â€œIf there was a secret-ballot vote it would pass overwhelmingly, because from a substantive point of view most of these senators understand that this is the right thing to do,â€ said Matt Bennett, a gun-control advocate and senior vice president at Third Way, a centrist think tank. â€œWhatâ€™s holding them back is pure politics.â€
This novel theory Â was floated in Pennsylvania back in 2006.
Anti-gun forces in the Pennsylvania legislature became convinced that if the votes weren’t on the record, gun control would pass handily. They called for the House to meet in a Committee of the Whole, where recorded votes would not be posted, and thus lawmakers would be free to express themselves without fear of the NRA. So how did this particular experiment in one of our 50 laboratories of Democracy go? Utter fail for the gun control folks. The politicians still, even off the record, don’t want anything to do with gun control, because it’s a political loser. As JimÂ Geraghty noted, this is really a complaint that politicians are held accountable to the public.