caricature legislaturePersons who are convicted criminals of many kinds, persons who are adjudicatedly mentally ill can have guns without careful and thorough background checks first. That’s only one of the accommodations made by voting down this particular gun bill.

Many across the blogosphere are commenting on: re the 46 Senators who voted against today’s bill in the Senate for far more scrutiny– not about guns– but about who is more likely safe to to buy them and use them within instead of outside the laws of the land.

There is a roar too across the blogosphere of many asking for a national referendum on the ballot in the next national election re gun control, thinking that those for more gun control outnumber those who do not, outnumber aprx 9:1.

But, I think such an idea up for national vote is unlikely, in part because many national candidates would be running for election/reelection at the same time… and most wouldnt want to have to run on a one issue platform. It’s already contentious enough as it is, and huge numbers of people are just tired of it…

tired enough to vote certain congress people and senators out of office? Probably, yes. It would appear the majority of US citizens want reasoned care given, reasoned vigilance about closing gun buying loopholes, about screening for persons unfit to be in control of guns

— this is one of the tests of laws and lawmakers [supposed to be]– that they are reasoned thinkers and reasoned voters… not ‘popular’, not supporting a minority lobby, but the question of what constitutes a statesman/ stateswoman, is are they reasoned and fair for the majority of people they represent.

The latter may not have been so in todays downvote.

The trope here re today’s bill and down-vote, is it appears that while the majority of people may want far better screening regarding guns, the senators who voted against the bill, may not have been representing their entire constitnuency, rather only representing a clutch of passionate voters.

It has not gone without notice that some politicians will vote against their own reasoned minds, in order to hold onto the prestige, fame, money making and queenship/kingship of ironically being called a public “servant.” In order to be re-elected, sometimes there are strange bedpartners, expeditious log rollers and all the other names we use for odd happenstance that initially seemed so curious.

Here are the 46 Senators who voted against the bill. As noted here at TMV, Harry Reid’s “no” vote was pro forma/procedural allowing for bringing the bill forward again with mods/ or very close to original.

I wanted to see how the regions played out, and so grouped them here for you by my sights re regions of the USA

Bob Corker R TN
Lamar Alexander R TN
***Mark Begich D AK
John Boozman R AR
Richard M. Burr R NC
Saxby Chambliss R GA
Tom Coburn R OK
Thad Cochran R MS
John Cornyn R TX
Ted Cruz R TX
Lindsey Graham R SC
David Vitter R LA
Roger Wicker R MS
Mitch McConnell R KY
Lisa Murkowski R AK
Rand Paul R KY
Johnny Isakson R GA
Lisa Murkowski R AK
Rand Paul R KY
Marco Rubio R FL
Tim Scott R SC
Jeff Sessions R AL
Richard Shelby R AL
James M. Inhofe R OK
Mitch McConnell R KY
*** Mark Pryor D AR

Jerry Moran R KS
Pat Roberts R KS
Jerry Moran R KS
Roy Blunt R MO
Daniel Coats R IN
Chuck Grassley R IA
Ron Johnson R WIsc
Rob Portman R OH

Kelly Ayotte R NHampshire

John Barrasso R WY
*** Max Baucus D MT
Michael Crapo R IDaho
Michael B. Enzi R WY
Deb Fischer R NEb
Heidi Heitkamp D NDakota
John Hoeven R ND
Mike Johanns R NE
John Thune R SD
Jim Risch R ID

Jeff Flake R AZ
Orrin G. Hatch R UTah
Dean Heller R NeVada
Mike Lee R UTah
***Harry Reid* D NV

Some of the state regions represented by the above senators bring huge income to certain states re big hunting and outdoor life tourism revenues, particularly in the upper midwest. Even so, we dont see Michigan and Illinois and Minnesota in this list of down voting senators.

Some say that those who disagree with the above senators will take their tourism dollars elsewhere to other states that did not downvote this bill. I’ve heard some distant thunder on the web about boycotting the downvoting senators’ regions in those states, or the entire state regarding tourism. That could be devastating to a state… and especially to their poor and struggling, as those are the first cutbacks in jobs when there is a slowdown of any kind. Unemployment soars in slowdowns and thereby the state receives a double whammy of low revenues and high costs in helping to take care of a sudden significant population on the edge of survival.

Some of the regions noted with their senators above, especially the far northern states, also in addition to tourism, have vast holdings in cattle and sheep ranchers e.g., Wy, Mont, etc. [although Colo, New Mexico, big swaths of California, Oregon, and more, are huge hunting -sportsman/cattle and ranching states and are not represented in the down vote on this gun bill.]

It may also be that each senator’s district is made up of a STRONG, and unveering 51% who believe there ought be no-background checks to scan for criminal backgrounds and adjudicated mental illness.

But, if there is only 50% or less of a Senator’s constituency so disposed, they could be in for the run of their lives in their next election campaign.

