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Senators Maybe Agree On Gun Background Checks; NRA Psychics Predict That Shootings Will Still Happen

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Good news, everybody! There's been incremental progress toward closing the gun-show loophole in background checks for gun purchases! Senators Pat Toomey (R-Pennsylvania) and Joe Manchin ("D"-West Virginia) announced that they haveagreed on a watered-down version of universal background checks that would not be universal but would still expand the checks to cover sales at gun shows and require that records of background checks be kept. Let the incremental celebrations begin!


Sen. Toomey explained that the proposal is not even "gun control," because words are highly elastic in their meaning:

Toomey said, “I don’t consider criminal background checks to be gun control. It’s just common sense.”

“It’s the people who fail a criminal or mental-health background check that we don’t want having guns,” Toomey said.

Sure, it's a move straight out of the Frank Luntz Redefinatorium, but we can certainly live with calling this issue "bad-guy control," because god knows we've had plenty of talk of "death taxes" and "energy exploration," so why the hell not, if it moves a few opinions? Of course, it still won't satisfy the gun genius who addressed a crowd at the Idaho Capitol a couple months back, insisting that "the only people who need a background check are criminals and people who are mentally ill,” but not anyone else.

You might think that expanded background checks might have a chance of passing, considering that a recent Quinnipiac University poll shows they're "supported by "91 percent of American voters, including 96 percent of Democrats, 88 percent of Republicans and 88 percent of gun-owning households." However, they are opposed by 100 percent of NRA Executive Directors, so the bill will probably face tough going in the Senate, and may not even be considered in the House.

The Psychic Prediction Council of the NRA was quick to condemn the proposal because it "will not prevent the next shooting," which, as the Alliance of Nitpicking American Linguists was quick to point out, is airtight logic if you consider that if any shooting occurs, it has not been prevented. Further, the Nitpickers noted that it is impossible to tabulate events that are prevented from happening, but they were then told to shut the fuck up and sit down. In any case, even the incomplete system we have now, which covers only 60% of estimated gun sales and does not include mental health records, has managed to deny some 2.1 million background checks since it was put in place in 1988, or roughly 2% of the 118 million requests in that period, so at least some potential bad guys are being kept from getting guns.

Even if nothing else comes of it, we can at least hope that there will someday be a nerdcore group named "The Manchin-Toomey Compromise."

[Bloomberg / TPM / CNN]

Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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