Gun Bill Defeat

Thursday, April 18, 2013

U.S. President Barack Obama speaks to the media after meeting with Congressional leaders at the White House, March 1, 2013. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Yesterday, the senate voted down a plan to expand background checks on firearm sales, as well as several other amendments gun control advocates said would help prevent gun violence. Glenn Thrush, Senior White House Reporter for POLITICO, discusses the vote, President Obama's impassioned reaction to the defeat, and what comes next.


Glenn Thrush

Comments [64]

Richard The Chwalek

I know there are some assumptions I should take with me into these political conversations. However, I will go with possibly not making the right ones, and proceed. Glenn and Brian seemed to be going back and forth between various points, and then reversed their overall logic about Obama to talk about another subject or part of the subject. While the main focus was the gun control bill, they talked about Obama and Healthcare, and his last term and as he ran for office. My issue is that GR & BL would 'reprove' Obama's flip flopping, but then they 'expected' him to be a better political operator, a definition that seemed to change as they ran through the topics. For example, Obama should be like previous (maybe LBJ) and jawbone the senators into submission. Yes, this style of glad-handing may have worked if done 'better', but GR & BL later on brought up the filibuster issue (that BL was mistaken about) and left out the full court press of the NRA, nearly guaranteeing each senator getting primaried by them (which probably would include the TEA party). Where does Obama go with his jawbone and glad handing machine when he is pinned down by these two overweighted astroturfed elements, filibuster & the NRA primary threat? I am not sure how Obama lives up to something that no one has ever had to deal with, or at least to the modern age level. The Republicans are standing like stoned statues backed up by arcane tool of a rule, and a new spool of Citizen's United drool. They worked the system tight and rite with Bush, now are set to play it out as long as their good old boy demographics and/or gerrymandering hold up.

Apr. 18 2013 10:01 PM
DMc from Brooklyn

Too funny. Thrush getting indignant when called on his obvious bias. Thrush is the one presenting the 90% figure like it is fact, then owns up that who knows what the actual figures are. I expect journalists to have biases. When they blatantly deny it, it casts a liars light over everything else they say.

Apr. 18 2013 04:59 PM
Leo from Queens

ge Taylor obvously does not understand that there are no uniform laws across all states and that ONLY some states have background checks when buying a gun. Most gun crimes here are perpetrated with guns purchased in Virginia where there are no background checks and where gun runners go get these guns to sell to gangs and criminals in urban areas up and down the East coast.
Currently gun trafficking is not a crime because the NRA - as the publicity arm of the gun manufacturers and organized crime does not want to be regulated like other crimes. They are doing it with the help of the COWARDS and poor excuse for human beings that freeload off the taxpayer in the US Senate and House.
BTW - the statistic on the 40% of gun sales that do not go through a background check is a low ballpark number as this is based on the number of sales done through gun shows - these represent 40% of 'official' gun sales. This number does not count other sales done by individuals; parking lots etc.

Apr. 18 2013 11:57 AM
joan from brooklyn

What I've recently noticed is that people seen as liberals - Rob Reiner, Bloomberg and leftie think tanks as examples - champion such issues as gay rights and gun control. Never do I hear such people come out for economic rights. This stuff is taking up all of the air in the room. Its only a matter of time before liberals, progressives and a good sprinkling of republicans pass a gun bill, give up on blocking gay marriage and come to agree on other divisive social issues. Then they'll get down to something they can all really agree on from the outset- taking away what ever is left of job and other securities for the poor and the middle class. We all have to make sacrifices don't you know.

Apr. 18 2013 11:15 AM
Martin Chuzzlewit from Manhattan

This pathetic little loser in the White House who barely received 51% in the election shouldn't be bitter about anything.
He is way over his head and should cherish the fast one he pulled on us all.
Show us your grades, Barry.

Apr. 18 2013 11:13 AM
Colin from Williamsburg, Brooklyn

"Cary from Harlem" is spot on!! Americans, particularly hipster Americans, have gotten the government that they deserve. It is too bad that my familiy and I have to suffer along with them.

