Toomey has some of the details of the deal with Manchin. It’s a bit of give and take on both sides if everything is as advertised; that is a real compromise, and not a compromise where they only get a smaller slice of my pie instead of a bigger one. Of course that doesn’t make me feel any better about the concessions, nor does it help that we do not have language yet for the Toomey-Manchin Amendment. The devil is often in the details, and “just trust me,” is asking too much when Schumer is involved in this whole thing. Hell, it’s asking too much by any politician.
I don’t think the anti-gun folks are going to be happy about this deal, even if some of them come out and try to make the best of it. I think Bloomberg will try to spin it as a good start, and declare victory. But Bloomberg has to be concerned that this deal is not reaching all private transfers, while simultaneously taking the bogeyman of “gun show loophole” and “internet sales” away from him. It’s possible they were approaching the needed votes on something far preferable to them, and are likewise viewing this concession as unnecessary.
Finally, consider that amendments to bills, as best as I understand Senate rules, only require a bare majority, rather than 60 votes. It requires 60 votes to invoke cloture on a bill, to end debate and have a vote. The Democrats can pass amendments without any Republican support. We will see how this all goes down, but we really do need to see the language of the bill.
Previous attempts to regulate gun shows have seriously overreached, and I’m very skeptical of how Internet sales could be regulated. What defines an Internet sale? If I IM my friend Jason and ask if he wants to buy one of my guns, do I have to go through an FFL now? Does it only apply to advertising for sale? What about a private message board on a gun club’s web site? As for gun shows, what exactly is a gun show? Is it a place where people gather to sell guns? Can a few friends looking over a collection I’m reducing constitute a show? If there’s a guy at a flea market selling a rifle, does that make it a gun show? Is a yard sale a gun show if there’s guns for sale? Is the parking lot also a show? What if you bring the gun to a show, but sell it at the gas station down the street? You can see where can potentially entrap people with language. I appreciate the concessions made to our side in this deal, but there’s quite a lot to be wary of, and I’m not going to say this is a win, am not willing, without language, to opine on how fair the trade is here.