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Sock it, Toomey!

April 18th, 2013 - 5:43 am

On today’s Trifecta, Scott Ott has us look at Senator Pat Toomey, and his teamup Democrat Joe Manchin on expanding background checks for gun purchases. I got in a good answer to Scott’s second question, but I need to expand on it because I forgot to mention one important bit.

Scott’s argument was that Toomey probably honestly does believe in the bill he’s pushing, and that that’s fine. It’s place, if I heard Scott correctly, where reasonable people may reasonably disagree. I don’t see a simple background check as an infringement, provided it’s done quickly and honestly.

But Scott’s question to me was why would Toomey risk the wrath of his constituents for a bill that can’t pass? I think the answer lies in the second half of the question.

If Toomey is a reasonable believer in reasonable background checks, then he’s working to pass a bill he believes in. That’s fine. And if he doesn’t? He knows two things: One, the bill probably won’t pass the Senate, and it almost certainly won’t pass the House. Two, that he’s gone a long ways towards showing the GOP can be “reasonable” by the President’s own estimation. The bill had a big GOP sponsor, and if it can’t make it past Harry Reid’s Democrats… well, that’s hardly the fault of Pat Toomey.

Oh, he also knows a third thing: He’s in his first year and has plenty of time to make good with his 2A constituents, and to regain his perfect rating from the NRA.

So Toomey may or may not be wrong on this one particular issue, but by playing it the way he has, he’s eliminated some of the GOP’s stigma and helped to humiliate a President.

That’s not a bad week’s work.

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All Comments   (6)
All Comments   (6)
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The problem isn't with background checks. It's with keeping the result of background checks after the buyer has been validated.

If you save enough background check data, you're on your way to a nifty national registration database.
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
No, the problem isn't with keeping the results, that would be trivial to defeat by running checks on random people, filling the registry with false positives.

The problem is what information is necessary to get a check. I'm really not willing to give my name, address, date of birth and/or social security number to some guy I met on Craigslist. I just don't see any level of information that would assure the seller and the database are talking about the same person that wouldn't make the buyer uncomfortable. I think any kind of universal background check would kill private sales, with buyers restricting themselves to FFL's so as to protect their privacy (at the very least there'd be someone with assets to sue).
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment

The Toomey/Manchin bill was well intentioned, but it was also flawed. There were too many potential loopholes in its language about background checks and registry creation. But the bigger issue isn't their bill- it's the way that the Dems put the bills up for votes this week.

First, putting the bills out there so soon after the Boston attacks reeked of political underhandedness. We're supposed to be trying to reach out to one another and say "Boston Strong." If I was a GOP or Red State Dem Senator, I'd see this as an attempt to provide cover for a leftist agenda while everyone on the "other" side isn't paying attention. They should have shelved the bills for another week or two. Instead, we were treated to its destruction, and a complete meltdown from Obama and his comrades. Boston Strong, this isn't.

Second, the left spent far too much time demonizing the opposition in every possible media. The worst was the internet, and Facebook, where liberals worked to make less and less friends with angry rants and virtual threats to those who don't support their worldview. No one likes liberal bullying. If Obama thought that he'd win by just mobilizing his base and using the media to crowd out the opposition viewpoint, he was dead wrong. Between the arrogance of the liberal media and the angry rants of the internet, all that did was harden dividing lines.

Fourthly, even the Obama admin is on record stating that the gun control laws wouldn't have stopped a Newtown massacre. We're watching the New York State gun control laws cause problem after problem, legally and constitutionally. Gallup just polled that only 4% of Americans think gun control is a major issue. This issue was completely unnecessary, and I think the voters see through the political theatre.

Fifth, Obama doesn't have the Congress he had back in 2008-2009. He actually has to negotiate, and he has no freaking idea how to do it. And every time he makes a concerted effort to "charm" his opposition, he then turns around and does another childish rant like he did yesterday. That rant got him no votes in Congress, no votes in the mid-term election, and effectively ruined his ability to steer legislation for the rest of 2013.

And, you're right, Mr. Green. Toomey likely sealed his re-election with this bill, and got Obama to completely melt down over it. I hope he takes a well earned break for some vodka.
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
Pat Toomey is in his first term, not his first year. Elected in 2010, he has to run for reelection in 2016, a Presidential election year, in Pennsylvania which generally is carried by the Democratic candidate in the Presidential election.

This measure did him no good among his party base, but he can only win statewide by carrying the Philadelphia suburbs pretty strongly. Appearing as the reasonable guy on some modest background checks on gun sales insulates him substantially from the line of attack that he is doing the bidding of "extremists", and makes it much more likely that he can carry Chester, Montgomery, Bucks, and Delaware counties in the general election. No primary challenger could win statewide, and any Democrat will be far more objectionable to the strong NRA base in Pennsylvania.
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
My mistake. I thought he was sworn in this January.
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
It's not a whole lot iof fun though, watching congressional R's trying to be clever when in most cases they, like their D counterparts, could lose at Trivial Pursuit to a Brussels sprout.

In Toomey's case it may have worked out, but we've just watched years and years of consistent failure at the tactic, and most people's patience with it wore out a long time ago.
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
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