Apr. 18 2013 11:11 AM

Partisans, defeated in a process that they not only participated in creating but could have changed if they so desired, meet together to mourn the unfair injustice of their defeat. Not to mention the disrespect shown to the murdered dead children and the sorrow of their parents (which is the apples and which is the aardvarks?).

Boo, hoo, hoo.

Not hard to avoid answering the question "where did the 90% statistic come from?", although I have to admit it was a little more graceful than the flim-flam you performed on February 22 when I asked where the phony "40% of all gun sales have no background checks" claim came from (see, at 10:31 on audio for .

I have spent almost 90% of my life since 1951 in the City of New York.
I don't have a principled position against "background checks". I think they are well provided for now. And unless the application contemplates asking about all the members of a gun possessor's residence, I do not see how another "law" would prevent or relieve the sorrow you so elegantly wear on your sleeves.

How do you like them apples?!

Apr. 18 2013 10:54 AM

The continued DC media reporting filibuster votes as votes directly against bills is pathetic reporting.

The substitution of a procedural vote for a direct vote is obviously done to muddy the issue & the debate.

Just another sign of sloppy and/or propagandizing reporting by the Corporate Media such as Politico aka WaPo wingmen.

Apr. 18 2013 10:40 AM
tim from nyc

flat tax. flat tax. flat tax. flat tax.
let's put a whole bunch of useless gov offices out of business.
irs could be run by a crack squad of cyber nerds.

no more taxation without representation.
(sorry for the off topic post)

Apr. 18 2013 10:40 AM

In 2012, .000042% of Americans gave 60% of SuperPac $$$™.

For those working the math, that's a grand total of 132 Americans.

132 people have more control than ALL the rest of us COMBINED!!

Apr. 18 2013 10:38 AM
Fran from Larchmont

A friend of mine who was brought up in the South in the 50s says this: "It is hard to understand how Lapiere has maintained control of the NRA.  The history of his (and one other) takeover of the NRA is interesting, and maddening.  **The NRA used to be an okay organization.  (My Dad was a life member until the takeover.  Then he, and some of his friends who were also life members, quit in protest.**
I wonder what the story is of the 'takeover of the NRA? How is it that a Republican had the courage to knowingly throw away his political career in 1970s to vote to legalize abortion, but both Republicans and Democrats in 'red' states are too frightened by the **threat** of loss of NRA $$ so they don't have the backbone to vote for the very weak legislation which went down yesterday in the Senate???

Apr. 18 2013 10:34 AM

PLEASE, right or left, watch Lawrence Lessig. It is ONLY 18 minutes of your life.

Apr. 18 2013 10:34 AM
tim from nyc

if you want to be represented, just vote in the government of your choice.
... oh. yeah. we did that before. doesn't work.

can i hear a 'taxpayer revolt'?

Apr. 18 2013 10:33 AM


Apr. 18 2013 10:31 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

Saving the kids is irrelevant. What is important is that the vanguard of the proletariet (the LEFT) disarm the population, so that they can impose their will without any physical opposition.

Apr. 18 2013 10:29 AM

How is Claire McCaskill "a rapid gun-rights supporter," as Mr. Thrush asserts? She voted for the background check bill. She supports an assults weapons ban. She supports restrictions on magazine clips. She gets an "F" from the NRA. Fact-check?

Apr. 18 2013 10:27 AM
N from NJ

I have heard a lot on NPR and WNYC about the recent bill and background checks and the recent school shooting but a glaring and surprising absence from the discussion on both WNYC and NPR is whether background checks would have stopped any of the recent mass shootings.

There has been a conflation of the issue of background checks with the recent mass shootings. The president said that the opposing side could not have any reasonable argument against background checks. So his point of view is correct and everyone else's has no place in the debate. However, I, even as a liberal and independent can see that creating lists and background checks can have a slippery slope with respect to not only the gun issue but also other civil liberty issues.

