Review: North Carolina’s senators on background checks

I’m from North Carolina, home of state legislators who want to legislate a state religion, declare Islam a terrorist organization, require drug tests for some public benefits, and other craziness such as the U.S. Constitution not counting here in the Old North State. So, in an effort to get away from name-calling (NC state republicans deserve it), I’m going to write about how our two senators voted on the Manchin/Toomey background check measure.

In review, the Manchin/Toomey background check measure was painstakingly crafted to close a loophole and was the key to passing the first legislation in decades to address the sorts of mass slaughters that we saw in Newtown, Connecticut and Aurora, Colorado.

As is my annoying habit, I traveled to the U.S. Senate’s legislative website (via my keyboard and monitor, not personally) to read the bill and see for myself if my second amendment rights would be compromised or weakened. I assumed (I know, silly me) that our duly-elected senators would also read the bill and vote to close this loophole if it didn’t affect our said second amendment rights, because we all know that our Constitution is the supreme law of our country (as it should be). I didn’t, I repeat, I didn’t see anything in the Manchin/Toomey amendment that would adversely affect my second amendment rights in any way. It was a good amendment because it would help protect our society by preventing certain people from purchasing firearms that they could then use to kill us.

As we all know, the amendment failed 54 to 46, falling short of the 60-vote threshold needed to break a filibuster. Needless to say (and rightly so), the failure upset anew victims of the Sandy Hook shootings and other slaughters who watched from the Senate gallery, in addition to at least 90 percent of Americans (who stayed home but are) in favor of background checks.

Now to how NC’s senators voted—

clip_image002 Senator Richard Burr (R) voted “nay”. Burr’s vote was called “political cowardice” in a letter to the editor of the High Point Enterprise. In thinking about his vote, I also submit the following as probable reasons.

(1) He didn’t read the amendment; (2) he read the amendment but didn’t understand what he read; (3) he doesn’t understand the U.S. Constitution; (4) he voted strictly along party lines so the other Republicans wouldn’t think he’s a wuss; (5) he woke up in the senate when they called his name and voted “nay” before he knew what he was voting about, or (6) all of the above. I’m kind of leaning towards (6) as the answer because the only thing I do know is that his “nay” vote can’t be supported with common sense and that is probably why this paragraph sounds so sarcastic.

clip_image004Senator Kay Hagan (D) voted “yea”. Nothing more to say, except that she understood the amendment, understood what Americans wanted, and voted in favor of common sense. Thank you Senator Hagan. You can be sure that I’ll support you in 2014 anyway I can.