-- And oppose the Motion to Proceed to S. 649
GOA opposes Harry Reid's gun control bill (S. 649)
You wouldn't jump into a cesspool because you were not absolutely sure what was in it.
Similarly, it would be insanity to vote to proceed to the gun control bribe-o-thon because you're not absolutely sure what will come out of it.
Unless Harry Reid wants to invoke a “special order” procedure which will be a disaster for him, he needs 60 votes to proceed to his gun control bill (S. 649) -- votes which Reid does not have if the GOP holds firm. If Republicans hold the line, in fact, Reid probably doesn't even have 50 votes.
And, for reasons which we can explain in a future memorandum, the “special order” procedure could cause horrific problems for Reid.
So with one vote, the GOP could kill all gun control. And, as for those “blue state” Republicans who are scared of the “gun issue,” here's a question: Why would you not want to limit your exposure to one vote which can be framed around opposition to the unpopular Feinstein amendment, rather than have Reid subject you to 20 votes on a variety of “gun issues” which he is crafting to make you easy to defeat?
In other words, if you can kill all gun control with one vote, why would you not want to do that?
Here are ten reasons why you should.
ONE: Feinstein's gun ban could be passed out of the Senate as an amendment to Reid's base bill (S. 649) with only 50 (that’s F-I-F-T-Y) votes. Here's how: Reid lays down Feinstein late in the process and files cloture on the bill. If (1) Republicans who were not willing to oppose the motion to proceed because Feinstein was not YET part of the bill similarly vote for cloture on the bill for the same reason, (2) Feinstein has FIFTY votes post-cloture, and (3) FIFTY senators vote that Feinstein is germane to the bill (increasingly, a "smell" test), then Feinstein clears the Senate.
TWO: White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough has said, "We're going to find the votes" for Feinstein. We know, from ObamaCare, what that means: They will use whatever threats, bribes, and coercion are necessary to get the FIFTY votes they need.
THREE: Even if it's not in the underlying package, universal gun registries will be subjected to the bribes, coercion, and tiny concessions necessary to get it added to the bill.
FOUR: Reid will control what amendments are offered or not offered. Anyone who votes to proceed because they think it will give them an opportunity to vote for THEIR proposal is an idiot. If you want to pass Boxer and Graham, GOA has no objection to McConnell standing up every hour and asking for unanimous consent that they be passed, unamended.
FIVE: We don't even have a finite list of amendments which could be offered. Amendments like Schumer's "watch list" proposal could allow Obama to take away guns from all NRA members by the stroke of a pen -- but would be hard to oppose.
SIX: The Veterans Gun Ban (S. 54), which will certainly be in the underlying bill, is horrible. It creates a 15-year prison sentence for negligent sales, negligent gifting, and negligent raffling of firearms. Given that 150,000 law-abiding veterans have had their gun rights taken away (without due process) -- and given that all marijuana smokers and medical marijuana smokers are prohibited persons whether or not on the NICS list -- you would sell, gift, or raffle a firearm only at your own risk. (Incidentally, the Veterans Gun Ban was reported out of Judiciary Committee with virtually unanimous Republican opposition.)
SEVEN: All of this comes at a time when Reid sits on legislation which would unify Republicans' base and hurt Democrats -- just as he demands that the GOP be complicit in bringing up an unopened package of amendments which Democrats' albeit-fraudulent polling suggests would destroy Republicans. Defeating a motion to proceed minimizes the utility of this strategy for Reid.
EIGHT: Conversely, even a losing vote on Feinstein, were it allowed to come up, would help secure Democrat control of the Senate in 2015 by allowing “red state” Democrats to say they were “pro-gun.” And Reid could get 50 votes, while allowing the most endangered of the “red state” Democrats to take a pass.
NINE: In addition, Sheldon Whitehouse has indicated that he intends to break out an as-yet-unseen floor-crafted “let's-make-a-deal” magazine ban. And we have no vote count on this indiscernible threat.
TEN: We all understand what this game is about. Rep. Nadler said it was important to “exploit” the Newtown tragedy. Democrat pundit Julian Epstein said the goal was to “break the back of the gun manufacturers' lobby.” Anti-gun MSNBC guest Hugo Lindstrom said gun control was a “long-term game” in which it was necessary to “get something passed” so that they could “put points on the board.” Former Gov. Ed Rendell said gun control advocates were “lucky” that Newtown was so horrific. The exercise is to exploit Newtown with gun control proposals which are irrelevant to Newtown -- all for the purpose of declaring a victory over Republicans.
If they succeed, four things will happen: (1) Their package will be nothing but a platform for the next set of gun control demands. (2) Saturation media will be encouraged by their “victory” and, as a result, more copycat shootings will occur and more children will die. (3) Democrats will have a vigorous new component of their “ground game” and the most significant remaining pillar of the GOP “ground game” will be demoralized. (4) Obama will have an aura of invincibility which will make it more difficult to stop the rest of his agenda.
For all these reasons, GOA encourages Senators to vote against the motion to proceed to S. 649. Gun Owners of America will be scoring this vote in its end-of-year rating.