I should be happy that HR 38 has passed the house, but I can’t muster a whole lot of excitement. We’ve done that before, and the Senate has always been the problem house. I’d like to think “We got this!,” but I know realistically we have a hard time getting 60 votes in the Senate. If FixNICS isn’t enough to give a handful of GOP Congressmen cover enough to vote in favor, how do we get to 60 votes in the Senate? Unless the filibuster rule changes, and at this point, I think it should, the Senate is a body that can confirm judges and pass budget bills, and that’s it. Maybe the FixNICS sweetener will get it 60 votes.
I got invited to participate in a Town Hall by Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick last night, and we tried to get in a question about his vote on HR 38. It was interesting that he fielded two callers asking about the Bill, but neither of them knew he had just voted against it, or knew much about it. We made clear to staff queuing callers that we did know how he voted, but the clock ran out and we never got our question in. To the callers he did take, he stated he had issues with the bill, but supported it in concept. Of course, he never stated what those issues were, because he’s a worm. He even wormed his way out of saying whether he voted for or against it. Allowing your constituents to get arrested by the State of New Jersey for bearing arms is not supporting the Second Amendment, no matter how often you say you support it.
All three of them, Fitzpatrick, Meehan, and Costello, are scared to death of Bloomberg’s money, and the ads he could afford to run in this media market. None of this was a factor when the gun control movement was in dire financial straits. Bloomberg coming in with big money was all it took to undo years of progress we had made with lawmakers in this area. I had wondered why Bloomberg wasn’t running ads here, whereas he was in other swing or blue state GOP districts. Now I know; he had their votes in the bag already.
Costello was OK on the issue before Bloomberg brought his billions. Fitzpatrick’s seat has a had a history of anti-gun Republicans, and the Curt Weldon, who held Meehan’s seat for years, was always squishy too. So this isn’t new. But we’re going to need a lot more organization in the Southeast if we’re going to counter Bloomberg’s money. We’re going to need people to care, not take their rights for granted, and be willing to show up and be counted. That’s been the struggle. NRA seems to no longer be interested in real grassroots organization, and has instead started promoting a culture Â that only serves to feed anger and outrage on issues unrelated to guns. How are we going to useÂ all that anger? We have to do this ourselves.
Let us not just talk about Delaware Valley Republicans, who invented the anti-gun Republican, after all. I’d also like to talk about retiring Congressman Massey and Texas Rep. Louis Gohmert, who is spreading the same bullshit. You see, Rep. Massey never supported H.R. 38, if you talk to his constituents. But once it became apparent he’d have to post a vote on it, he started spouting a bunch of nonsense about the FixNICS component of it. So now he gets to go down as Paul Revere sounding the alarm against a boogeyman of his own creation while posting a vote against us. Representative Gohmert seems to have joined him in this.
And yet, a lot of our people are buying this posturing hook, line and sinker. They are politicians. They don’t like the bill. They don’t want to vote for the bill. But rather than coming out and just stating they don’t and have never supported federal civil rights enforcement, they invented a narrative that turn them into the heroes. Even GOA, run by the Pratt family, who I’ve suspected have strong reservations about federal civil rights enforcement, didn’t feel they had the juice to come out against H.R. 38, but they sure were willing to spout bullshit. Another person I’ve long suspected of opposing federal civil rights enforcement is Dudley Brown, and he did not defy expectations either. Do you know why Bloomberg and the anti-gunners were against combining the two bills? Because they feared it would get us the 60 votes we needed to actually pass National Reciprocity, which they know will be a disaster for them. FixNICS is the same kind of thing we’ve done a million times. What’s the old saying? You can lead a bureaucrat to water, but you can’t make him do his fucking job? Or something like that.
I get that GOA and NAGR hate NICS, and I don’t think it’s worth a whole lot either. But as long as it’s the law of the land, and for the foreseeable future it will be, we have an interest in seeing it function well and do what it’s supposed to do. If extra funding for NICS gets us the biggest civil rights victory since FOPA, I’m willing to make that trade.