This entire debate from background check advocates has been based on a feel good policy without looking at real data and without thinking of unintended consequences.

Apr. 18 2013 10:26 AM
tim from nyc

you can go back as far as the founding fathers and see documents and letters that describe how certain facts and information cannot be provided to citizens.
they were interested in a lofty goal: breaking away from the crown and were not particularly interested in popular opinion.
it is part of our nation's political dna: keep power with those who know better.

Apr. 18 2013 10:25 AM
westchestery from Rivertowns

Have a FELONY and want a gun, it's easy -- just hop on No background checks, no paperwork. You can have one by noon.

Apr. 18 2013 10:25 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

Criminals are going to get guns, period. The more laws made against guns, the more guns are going to go underground. Guns are here to stay. But if you want to protect kids, but well trained, well paid armed guards in schools. That's the only logical answer.

Apr. 18 2013 10:25 AM
mc from Brooklyn

The senators who voted no will not be punished by their voters. My guess is that they will be forced to take a much bigger political risk on immigration, so this was their capital-building move.

Apr. 18 2013 10:25 AM
Jf from Truthland

Obama killed 175 children in drone strikes. Cars kill more people than anything, destroy the atmosphere, hurricanes, droughts, ocean acidification, lung cancer and asthma. Fast food kills more people than anythi.g the media reports. We have lost our capacity for understanding scale.

Apr. 18 2013 10:25 AM
Carey from Harlem

I'm not just angry at the 45 Senators (Harry Reid gets a pass) who blocked this very popular bill from coming up for a vote, I am also furious at:
* the Senators who blocked filibuster reform in January
* the 45M+ American citizens who failed to vote in the 2010 midterm elections, thereby enabling this dysfunctional Congress!

Apr. 18 2013 10:25 AM

In 2012, .000042% of Americans gave 60% of SuperPac $$$™.

For those working the math, that's a grand total of 132 Americans.

Apr. 18 2013 10:24 AM
Melissa from Hoboken

Is it possible this was a strategic loss for Obama & gun control supporters? Pushing through a vote they knew would fail in order to motivate voters to throw out cowardly incumbents? A judo move.

Knowing that the resistance would be too strong to overcome, maybe they intentionally brought forward a weakened bill that should have passed in order to identify those Senators who should be shamed into passing the next round of gun control.

Apr. 18 2013 10:24 AM
Amy from Manhattan

Please don't attribute the actual talking filibuster only to Rand Paul--Bernie Sanders did it before him, in the same term (I think)>

Apr. 18 2013 10:24 AM
Nick from UWS

Between the NRA's insanity and the so-called "Supreme Court" with their criminal Citizen's United, this country is completely f****ked up the a***s. So the next time we have a massacre, along with a railroaded election, we can merely shrug our shoulders and say "We deserve what we get", as this country is run by criminals and populated by morons.

Apr. 18 2013 10:24 AM
MG from manhattan

Large magazines enable large numbers of people to be killed and turn an "arm " into a weapon of MASS DESTRUCTION of LIFE and PROPERTY.

Apr. 18 2013 10:24 AM
Jeremy from Passaic

I wanted to tell Mr. Thrush, whose work I greatly respect and read regularly, that I was very upset by his article focusing on this as Obama's loss. Yes the President lost, buy it's not about him. this is a real issue affecting real people and the inside the beltway horse race mentality is not always appropriate. please don't make it about the politicians.

Apr. 18 2013 10:24 AM

How many FPS (First Person Shooter) video games did Adam Lanza have?

First-person shooter

Apr. 18 2013 10:23 AM
Brian from Riverdale

I find it quite instructive that no one has mentioned the economics of the gun industry in the US, which contributes $33 billion to the US economy and employs more than double the workers than GM.

Apr. 18 2013 10:23 AM

For the record, like earlier caller, I too am an NRA member and a Democrat. I'm also a licensed (Nassau county) gun owner.

I don't believe only right wing of America should be armed!

