Meet The Five Cowardly Senate Democrats Who Killed the Assault Weapons Ban
By: Jason Easley
It wasn’t cowardice that killed the assault weapons ban. It was five Democratic senators who opposed the measure that forced it to be dropped from the Senate guns bill.
The assault weapons ban will be given an up or down vote as an amendment, but not included in the final Senate bill designed to limit gun violence. Many on the left will direct their rage at Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) or the entire Democratic caucus, but the reality is that the assault weapons ban is not in the final bill because five Senate Democrats opposed it.
Bloomberg reported back in January that, “The five Democratic senators from traditionally pro-gun states who have expressed skepticism about the bill are Max Baucus and Jon Tester of Montana, Mark Begich of Alaska, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota and Joe Manchin of West Virginia. Independent Senator Angus King of Maine, who caucuses with Democrats, also said he opposes a ban.”
The word skepticism is inaccurate. In reality, these five opposed a ban. The Democratic opposition all hailed from states that Mitt Romney carried in 2012, and all five are terrified of what running against the NRA would mean for their future reelection chances. None of his should be any kind of surprise. All five of them had publicly stated months ago that weren’t interested in an assault weapons ban.
Their opposition, along with that of Independent Sen. Angus King who caucuses with the Democrats, meant that Reid had no choice. He had to remove the ban from the final bill, or the entire legislative effort would have been doomed to failure.
Sen. Reid made the practical decision. Given what these members of his caucus decided, he chose to drop the assault weapons ban in order to have the best chance of getting a meaningful piece of legislation passed.
The disappointment of the left should not be directed at Reid. The blame belongs squarely on the shoulders Baucus, Tester, Begich, Heitkamp, and Manchin.
These five Red State Democrats decided that they would rather cater to their own political survival than do something that might save the lives of mass shooting victims. They sided with the NRA over shooting victims, and they killed any chance that the assault weapons ban ever had of passing.
Thank you to Politicususa.com for this article.