The two sides to demonstration

Proponents of new limits on gun ownership must be furious with Democrats in the House of Representatives for the purely political “sit-in” demonstration they staged over gun control.

It was an attempt to pin the blame for failure of gun control measures in the House on the Republican majority – but what the protesters hoped no one would notice was that many in their party helped block the bills in question.

Firearms legislation was not reported to the House floor from a committee because its members – in a bipartisan vote – agreed not to do that.

Had there been enough support for the measures to pass them, they could have been gotten to a vote on the House floor by the simple expedient of filing a discharge petition. But the protesters did not even try to rally enough support for that.

Even had the measures been approved by the House, they would not have become law. Earlier last week, members of the Senate rejected virtually identical bills. The protesters knew that, too.

They were not merely tilting at windmills, however. They had a clear purpose: to attempt to portray Republicans and Republicans alone as opponents of new gun control laws. That simply is not true. A substantial number of Democrats oppose the proposals, too.

And, of course, the protesters were busy using their stunt as a fundraising event.

Getting new limits on firearms enacted simply was not part of the equation. And for that, Americans who want new restrictions should be just as angry as Republicans at the protesters.


Today's breaking news and more in your inbox

I'm interested in (please check all that apply)
Are you a paying subscriber to the newspaper? *

Starting at $4.62/week.

Subscribe Today