Despite the press’s exuberant efforts to cast congressional gun supporters as having changed their minds, there has been no actual movement. Senate Democrat Joe Manchin caused a media sensation when he declared, immediately after Sandy Hook, that nobody needed “30 rounds in a clip.” Less reported was that it took the Democrat about the time necessary for your average West Virginian to drive to a ballot box to clarify that statement and to add that he’s “so proud of the NRA.” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, even with the press’s best efforts to parse his remarks, has committed himself to nothing more than a “thoughtful debate.”
Montana’s Jon Tester and Max Baucus, Alaska’s Mark Begich, Arkansas’s Mark Pryor, South Dakota’s Tim Johnson, Louisiana’s Mary Landrieu—all are quiet on that red-state Democratic front. North Dakota’s brand new senator, Heidi Heitkamp, declared proposals mulled by the Biden task force as “way in the extreme” and “not gonna pass.” Unlike Mr. Obama, all of these members still face elections.
Over in the House, when asked recently what was more likely—passage of gun control or Speaker John Boehner becoming a pagan—a senior GOP leadership aide told Buzzfeed: “Probably the latter.”