On December 14, the gun control debate was instantly reignited by the tragic massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) has taken up the charge, along with Vice President Joe Biden, to enact stricter laws. On January 24, she revealed her legislation for curbing the sale of assault weapons.
A lot of the debate on this subject comes down to what exactly defines an assault weapon. That is an excellent question, as there truly is no such thing as an assault weapon, however, the true intent of this legislation is to reform how guns are sold in this country, particularly those with unreasonably high firing rates, and magazines bigger than Luxembourg.
If this piece, or a similar piece of legislation is to be passed, there are a number of key players who need to vote in favor of it. Currently, there are 55 senators who caucus with the Democrats. According to Bloomberg, not only do the Democrats not have enough support to break the fillibuster, but not even enough to pass.
The article lists five Democratic Senators: Max Baucus (D-Mont.), Jon Tester (D-Mont.), Mark Begich (D-Ark.), Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.), and Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), who would not vote in favor of the act as it currently stands. Additionally, Independent Angus King of Maine also would not vote for the act.
Without the support of those 6 senators, this bill does not stand a chance. Additionally, those in favor of the bill should also look to gain the support of Susan Collins (R-Maine), who also said she would not vote for the current iteration of the bill.
Another person who needs to be on board for this to pass is Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.). Reid has stated that he will not vote for the bill as it stands, stating that it is not going to get through the Republican-controlled house.
Finally, if this bill is going to pass Congress, it needs popular support among the masses. For some reason, the Second Amendment has this special place in the hearts of certain Americans that it cannot be touched.
While this editorial bashes liberals for saying that getting rid of guns will get rid of massacres like the one in Newtown, Conn., any lives that can be saved should be saved. Adam Lanza could not have killed 20 children in as short a period of time with a rolling pin.
At the end of the day, the Democrats from Montana, West Virginia, Alaska, and North Dakota need to join their party, as well as Harry Reid, in order to help convince the rest of Congress that this is a good piece of legislation to pass.