Sebastian has the full breakdown of the vote on the Thune Amendment, which despite the “yes” votes having almost a 20% majority was defeated yesterday due to parliamentary rules (more on that later). The final tally was 58 yes, 39 no votes. Among those “no” votes was Senator Lugar from Indiana, who abandoned Indiana gun owners by voting against this amendment.
I got an email late yesterday evening asking me “if we had the majority, how did we lose”? Well the simple answer is that we didn’t have enough of a majority – according to the agreement on the amendment, for it to pass and be added to the bill it would have needed 60 votes in the full Senate to be passed, and as you can see we only had 58. But think about that for a minute. In the most Democrat-heavy Senate in my lifetime, we pulled down 58 votes for an amendment that would have radically altered the landscape of gun laws in this nation.
NRA said “we’ll be back, and this bill will be coming with us” – which is exactly the right play. There is blood in the figurative water right now, as the Democrats are weak on gun control, and for the most part are avoiding the issue. Even Evan Bayh, Indiana’s Democrat Senator voted for this legislation.
Meanwhile, the Brady Campaign and VPC are trumpeting this as a “victory”. While it is technically a win for them, I think it quite clearly demonstrates the state of Gun Control in this nation – where Paul Helmke and Co.’s best victory is receive less than 40% of the vote and only win because the pro-gun faction didn’t have a large enough majority. 58% of the Senate voted for the right to keep and bear arms. Look at that list of Senators at Sebastian’s blog. If your Senator is on the list of “yes” votes, call them and thank them for supporting the right to keep and bear arms.
If they’re on the “no” list, find out when they’re up for re-election. Even if you live in a state like Indiana where it’s nearly a foregone conclusion that Dick Lugar will get re-elected, we have to do what we can to remind people that gun owners vote.