Why Some Gun Owners Won’t Be Happy with Pat Toomey

US Capitol w/ Flag

Some have pointed out that we don’t know what Pat Toomey is bringing to the table on gun control, and that it might not actually be any more than fixing the current background check system. That’s true. That’s why I’m not calling for Full Outrage! yet.

However, regardless of what he promises in the press conference at 11am, Pat Toomey burned bridges with several Pennsylvania voters today because his staff spent the last two days telling outright lies about his involvement in the bill to constituents who called.

Dancing around and avoiding an issue annoys people, but encouraging or allowing your staff to tell lies burns people. It turns off activists and evangelists for your candidacy. Only the party faithful want to get involved with a candidate who will instruct his staff to tell voters he wasn’t working on a bill while he is in the meeting working on that bill.

No one believes that politicians are angels. Many believe they barely qualify as human. No one believes that politicians are truly and totally honest. Many believe they can’t pass a lie detector test that only asks their name. Those views don’t mean that, as voters, they like being told an outright lie.

Back to the actual content of the bill, we don’t know what’s in it. DC folks are trying to tell us tonight that it’s no big deal. Supposedly, it will just cover sales at gun shows and online. However, we’ve already heard promises from the very people Toomey worked with on this bill that they would just go after background checks for actual sales, and look what kind of language they actually gave us. There’s a good chance that those of us who aren’t in DC may not know what is in the bill until after it has passed (assuming they have the votes).

At this point, Toomey has taken a huge political risk that he’s hoping Pennsylvania voters won’t remember in 2016. The message many gun owners will take from this is that Sen. Toomey will lie to them as readily as any anti-gun candidate challenging him. Commenter Patrick H. summed up something I was saying to Sebastian as all of this started falling into place tonight:

It’s not just that he didn’t go with the filibuster. It’s not that he even voted on a gun control bill. He is actively writing one, and this was after everything seemed dead.

It’s like Pat Toomey went looking for a fight on guns. Why? Harry Reid seemingly couldn’t find the votes to pass anything. Now, President Obama is going to brand this as a Republican bill as much as a Democratic one. With this outreach to anti-gun leaders, Toomey has also likely hurt the brand of many of his GOP counterparts in the Senate.

The rest of the week looks interesting, to say the least.

30 thoughts on “Why Some Gun Owners Won’t Be Happy with Pat Toomey”

  1. You guys should have jumped on this several days ago when the news articles started popping up in WSJ and NYT.

    Anyway, Toomey is a lying sack of shit. He proposed tax changes last year that would have raised taxes on anyone making less than $200,000 by eliminating most of our deductions and giving us a small rate reduction, but those changes would have handed huge tax cuts to people making over $200,000 a year. All of that from a guy who supposedly was a Tea Party senator??? Now, he is selling us out on guns. Frankly, I could have, and should have voted for Sestak. At least he is an honest man who tells you exactly what he will be for and what he will be against. I agree with Joe Sestak very little, but at least he would have been true to his word and he would never have proposed eliminating the middle class taxpayers’ deductions so that very rich people can get huge tax breaks. Sestak is probably for gun control, but guess what? So is Toomey, apparently. Next time I will DEFINITELY work for, donate to, and VOTE for Joe Sestak.

    1. I’m not sure if you didn’t see the last response to your previous demands about blogging to meet your personal whims and desires or if you just really pride yourself of being a jackass. Regardless, you obviously seem to expect a personal apology or other atonement for us not providing you exactly what YOU wanted to read when YOU wanted to read it. In between the flooding basement issues, I guess the seven alerts over five days sent out via social media networks on our PA-activism accounts just weren’t enough to make YOU happy. So, yeah, no apology. I feel plenty good about my contributions which resulted in hundreds and hundreds of postcards sent to Sen. Toomey’s office, untold letters and emails to his staff, and, as of this writing, completely full voicemail boxes at almost every single office he runs even if I didn’t blog at a time that fit your personal schedule.

