Cruz' Threats To Filibuster Universal Background Checks Draws Blanks

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Today Senators Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), and Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) are expected to unveil a bipartisan bill to expand background checks for gun purchases to commercial settings such as gun shows and online auction sites, but it would not make them universal for all private sales. Sen. Toomy said, “I don't consider criminal background checks to be gun control. It's just common sense…If you pass … you get to buy a gun. It's the people who fail that we don't want having guns.” Texas Senator Ted Cruz is threatening to filibuster, requiring 60 votes to take up the measure instead of a simple majority. Right now Democrats have 55 votes but are expected to easily gather enough Republicans to end a filibuster. Senator John McCain said Cruz would wrong to try and prevent the Senate from taking up the bill and former Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele said the party and its leadership should not be positioning itself to filibuster an idea supported by 90% of voters and called the move “boneheaded”.

Cruz, using one of his favorite tactics, fear, claims the Obama Administration is trying to, “pass laws that would take away the constitutional rights of law-abiding citizens.” But, the 2nd Amendment doesn't exempt someone from participating in a background check, and as far as the text is concerned there's still the inconvenient truth that it contains the words, “well regulated”.

Cruz told Laura Ingraham that this fight was ultimately about not allowing the Obama Administration to infringe on the 2nd Amendment and that background checks could be a slippery slope towards a national gun registry and eventually “confiscation”. Cruz says there will be political consequences in 2014 for his Democratic colleagues in red states that could result in Republicans regaining the Senate. Texas Gun Sense board members John Woods says over 50 Texans are killed by firearms every week and now with strong public support Congress should act to save lives. The group is disappointed that the bill does not require universal background checks and is skeptical of gun-industry supported amendments, but says it is a good start and with it, “we can significantly reduce the number and frequency of such tragedies.”

About Author

Joe Deshotel

Joe was born and raised in Beaumont, Tx, but live music and politics brought him to Austin. He has worked in and around government and elections for over a decade including for a member of US Congress, the Texas Legislature, the Mayor of Austin. He currently serves as Communications Director for the Travis County Democratic Party. He is most interested in transportation, energy and technology issues. He also likes Texas Hold'em and commuting on his electric skateboard. Follow me on Twitter at @joethepleb.

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