Apr. 18 2013 10:23 AM

Where did the 90% statistic come from?

Name the poll.

Apr. 18 2013 10:22 AM
foodaggro from Brooklyn

"Apples and aardvarks." Thank you, Mr. Thrush, I'm going to use that!

Apr. 18 2013 10:22 AM
The Truth from Becky

BS!! This bill was not based on or presented on emotion..don't make excuses for the republican ignorance...but IF 20 dead children doesn't make you hungry for change then YOU caller have a serious problem.

Apr. 18 2013 10:21 AM
mc from Brooklyn

I join in Brian's puzzlement on finally seeing some passion from the president on a piece of legislation. And, yes, he was mealy-mouthed on health care until early 2009 and then dropped the communication ball on it in 2010.

Apr. 18 2013 10:20 AM
tim from nyc

people complain constantly about how our electoral college does not represent the majority.
however, every election, it is defended by politicos because it's simpler to campaign that way.
congress clearly does not represent their constituents: see current gun vote.

now why the furor? since when has our system represented popular opinion?

Apr. 18 2013 10:20 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

None of this has to do with saving children in schools. None of it. It has to do with those who want to change the constitution by infringing on the rights of citizens to own guns, versus those who refuse to see the constitution changed by a mob of "do-gooders" who do not trust the American people with guns. But it has nothing to do with saving kids.

Apr. 18 2013 10:19 AM
Charles Komanoff from Lower Manhattan

The Senators who voted down the background-check bill yesterday represented just 37% of U.S. population. See my calculations here:
It's not just the NRA, it's the dysfunctional structure of the Senate, embedded in the Constitution.

Apr. 18 2013 10:19 AM



Apr. 18 2013 10:19 AM
RUCB_Alum from Central New Jersey

I will remember in November. I will do my job to right the government so that our Congress returns to majority rule. I am sick of living in a democratic republic, in name only. The filibuster is undemocratic and thanks to gerrymandered districts the House is in control of the minority party.

The fact that the NRA's lies are allowed to take hold in the minds of the Conservatives is on the Corporatist media. How do you pierce the bubble when, they lie and vote for their belief in the lies?

Apr. 18 2013 10:18 AM

I can't believe Brian wonders how the President could be emotional on the heels of Sandy Hook, yet says that the numbers compared to lives lost without health care "aren't even close". It's not numbers on a tally sheet that are the salient feature Brian, it's the way in which these children were murdered that invokes such strong emotion.

Apr. 18 2013 10:18 AM

I can't believe Brian wonders how the President could be emotional on the heels of Sandy Hook, yet says that the numbers compared to lives lost without health care "aren't even close". It's not numbers on a tally sheet that are the salient feature Brian, it's the way in which these children were murdered that invokes such strong emotion.

Apr. 18 2013 10:18 AM


GET THE fK'n $$$™ OUT!!!

Apr. 18 2013 10:18 AM
carolita from nyc

The filibuster needs to go, permanently.

Apr. 18 2013 10:17 AM
Gary from Brooklyn

Democracy? We don't need no stinkin democracy!!! We are the bought and paid for Senate.

Time to change the system people - we are no longer a part of it.

Apr. 18 2013 10:16 AM
Robert from NYC

You know the problem often and in this case in particular is this nonsense of a vote of 60 senators to pass a bill and it's supported by dems and repubs alike. First of all the constitution, THE CONSTITUTION states a vote by a majority and a majority of 100 is 51 votes. This otherwise new "rule" as far as I can tell is unconstitutional. Now if that is the fact and it is unconstitutional why doesn't someone (if I had the money I would) or some legal organization such as the ACLU sue the government to follow the law set by the constitution? This is nonsense that minority vote wins!!! Where else do you hear crap like that in any democratic government. We have a large majorityh of citizens in favor of this law and we had a majority vote in the senate and we lose?

Apr. 18 2013 10:15 AM
Lois from West Milford

Yesterday was the tipping point for me - the pros of a term limit constitutional amendment now outweigh the cons. Perhaps if the members of Congress are not in perpetual election mode they will be able to find the backbone to do what's right instead of what's politically expedient for them.