      And, if you don’t already know Joe Sestak’s well documented position on the Second Amendment, then I suggest you start your research. You should have plenty of time in between leaving demands on what you expect us to blog exactly when you want it blogged. (For an appropriate fee – say the cost to cover our kitchen renovation – we’d be happy to draw up a legal contract where we can blog whatever you want us to blog about when you want us to blog it.)

      1. Very funny, but you kind of over did your outrage. I like your blog and appreciate you keeping us informed about the issues. I am sorry that you had problems with the basement over the weekend. I think you are giving Toomey an easy ride on this and that is my opinion. You tried, but have not convinced me otherwise, and you certainly do not even need to.

        As for Sestak, I thought I made the point clearly but I’ll try again: Sestak is not a sellout like Toomey on the issues of government interference and taxes. Sestak is not pro-gun; neither is Toomey. We gained nothing by electing Toomey over Sestak. Can we do even better than either one of them? Sure, with a candidate who genuinely does support our human rights including our rights to armed self defense and our rights to own firearms without government interference. But as I said, I made a mistake by voting for Toomey over Sestak and I will not make THAT mistake again. Given a choice between two anti-gunners (Toomey and Sestak), I will go with Sestak.

        I am sorry about your basement.

        1. No, I didn’t overplay my outrage. This is the second time in as many days you have made demands of us to blog on your preferred topics at your expected times. Meanwhile, you’re a complete jerk about it and even accusing us of trying to cover it all up like some kind of massive conspiracy. You completely ignore the alerts seen by thousands sent out since Friday when the first reports of Toomey’s involvement surfaced. You choose to pretend you didn’t read about the hundreds and hundreds of postcards against the background check bill Sebastian & I personally got signatures for and had sent to Toomey’s office. You dismiss any notion that we’re allowed personal lives offline as though some of that time offline wasn’t spent making phone calls to fellow gun owners around key states encouraging them to call their Senators who may have been in on a deal.

          But, clearly, because we didn’t blog according to your schedule, we were covering for Toomey. That’s just insane and you’re being beyond unreasonable to continue issuing demands that we must follow your schedule to make you happy on when we blog. Sometimes we’re doing bigger things for the Second Amendment. If you have enough time to hit refresh every five minutes looking for an attack on Pat Toomey, then clearly you’re not engaging in real world activism.

            1. Quote from you: “I’m not sure why these bloggers here at SNBQ are completely giving the blackout treatment to any news about how Toomey is indeed selling us out. There have been several articles about it including one running right now in the WSJ, but the bloggers here are totally giving Toomey a free pass to sell us down the drain.”

    2. if that is the case, you better just turn in your guns now. do everything you can to influence (call, call, call), but dont scream till you are hurt. voting democrat is why all of this is on the table now. lets try to be a little more pragmatic. dont cut off your nose to spite your face.

  2. Of course is lucky enough to live in Virginia have to watch the bigot Tim Kaine declare his support for an assault weapons ban and Schumera transfer bill – citing the bogus 40% number that even the Washington Post calls dishonest.

    I, blame the republicans. Who, in a fetish of George Allan idolatry decided it was better to go with the 100% sure fire loser rather than nominating anyone else (almost all of whom would have had a good shot at beating the bigot Tim Kaine).

    It will be interesting to see what Toomey proposes. I hope the compromise ends up being drafted by the NRA. Otherwise his worthless ass needs to be evicted pronto (part of me prays that this is some 2014 strategy designed to get red state Democrat Senators to take a tough vote and end up either primaried by Bloomberg backed liberals – softening them up for the general election – or tossed right out by voters voters).

    1. “I hope the compromise ends up being drafted by the NRA.”

      How many times have we heard that before?

  3. I’ll remember in 2016, Senator. I will not voting for faux-conservative Pat Toomey.

  4. I called/emailed/faxed him.

    However I think it is important to remember that the media and gun grabbers are compulsive liars. The media has desperately been trying to create “momentum” for gun control by saying a Republican is going to cave. Same with the grabbers.

