From Gottlieb’s perspective, the Manchin-Toomey Amendment — which contained several pro-gun measures, including an outright ban on a national gun registry and background check exemptions for friends, neighbors, family members — was certainly the lesser of two evils, i.e. a compromised bill sponsored by Sens. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Pat Toomey (R-PA), both A-rated NRA members, versus one written solely by the Schumer, Feinstein and other staunch pro-gun control supporters.
No it was not. The problem with Manchin-Toomey was several fold. First, it wasn’t very clear when you would or would not be subject to the background check requirements. Second, none of the measures, including the ban on the national registry, were worth spit. Who’s going to enforce it? Is Eric Holder going to prosecute himself for violating the prohibition? Some of the things offered up to us, like the FOPA travel enhancement would have actually stripped the FOPA travel provision entirely. Manchin-Toomey was a farce of a deal, which is why it needed to be killed.
Every time I think it’s time to forgive SAF, because I really do believe they are doing good work for the issue in the Courts, Alan Gottlieb opens his mouth again about Manchin-Toomey and I get pissed off all over again. This kind of thing doesn’t help, and it’s going to give the other side cover to shove something down our throats. Why do we want to bring this issue up again anyway? We won, they lost. If the momentum suddenly shifts, then we can assess the situation at the time. After all, there looked to me like there was a “break glass” provision in all this mess that no one paid attention to. So I think some people, at least, were thinking ahead. By offering to preemptively concede ground, the next time we’re in a tight spot, they are going to want ground we’re not willing to concede. It only puts us in a worse negotiation position.