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by
Bridget Johnson

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March 28, 2013 - 9:32 am

One of three senators who have threatened to filibuster gun-control legislation today accused President Obama of continuing to “use the tragedy at Newtown as a backdrop for pushing legislation that would have done nothing to prevent that horrible crime.”

Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) said his notification to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) that he and Sens. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Ted Cruz (R-Texas) will “exercise our procedural right to require a 60-vote threshold in order to bring any of the president’s proposals to the floor” is based on three reasons.

He also announced on Twitter just after this statement that Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) signed on to the threat.

“First, as we saw last week with a vote on my amendment to establish a two-thirds requirement for the passage of any new gun legislation, virtually all Republicans and at least six Democrats believe that new gun legislation should have overwhelming bipartisan support in the Senate before it becomes law,” Lee said.

Democrats Max Baucus of Montana, Joe Donnelly of Indiana, Kay Hagan of North Carolina, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Mark Pryor of Arkansas supported Lee’s amendment. Only one Republicans, Mark Kirk of Illinois, voted against it.

“Second, this debate is about more than magazine clips and pistol grips. It is about the purpose of the Second Amendment and why our constitutionally protected right to self-defense is an essential part of self-government,” Lee continued. “Any legislation that would restrict our basic right to self-defense deserves robust and open debate. Requiring a 60-vote threshold helps ensure that we have that debate rather than skipping directly to the back room deals, horse trading, and business-as-usual politics that typifies the way Congress passes legislation today.”

Before Congress left for the Easter recess, Reid began procedural motions to launch debate after the upper chamber returns in April.

“Finally, many of the current gun proposals are constitutionally problematic. Altering the application of constitutional protections should require approval by a supermajority of Congress. With a 60-vote threshold, we are seeking to ensure that a bare majority does not jeopardize the basic rights of the American people,” Lee concluded.

“The Senate — and the American people — have an important debate ahead of us. I look forward to this debate and hope that others Senators join me, Rand Paul, and Ted Cruz in demanding that our discussions take place in full view of the American people.”

UPDATE: Rubio statement on joining the effort of Lee, et al: “We should look for ways to keep firearms out of the hands of criminals and the mentally ill prone to misusing them, but I oppose legislation that will be used as a vehicle to impose new Second Amendment restrictions on responsible, law-abiding gun owners. We should work to reduce tragic acts of violence by addressing violence at its source, including untreated mental illness, the lack of adequate information-sharing on mental health issues, and the breakdown of the family.”

Bridget Johnson is a veteran journalist whose news articles and opinion columns have run in dozens of news outlets across the globe. Bridget first came to Washington to be online editor at The Hill, where she wrote The World from The Hill column on foreign policy. Previously she was an opinion writer and editorial board member at the Rocky Mountain News and nation/world news columnist at the Los Angeles Daily News. She is an NPR contributor and has contributed to USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, National Review Online, Politico and more, and has myriad television and radio credits as a commentator. Bridget is Washington Editor for PJ Media.

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Top Rated Comments   
While I support Sen. Lee's actions here, he got something fundamentally wrong. He writes, "Any legislation that would restrict our basic right to self-defense deserves robust and open debate."

In fact, any legislation that would restrict our basic right to self-defense deserves a fast trip to the nearest garbage can.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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All Comments   (18)
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The people should demand the silly senate procedurual rule forcing 60 votes to pass a bill should be banned -- I don't care what party uses it outside the madates of the constitutional process. It impededs the process of governance by childish behavior of some. Anything that passes from committee should come to the floor in a timely manner and a "clean-bill" vote taken and let the ball fall where it may.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Gun control is a losing issue for the Democrats. If the Republicans were smart they would find a way to keep the Democrats talking about gun control (without actually passing anything) right through 2014 and all the way to 2016.

Nothing illustrates the Democrats' totalitarian world-view like gun control.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Have you looked closely at the very recent polling? Of the five components, the least supported by the people is 54% with the others range higher to much higher. Is this still a nation of the peoples representation?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
There in lays the rub of our Republic form of government, where the whims of the majority are curtailed by the Rule of Law. Our inherit right of self defense, of security in our person, is protected (not granted) by the Second Amendment of the Constitution. Thus the frankness of the phrase "Shall not be infringed." The continued efforts of the left to institute controling and registrative measures flies in the face of that assurance.

So, what ever the polls may say, for all the scientific baring such an opinion poll can be given, our Representitives are still limitied by the confines of the Constitution. If there is such an overwhelming press for change, than I would recommend they take action per Article 5 of the Constitution, and amend the limitations that are placed on government. However, since that is such a politically toxic endeavor, they will continue as they have, eroding away at our freedoms bit by bit.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"Shall not be infringed" has long been regulated with limitations. We regulate age, we regulate conceal, we regulate the definition of 'firearm' from other types of weapons, we regulate the manufacture and trade, we regulate for the criminal use, we regulate the methods of legal purchase, etc.

