Figuring that the pen is mightier than the, uh, firearm, the National Rifle Association's legislative director has sent an open letter to the U.S. Senate, stating the association's stance against a Senate bill that would regulate private gun transfers and expand background checks. Senate Bill 649, aka the Safe Communities, Safe Schools Act of 2013, "would criminalize the private transfer of firearms by honest citizens, requiring friends, neighbors, and many family members to get government permission to exercise a fundamental right or face prosecution," Chris W. Cox writes.
The letter also states that "expanding background checks, at gun shows or elsewhere, will not reduce violent crime or keep our kids safe in their schools."
U.S. Senator Ted Cruz has already promised to join other Republicans in filibustering the bill; although we much prefer U.S. Rep. Steve Stockman's (36th District) plan to buy U-Haul gift cards for senators who vote in favor of the bill.
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As may be expected, U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee is calling upon Cruz and others to ditch their filibuster plan, issuing a statement that "the American people are demanding action, not filibusters or more delay, when it comes to the issue of preventing gun violence." (Although maybe this is just a clever ploy to get a U-Haul gift card).
We'll keep our eye on this bill, and, if there is a filibuster, we at least hope Cruz and his cohorts will make it lively.
Cox will be watching, too, we're sure. His letter closes with a not-so-subtle threat: "We hope the Senate will replace the current provisions of S. 649 with language that is properly focused on addressing mental health inadequacies, prosecuting violent criminals, and keeping our kids safe in their schools. Should it fail to do so, the NRA will make an exception to our standard policy of not 'scoring' procedural votes...."