Apr. 18 2013 10:15 AM
Roy from Queens

@B from UWS: No, he sounded like a father.

Apr. 18 2013 10:14 AM

Obama might want to consider including something about mental health as strongly. Last week a man in Brooklyn went on a stabbing spree. Gun laws will not address that. Those opposed to the stiffer gun laws might soften if they feel it is not being targeted at the only problem...because it isn't.

Apr. 18 2013 10:13 AM
Steve from New Jersey

Is this simply a lobbying issue or something more insidious? While I realize polls can be skewed based on sample populations and such, how can the discrepancy between this 90% support value and the mere 54% of the Senate voting in favor of it be so great?

Apr. 18 2013 10:13 AM
uscdadnyc from Queens, NY

Couldn't VP Biden invoke the "Nuclear Option" to end the Planned Filibuster?
Or would it be "Moot" b/c there wasn't enough Votes to pass the proposed Amendment?

Apr. 18 2013 10:12 AM
The Truth from Becky

Brian, one issue does NOT negate the other. Universal Healthcare is equally important as Gun Control, both need to be reformed. It's not either or.

Amazing that you want to take this time to gloat about a "loss" that would have benefited the entire Nation...thus the problem.

Apr. 18 2013 10:12 AM
Adeel Usman from New York,NY

These Democrats had an opportunity to remove the Filibuster and they chose not too.
Obama Emotions are a farce,
if they are really interested in reform is REMOVE THE FILIBUSTER.

Where the heck are all the "Constitutionalists"

Apr. 18 2013 10:12 AM
Jenna from Hamilton Heights

Brian, this is just so so sad. I was speechless and just so very disappointed.
You have to really wonder, when popular opinion showed support, what the Senators were thinking (or not thinking)

Apr. 18 2013 10:12 AM
tim from nyc

nothing worse than murdered children? so murdering my grandmother is better?
for a 'sensitive' kind of guy, brian, you really come up with some doozies.

Apr. 18 2013 10:12 AM
B from UWS

The defeat of the bill enrages me, but in that clip Obama did not sound like a leader, he sounded like an angry man complaining. I am disappointed in him.

Apr. 18 2013 10:11 AM
Roy from Queens

Guess the lives of kids mean squat compared to the 2nd Amendment, which has been misinterpreted by selfish, paranoid bastards.

Apr. 18 2013 10:11 AM
SarahGram from nyc

It's interesting to go to the Facebook pages of the Democratic senator's who voted against this. They are getting blasted.

Apr. 18 2013 10:10 AM
foodaggro from Brooklyn

One would hope that, by now, after all of the recent tragedies, we'd all be on the same page. Sadly, politics continue to hold us back.

Apr. 18 2013 10:10 AM

time for filibuster reform yet???

Apr. 18 2013 10:09 AM



Apr. 18 2013 10:05 AM
Joe Mirsky from Pompton Lakes NJ

“A well regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, being the best security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed; but no one religiously scrupulous of bearing arms shall be compelled to render military service in person. “
— Draft version of the Second Amendment sent by the House of Representatives to the United States Senate, on August 24th, 1789.

In 1991, Warren E. Burger, the conservative Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, said on the MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour that the Second Amendment "has been the subject of one of the greatest pieces of fraud—I repeat the word 'fraud'—on the American public by special interest groups that I have ever seen in my lifetime.”

Apr. 18 2013 10:00 AM

In a discussion of his book It's Even Worse Than It Looks, Thomas Mann called the Senate “the most dysfunctional legislative body in the democratic world”. With yesterday’s vote on the Toomey Manchin bill, the Senate lived right down to Mann’s description of it.

The senators who rejected the Toomey Manchin bill have cast their lot with paranoid, tinfoil Americans seeking to build huge private arsenals while extending their middle fingers to the rest of us.

Apr. 18 2013 09:51 AM

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