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Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Washington Post: Manchin, Toomey Interested in Reviving Gun Control Push

The Washington Post reports that West Virginia U.S. Senator Joe Manchin and Pennsylvania U.S. Senator Pat Toomey in separate interviews during a reception before a ceremony hosted by Sandy Hook families where Toomey was honored, expressed interest in reviving their effort to criminalize private firearm sales.
“We want to make sure we have the votes. Pat’s going to have to, and I’ll work with him, to get some of our colleagues on the Republican side,” Manchin said, adding that he hasn’t talked directly to Toomey about a revival.
Until last night, Toomey has been quiet on the subject since the bill went down in flames in April of 2013 but he offered no apologies for turning his back on law abiding gun owners when he accepted his award:
Accepting his award on Tuesday night, a visibly emotional Toomey said that despite some of the political fallout from his conservative base, he’d “do it again in a heartbeat.” He said he does have two regrets, however. One, that the 2013 bill didn’t pass. And, “that it took me so long before I raised my voice on this very important issue,” he said.
Talk of reviving the so-called "universal background check" bill began after last week's church shooting in Charleston.  President Obama during a much talked about podcast with Marc Maron however seemed to hold out little hope that will occur, and even suggested it is the one area he will not be able to address with his so-called "executive actions" and rule making.  From the Business Insider coverage of the podcast interview:
"Unfortunately, the grip of the NRA on Congress is extremely strong,” he said. “I don’t foresee any legislative action being taken in this Congress, and I don’t foresee any real action being taken until the American public feels a sufficient sense of urgency and they say to themselves, ‘This is not normal. This is something that we can change and we’re going to change it.’”

Obama showed his frustration with Congress, but said that in many policy areas, he has been able to effect change through rulemakings and other executive actions -- even when Republicans in Congress have refused to work with him. Gun control, he said, has been the exception.
Obama even suggested in that podcast interview that mass shootings have been a financial boom for firearm manufactures:
While the president did not attack gun manufacturers directly, he did point out the irony that they tend to do very well financially in the wake of mass shootings.

“Right after Newtown, gun sales shot up, ammunition shot up, and each time these events occur; ironically, gun manufacturers make out like bandits, partly because of this fear that’s churned up that the federal government and the black helicopters are coming to get your guns.”
Maybe the President should point the finger at himself when he talks about churning up fear since he was the one who proposed banning the one of nation's best selling firearm.

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