Being Heard Today

From Today’s Whipping Post:

H.R. 6842 – National Capital Security and Safety Act (Closed Rule) (Sponsored by Del. Norton / Oversight and Government Reform Committee)

The rule provides for 1 hour of general debate and makes in order the following amendment:

Childres Amendment in the Nature of a Substitute (60 minutes)

This essentially means Norton’s bill, that would just nicely tell The District that they should really think hard about complying with Heller, will receive a brief polite debate, and promptly be replaced by HR6691, that would actually restore the Second Amendment in The District.  After that, it will go to the house floor for a vote.

There has been some talk in the blogosphere that this effort is just political theater.  Well, in the sense that the chance of getting this all the way through is slim, it is.  But why discount political theater?  Most of the political discourse in Washington that people see is theater.  That’s not to say it can’t be useful.  So why proceed with HR6691 even though there’s little chance of actually passing it?

  • It gets everyone in The House on the record as to whether or not they support Heller.  They can’t just get away with saying “I support the Second Amendment” or “I have a concealed carry permit”.  They have to choose sides.  My Congressman, who runs around shouting the latter quote, despite his support for gun bans, decided he couldn’t afford to oppose HR6691.  That was a useful signal that he’s worried about the gun owner vote coming out against him.
  • The bill will now head to the Senate, where it’s most likely that Harry Reid is going to do everything he can to keep it off the floor to prevent Obama and Biden from having to take a stand on it.
  • We can now put the Blue Dogs, at least one of which has been running around being telling Montana gun owners that Obama has a great record on guns, in the position of getting behind a discharge petition to get it onto the floor no matter what Reid wants to do.  This is the same game that was played in the House.  We might also get to find out whether our own Senator Casey is, in fact, still alive.
  • You never know.  The bill might very well end up passing.  It’s an uphill battle, but it could happen.

So we’re in the position in 2008 where the Democrats really don’t want guns to be an issue.  That’s why Barack Obama has been running around telling everyone he supports the Second Amendment, and won’t take their guns.  We would really like guns to be an issue, because that will rally our base in an election year where people think other things are more important.

We have absolutely nothing to lose by pushing this bill, and everything to gain.  It will force Obama to take a position on Heller that’s more than just lip service.  You can bet he won’t be voting for any discharge petitions, and you can definitely bet he won’t vote for the eventual bill, and that will be one more club we can beat him with.  Is it political theater?  Absolutely.  But good political theater wins elections.

2 Responses to “Being Heard Today”

  1. My congressman’s (Bilirakis) office just replied and said he added himself as a cosponsor and plans to vote for HR6691. His name isn’t showing up as a cosponsor on yet… but I’m guessing that is usually a few days behind.

  2. I suppose one could argue that this is another benefit of H.R. 6691 that I failed to account for.


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