Monday, June 20, 2016

Showdown Over Gun Control This Week on Capitol Hill

It's astonishing that our politics have come to this.

All of these terror attacks simply do not raise gun control issues.

At WSJ, "Lawmakers Set for New Showdown on Guns":
WASHINGTON—Republicans and Democrats are headed for a new showdown over gun control this week as lawmakers sort through four proposals on the divisive issue in the wake of the Orlando nightclub massacre.

The Senate will vote Monday on provisions to limit access to weapons for people on the government’s terrorist watch lists and expand background checks. One Republican-sponsored measure to delay gun sales to buyers on a watch list has secured support from the National Rifle Association.

None of the proposals is likely to reach the 60-vote threshold needed to overcome Senate hurdles. But some momentum was already building for a bipartisan compromise led by Sen. Susan Collins (R., Maine) to prevent people on the government’s no-fly list from buying firearms while still offering a route to appeal those decisions.

Omar Mateen, the gunman in the Orlando shooting that left 49 dead, was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation in 2013 and 2014 and was placed on the terror watch list. But he was removed when authorities couldn’t find evidence to continue the investigations.

Attorney General Loretta Lynch said the Federal Bureau of Investigation plans to release Monday a partial transcript of the 911 calls from the gunman inside the nightclub. But she said the transcript won’t include what Mateen said about his support for Islamic State.

“What we’re not going to do is further proclaim this individual’s pledges of allegiance to terrorist groups and further his propaganda,” she said on NBC Sunday.

The Justice Department didn’t clarify what exactly Mateen said about terror or Islamic State.

The heated election season adds another wrinkle to the political maneuvering in the wake of Orlando. Presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump last week broke with many in his party by supporting an outright ban on gun sales to people on terror watch lists. Democrats are intensifying their focus on terror watch lists alongside other measures such as expanded background checks. While Republicans in some tight Senate races might benefit from reaching a deal, such a move could also spark a backlash from conservative voters and from gun-rights groups.

Any gun-control measure would need to overcome significant hurdles, including winning support in the Republican-controlled House...
The administration's memory-holing of 9/11 is outrageous and reprehensible.

That said, I doubt the proposal on the terror watch list restrictions is going to fly. There's too many good, decent people who'll be banned from buying firearms because of bureaucratic screw-ups. Just a week or so ago, Dana Loesch's step-father was detained and questioned at the airport over a mistaken name. It's just not going to work.