    The only confirmation we have right now is a tweet from a NJ journalist from Northwestern who is a Philly Eagles fan — I’m guessing he’s uberliberal and hates guns and wants more than anything to see a gun control deal, so he definitely has a bias.

    For example, it is quite possible that Manchin’s staff gave Toomey’s staff a copy of some language and Toomey said, “Yeah, we’ll look at this and get back to you.” Which then gets blown up by desperate politicians and media as, “Its a deal!” They did the same thing with Coburn. Heck, its possible that Toomey is the chosen GOP rep to run out the clock even more by engaging in some show negotiations.

    Of course, the worst case is that Sen Toomey is a northeast RINO prepping to sell us out.

    I’m not saying to slack off. I’m just saying that there is a persistent bias from the media. They emotionally want this to be true, so very badly… And rationally, they may calculate that saying there is a deal creates momentum for their narrative and alienates motivated hard-core pro-2A folks. Look at the disgust already for the alleged sell-out.

    Keep writing but remember that the opposition is full of ideological pathological liars with a tenuous grasp on reality.

    1. I certainly understand your point here, but Toomey’s office has confirmed to multiple media outlets that he’s have a joint press conference at 11am to promote a joint gun bill. I don’t think it’s a massive lie. All indications are that Toomey’s office purposefully lied to constituents about his involvement until the deal could be struck with Schumer’s new man on the issue – Manchin.

  5. I’m really trying hard to suppress my outrage until we see what is in the bill- if we do before passage.

    And I still don’t understand the political calculation he made. I just don’t get it.

    1. I think there’s reason to be pissed off even before we see language. If the language is just “and we mean it!” after current background check provisions, I’ll be happy about the content of the deal, but I can still be upset with Toomey over the fact that he went out of his way to give Obama a perceived gun control victory when, otherwise, the votes did not appear to be there. In my opinion, that’s a perfectly legitimate response to Toomey’s actions. He went looking for a fight on guns when he didn’t have to. While the actual language does matter quite a bit, gun owners have every right to say that we did not elect him to go seeking out compromises on gun control when otherwise the issue was going away.

      I think the big problem with this is that the way it was handled, it all falls onto Toomey’s shoulders. If I had any kind of insider information (trust me, I don’t), then I could see a situation where I’d maybe want him working on something if I knew that Reid had managed to strong-arm 60 votes for something more extreme. However, I think a clearer signal in that case would have been to basically present a more GOP-based bill with multiple perceived “middle of the road” signatories from both parties. Start clean, write a bill with language we could read before a vote, and signal to voters that this was a “must do” situation. I wouldn’t like it, but I’d be open to the arguments on why it could have been what keeps us from more extreme and permanent gun control. The way this was handled just makes it appear as though Toomey called up buddy Manchin and purposefully inserted himself into the issue. Add in the reports we received that Toomey’s staff was using Bloomberg’s arguments to defend a deal, and it’s just not a good reflection on Toomey.

  6. Right, I think two things upset me about it, even if the deal isn’t that bad. First- the current proposed stuff was going nowhere, so there was no reason to make a deal. Second- its coming from a conservative Republican, not a mushy middle of the road one.

  7. You can argue about the tactics, semantics, and Beltway razzle dazzle all you want but the bottom line remains: Schumer managed to get Manchin and Toomey to do something for him that he could have never done for himself.

    Reminds me of a scene from Bill Maher’s “Religulous” where he succeeds in getting a U. S. Senator to tie himself into a logical knot and then exclaim to the camera: “There’s no I.Q. test for being a U.S. Senator”. No kidding?

  8. God how do politicians think they can get away with this kind of stuff. He makes a move that will likely piss off his voters for a bill that I would remind everyone has to get thru a Republican House. It’s possible that the Rand, Rubio and Lee can still filibuster causing Reid to get 60 votes to move the bill forward. That along with their constituents would provide ample for the House to vote down the bill.