The two democratic senators who voted against this bill, are probably the most vulnerable to being overturned in the next election if they too dont have unveering 51% of their constituency behind them on this down vote. Some of the reasons are:

Small steps [and this bill IS a small series of steps] toward being more reasoned about screening gun possession is not just a passing fancy; it is a passionately held ideal that innocents need more protection, [even though there is no ultimate protection for anyone no matter if they have guns galore or no guns whatsoever]– but there is better and more prudent and reasoned ideas about containment that would snag and deny gun ownership to many of those least likely to use a gun safely for sport, hunting and collecting.

There is much more to cover on this story. We have heard plenty of shouting over the last many months. What we have heard far less from, are reasoned people who can see validity of gun ownership for the faithful law-abiding AND who can also see the need for more safety screening before the fact.

We shall see.
In the meantime, here are the ways to contact your senator.
This page will help you send a tweet or email to any and all legislators.

DR. CLARISSA PINKOLA ESTÉS, Managing Editor of TMV, and Columnist
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Copyright 2013 The Moderate Voice
  • Hello Dr. E:

    Although I understood — no fool I from decades covering politics — that even the most modest gun regulation reform stood no chance, I nevertheless felt gut punched over the cowardace of those 46 senators. I happened to be in Washington, D.C. yesterday where I held my first grandchild in my arms for the first time.

    That Michaela Marie Mullen has no rights when it comes to even a modicum of protection against those who would misuse firearms and that those people pretty much have unfettered rights, tells you everything you need to know about the sickness that has descended on our once great nation.

  • petew

    What happened in Congress yesterday, was that a minority of Senators, representing a very small minority of voters, allowed special interests to deliver a gut punch to Representative Democracy. If there are really any conspiracies involved, it is easy to see where they really come from!

  • dduck

    What SM and petew said. Thanks for the research, dr.e.

  • The problem, as I understand it, makes the votes of these “No” senators politically understandable, though still morally/ethically reprehensible. For the 10-15% who oppose any gun regulation, including imminently reasonable measures like background checks and anti-trafficking laws, gun rights is their live-free-or-die issue. They will vote on that issue alone. The 85-90% who support gun regulation have broader perspectives and are not single issue voters…at least not on this issue. This has been supported by polling within the past two weeks, or at least I have read and heard this is the case.

    The political reality is that voting FOR gun regulation can cost a politician 10-15% of the vote in the next election. Voting AGAINST gun regulation doesn’t move the meter negatively and may endear that politician to the pro gun 10-15%. Until that dynamic changes and there are real electoral consequences for the “No’s”, the politicians will continue to vote their interests [in reelection] rather than the public’s interests [in societal safety].

  • ordinarysparrow

    A number of these States have legislatures that have or in the process of allowing concealed weapons to be carried in bars and restaurants, which has no rational thought attached, either.

    The Southern and rural populous States are likely to live with the Southern discomfort of these politicians in order to be under the bigger tent and of the Southern Comfort of ‘no legislation on guns (period)’ “Give them an inch they will take a mile”….Politicians such as this have and will use the powerful emotionally laden cultural identity stories of their constituents as blankets to cover vile deceptions to stay in the beds of big money/NRA.

    I have lost the innocence that politicians are concerned with representative democracy, but rather how can the people be used for their own ambitions. Perhaps many politicians begin with good intent but how quickly they are corrupted.. Reminds me of a country dog that gets the taste of blood in his mouth from chicken or livestock…It appears to me that once politicians get the taste of power in their mouths and bellies, the predatory drive becomes insatiable…

    For us to have significant change in gun legitimation that is not merely cosmetic it would have to be a national referendum or a deep reform of Filibuster in the Senate that would allow for a straight up or down vote of 50%+ deciding.

    I am ‘irked’ on this one…sorry

  • dduck


  • ordinarysparrow

    Gallup poll published on April 15, 2013

    What do you think is the most important problem facing this country today?

    Guns and Gun control only 4% thought it was the most important problem.

    Based on this polling looks like gun issues would be pushed far down on the list… many voters will likely not allow gun issues to sway their vote….


  • The_Ohioan

    There are 21 Democratic Senators up for reelection in 2014. 4 of them voted against the Manchin-Toomey bill. 3 of those four are in the top tier of money raised for the 2014 campaign; Baucus, Prior, and Begich. Probably because they are in tough districts for Democrats and have raised money from the party and from individuals because of that.

    Democrats now have to decide if they want to punish them for this vote and maybe lose another Senate seat to Republicans (and Senate votes for the ACA, the stimulus, etc). The President has to decide whether to campaign for them, the voters in their states must decide whether to vote for them, and the rest of us must decide whether to contribute to their campaigns. Republicans must make the same decisions for only 1 Republican Susan Collins.

    Other crossover candidates’ time will come down the road and the same decisions will be on the voters and contributors to campaign funds. The only way around this situation is to fund/support in-party challengers, a notably difficult proposition for retaining a Senate seat.

    So, like the Senators, do we vote our conscience or our political best interest? It’s a dilemma.

  • dduck

    Food for thought, Ohio.

  • zephyr

    As long as voters are stupid enough to vote for cowards and con artists our country’s problems will not be solved. Gut punched is right.