNN reports.
However, Kasich responded to the request: “Ohio governors do not have the power to arbitrarily suspend federal and state constitutional rights or state laws as suggested.”
New York Times: “The violence in Dallas last week is intensifying worries in Cleveland about visitors and protesters taking firearms downtown during the Republican National Convention, where thousands of people plan to demonstrate.”
“Ohio’s open-carry laws mean that those who legally own guns can take them into the 1.7-square-mile area where many of the events and protests connected to the Republican convention will be held next week.”
“A week after Democrats staged a nearly 26-hour sit-in demanding a vote on gun control measures, Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) said the House will vote next week on legislation to block suspected terrorists from buying guns,” The Hill reports.
“Democrats launched an historic, daylong protest on the House floor last week demanding a vote on such legislation in the wake of the Orlando shooting rampage that killed 49… Ryan has dismissed the sit-in as a ‘publicity stunt’ and said Republicans will be ready for the next one.”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) “cut the legs out from a bipartisan effort to keep suspected terrorists from buying guns,” The Hill reports.
“In doing so, McConnell, a master of the Senate’s arcane rules, provided cover for vulnerable Republicans who wanted to be seen as supporting the effort, but did not want to cross the National Rifle Association.”
New York Times: “The solution was a procedural maneuver by which the majority leader, Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky, scheduled the bill for a vote on a motion to table it. By voting not to table it, Republicans could keep it alive without advancing or defeating it outright — putting it in a sort of legislative purgatory.”
Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) told the Washington Post be that Republicans are partially culpable for attacks like the Orlando nightclub shooting because they refuse to restrict gun sales to those on the terror watch list.
Said Murphy: “We’ve got to make this clear, constant case that Republicans have decided to sell weapons to ISIS.”
He added: “ISIS has decided that the assault weapon is the new airplane, and Republicans, in refusing to close the terror gap, refusing to pass bans on assault weapons, are allowing these weapons to get in the hands of potential lone-wolf attackers. We’ve got to make this connection and make it in very stark terms.”
James Hohmann: “The vast majority of Americans favor legislation being considered today in the Senate that would restrict people on the terrorist watch list from buying guns. But the measure will fail because those who oppose stricter gun laws are, on the whole, more passionate and politically organized than the average voters who support them.
It can be hard to understand this after Democrats staged a 15-hour filibuster on the Senate floor last week, but the intensity gap in the gun debate long predates the attack on the Pulse nightclub in Orlando. It is why nothing got done after children were massacred at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut, even with a newly-reelected President Obama pushing for action and a Democratic majority in the Senate.”
Donald Trump “argued again that the mass shooting in Orlando, could have been less deadly had people in the gay nightclub been able to shoot back,” The Hill reports.
Said Trump: “If we had people with the bullets going in the opposite direction — right smack between the eyes of this maniac. If some of those wonderful people had guns strapped right here, right to their waist or right to their ankle, and this son of a bitch comes out and starts shooting, and one of the people in that room happened to have it and goes boom, boom, you know what? That would have been a beautiful, beautiful sight, folks, that would have been a beautiful, beautiful sight.”
“With congressional leaders once again at a stalemate over how to respond to a mass shooting, the Senate’s most moderate Republican, Susan Collins of Maine, is developing a compromise measure that would prevent some terrorism suspects from purchasing weapons, while sidestepping partisan flash points that have doomed similar legislation in the past and threaten to do so again next week,” the New York Times reports.
“The Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky, has already scheduled votes for Monday on four proposals — two sponsored by Republicans and two by Democrats — but all four are expected to fail in a nearly identical replay of votes last December after the attack in San Bernardino, Calif.”
Rick Klein: “The latest Trump endorsee forced to wonder what Trump is thinking is the NRA, which didn’t anticipate a certain Tweeting presidential candidate in writing its post-Orlando script. It’s not clear what specific policy Donald Trump is pushing in his not-yet-scheduled meeting with the NRA. It’s not clear if the NRA knows what he’s up to in pushing for suspected terrorists to be denied access to guns. It’s also not clear that the Senate’s decision to hold votes on gun control Thursday is directly connected to the pressure applied by Trump.”
“But what is clear is that Trump – despite his half-threat to ‘do this alone’ on the campaign trail – will have outsized influence on national debates over the next five months, at the very least. His unpredictability, along with the more predictable populist streak he flashes so often, won’t exist by itself, no matter who endorses his candidacy.”
Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) “ended a blockade of the Senate floor after nearly 15 hours Thursday, announcing Republican leaders had agreed to hold votes on Democrat-backed measures to expand background checks and prevent suspected terrorists from acquiring guns,” the Washington Post reports.
“Democrats were angling for votes on the two gun control measures, which they are presenting as amendments to a pending spending bill, demanding that it was the least the Senate could do to respond to the Orlando massacre that killed 49 last weekend.”