    I know it is all conjecture at this point but what is a the differnce between an internet sale and private sale? I’ve gone onto a local gun forum found a gun that I like and arranged a meet. Here is my CHL and lets sign a bill of sale and we are done. Is that an internet sale or private sale?

    1. We don’t know how they are defining the internet sales issue. That’s one big problem in this; we have no language and likely won’t since it’s an amendment.

      I would also add that I think your confidence is misplaced. There are votes to defeat a filibuster, and Toomey’s participation in a gun deal costs us at least 2-4 GOP votes in the House.

      1. Don’t get me wrong I think we are at risk her but I don’t see the upside for the Senator based on the House composition. I’m not a Republican and don’t have any illusions that they carry the torch for the 2nd Admendment; however, I think some of the individual members and the constituents they represent (including red state Democrats) makes it difficult to pass the House.

        Again I don’t think we’re out of the woods just that Toomey is taking a huge risk here for an outcome that is anything but uncertain. First it’s likely that the Senate will see a filibuster, which as you note they can overcome. Then comes the House vote that could kill the bill. How does Toomey survive that when its primary time? Or conversely how does he survive a reelection bid where he alienates his constituents?

        1. Actually, our problem in the House is that almost all of the Blue Dog Democrats were eaten in 2010. Pennsylvania went from having 4 pro-gun Democrats (including one leader on the issue in their caucus) to absolutely none in two cycles.

          Oddly enough, our protection on this could still come from Toomey himself. When asked today if his work on this deal is an assurance on his vote for the actual final bill, he made clear that anything beyond this amendment he’s helping craft puts his vote at risk and that it will only be decided then.

          I’ll say this: It’s very fluid at the moment. A big part of the problem in navigating this issue – both as citizens and especially for the lobbyists working our side in DC – is that until we know exactly what language is going where, we don’t know how loudly to sound alarms and worry.

  9. Here is the other side of the coin.. Getting the PA GOP to run someone against him who isnt a progressive. I swear, its a damned if you do, damned if you do situation.

    And even if we get a pro-gun democrat, I somehow doubt that they will work on other issues like financial stability and shrinking of government.

    WTF PA?

  10. My heart is sick over this, and doubly so because it is the kind of thing that, in principle, some of us saw coming with Toomey well over a decade ago, but we were generally reviled for being doubters. It is little consolation to have been right when predicting disaster for something that is important to you.

  11. This is becoming a pattern with Toomey. He’s a damn fool if he thinks this crap is going to get him re-elected.

    He’s abandoning the people that supported him and there’s nothing that will get him votes from the other side.

    I hope he enjoys cleaning out his office in January 2017.

  12. I helped at Corbett’s table at the Oaks Gun shows. uess who’s table was right next to his, TOOMEY!

    That’s right Toomey had his table at the gun show and was passing himself off as a supporter of the Right to keep and Bear Arms. THEN, when the time comes to put up or shut up, he caves.

    We are finding out who our friends are and where they actually stand.

    PA is no place for Bloomberg.

  13. Last republican I ever vote for. I refuse to keep getting knifed in the back by alleged “friends.” All the GOP does is LOSE. They never get aggressive. They backdoor trade our rights away always, and never try to take them back. Done with them forever.

    We have to choose between bad and worse, only you never see the democrats betray their own… only WE get stabbed in the back.

    I refuse to play their stupid games anymore, and I may just vote for the full-on communists, since they will collapse our nation faster, and it’s frankly getting crystal clear that’s the only way things will change – for better or worst.

    I am going from “let it burn” to “help it burn.”

  14. “Toomey . . .was passing himself off as a supporter of the Right to keep and Bear Arms.”

    Crap, he’s been doing that for years! Why would anyone be surprised?

    It’s not his fault for doing it; it’s our fault for believing him. All a pol has to do is say “enforce existing laws” and we’ve shown we’ll follow them anywhere. So, why wouldn’t they?

Comments are closed.