Your definition of not to be infringed, would allow 'any' person of any age, any type, and for any use to be deemed legal. On the other hand, if you concur with regulating gun ownership denying six year old to conceal carry, criminals and the mentally infirmed -- well you just defeated your own defintion of 'shall not be infringed."
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"Your definition of not to be infringed, would allow 'any' person of any age, any type, and for any use to be deemed legal. On the other hand, if you concur with regulating gun ownership denying six year old to conceal carry, criminals and the mentally infirmed -- well you just defeated your own defintion of 'shall not be infringed."
Nonsense: the founders defined who they were talking about, and it wasn't six year olds, and the mentally incompetent.
please stop with the asinine arguments, it's insulting to our intelligence as human beings.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
There in lays the rub of our Republic form of government, where the whims of the majority are curtailed by the Rule of Law. Our inherit right of self defense, of security in our person, is protected (not granted) by the Second Amendment of the Constitution. Thus the frankness of the phrase "Shall not be infringed." The continued efforts of the left to institute controling and registrative measures flies in the face of that assurance.

So, what ever the polls may say, for all the scientific baring such an opinion poll can be given, our Representitives are still limitied by the confines of the Constitution. If there is such an overwhelming press for change, than I would recommend they take action per Article 5 of the Constitution, and amend the limitations that are placed on government. However, since that is such a politically toxic endeavor, they will continue as they have, eroding away at our freedoms bit by bit.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Progressives are always big on "getting to the root cause" of any problem - EXCEPT when it comes to gun crime. In this one instance they insist on piddling around with measures that accomplish exactly diddly-squat.

That fact tells me what they REALLY want, and that is gun bans/controls like they have in Great Britain. As Charleton Hesston famously said.....
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Both the GOP and the dems are on the wrong track on this issue. The core problem is, how do criminals and the mentally infirmed gain "access' to firearms. You 'plug' their source(s) of access with real consequences and you eventually diminish the problems the criminals and mentally inform create.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
They'll always get weapons.
The whole point is to disarm law-abiding citizens.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Exactly...we don't have rights. Do you know that a criminal still has 4th Amendment rights as well as 5th Amendment rights? So it's illegal to stop and frisk under the 4th and he doesn't have to talk to an LEO if he is carrying illegally.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"They'll always get weapons."

So what are the major two sources the criminal and mentally inform get access to guns? Why wouldn't any rational thinking person setting about to solve a problem not look for the source(s) of the problem -- in the case of guns, where do they get them from. And buying them on the street is not even remotely 'the' source of access unless, you're admitting that legal gun owners and dealers are selling guns to criminals on the streets.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Simple...the guns are either supplied by the ATF under Eric holder or cross over into other states like Indiana where a straw purchase is made. The guns go to the streets where they are easily transferred quite a few times. I just read that in Baltimore...they have a "community gun" stashed at a convenient place and used by anyone in case they need one..
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"Progressives are always big on "getting to the root cause" of any problem "

Yep, and that problem always seems to be liberty.. Odd that.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Thank G__ for the filibuster and patriotic Americans like Sen. Lee! It is critical that we do not do anything whatsoever to limit in any way shape or form the 2nd Amendment. Guns rights (apparently) trump all other rights. Go Sen. Lee!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Amazing to the point of unbelievableness...the Republicans are finally getting the backbone together enough to stand up and say NO, and hopefully make it stick...
Gotta send these guys and the Te Party some bucks and encouragement.

They're going to call us the party of NO anyway, best to make those NO's count, like, NO we are not going to roll over and let you pass unconstitutional gun control laws...
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
King Obama just announced that the time for "speeches aren't enough" (a reaction to getting his butt kicked by patriots. However he set the narrative:
""And that's my attitude," Obama said. "Tears aren't enough. Expressions of sympathy aren't enough. Speeches aren't enough. We've cried enough. We've known enough heartbreak. What we're proposing is not radical. It's not taking away anybody's gun rights. It's something that, if we are serious, we will do. And now's the time to turn that heartbreak into something real. It won't solve every problem, there will still be gun deaths, there will still be tragedies, there will still be violence, there will still be evil. But we can make a difference, if, not just the activists here on the stage, but the general public, including responsible gun owners say, you know what, we can do better than this. We can do better to make sure that fewer parents have to endure the pain of losing a child to an act of violence."

IOW gun owners are irresponsible; uncaring and dead to the cries of the victims and their loved ones. All emotion and an all out call to arms to overthrow the 2nd Amendement +. It has begun in earnest ... we stand against this or .... ... guys like LEE will speechify us into oblivion.

Again ... obama just announced an all out attack on the Constitution and the Bill of Rights - so did Biden by the way. Any wavering this issue by Republicans will in effect show their true colors and this push to subdue citizens rights by Obama will backfire bigtime because he's NOT dealing with Euroweenies; he dealing with something he doesn't understand - the spirit of the American people.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
While I support Sen. Lee's actions here, he got something fundamentally wrong. He writes, "Any legislation that would restrict our basic right to self-defense deserves robust and open debate."

In fact, any legislation that would restrict our basic right to self-defense deserves a fast trip to the nearest garbage can.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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