Senate Democrats ended a 15-hour filibuster this morning after reportedly winning agreement for votes on a couple of gun control measures. Politico reports.
Connecticut Sen. Chris Murphy led the charge. The rogue effort, which captured wide attention as it was broadcast all night on C-SPAN, should lead to votes on measures to 1) prevent sales of guns to people on federal watch lists and 2) require background checks for sales at gun shows now exempt.
The Orlando massacre seems to have contributed to something of a turning of the tide. Some Republicans, including presidential candidate Donald Trump, have given voice to doubts about continuing the NRA hard line against any and all gun safety measures. The American Medical Association has called for federally supported research into gun safety issues. Fox commentators, including Bill O’Reilly, have been critical of the easy availability of military-style weapons used in every recent major mass slaughter.
Sens. John Boozman and Tom Cotton of Arkansas, Republican gun advocates, did not join the filibuster, of course.
Conner Eldridge, the Democrat opposing Boozman, called him out as even more extreme than Donald Trump:
Former U.S. Attorney and candidate for the U.S. Senate Conner Eldridge today condemned Sen. John Boozman’s refusal to act on even the most reasonable gun safety legislation in Congress, despite the weight of evidence and prayers for action by law enforcement agencies and the American people.
“The idea that Sen. Boozman thinks that suspected terrorists should be able to buy weapons is indefensible. Yesterday, even Donald Trump indicated his support for a measure to ban gun purchases by suspected terrorists. That means that Sen. Boozman is more extreme in his position than even his party’s nominee. It’s hard to believe, but Sen. Boozman is more out of step with reality than Mr. Trump. That’s the only conclusion one can draw at this point,” Eldridge said.
Donald Trump’s irresponsible rhetoric has led many GOP Senators to publicly distance themselves from him in recent days. Not only does Sen. Boozman continue to support Mr. Trump as the next Commander in Chief, he has demonstrated that he is even more extreme on this point than Mr. Trump himself.
“Arkansas needs a Senator who is not beholden to radical, dangerous policies like selling guns to suspected terrorists,” Eldridge said. “As Republican Senators withdraw their support for Mr. Trump because their love for country exceeds their partisan politics, Sen. Boozman has been silent in the face of calls to do the same. On this point he is even more extreme than Trump. How can he possibly defend that to the people of Arkansas?”