Biden Calls Gun Control Filibuster Threat “Embarrassing”
Vice President Joe Biden said Tuesday that if Republicans filibuster upcoming gun control legislation, it would be embarrassing for America’s reputation around the world.
“What an embarrassing thing to say,” Biden said. “Imagine what they’re saying, gentlemen and ladies, in other capitals around the world today.”
Biden has led the Obama administration’s efforts to implement a suitable response in the wake of the massacre in Newtown, Connecticut. In the past he has stood beside New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, a fierce ally in Democratic efforts to push for reasonable gun control.
“You’ve got leading senators of the most august legislative body in the world saying we’re not even going to talk about this tragedy that traumatized a nation and caught the attention of an entire world,” Biden said.
Republicans have largely stuck to the stance articulated by the National Rifle Association that any gun control legislation is a fundamental threat to people’s rights under the second amendment. 13 senators have signed a letter to Harry Reid expressing their intention to oppose any gun control measures brought to the floor. The letter was put forh originally by Senators Rand Paul of Kentucky, Mike Lee of Utah, and Ted Cruz of Texas. Their letter reads:
“We, the undersigned, intend to oppose any legislation that would infringe on the American people’s constitutional right to bear arms, or on their ability to exercise this right without being subjected to government surveillance.
“The Second Amendment to the Constitution protects citizens’ right to self-defense. It speaks to history’s lesson that government cannot be in all places at all times, and history’s warning about the oppression of a government that tries.
“We will oppose the motion to proceed to any legislation that will serve as a vehicle for any additional gun restrictions.”
Support for the filibuster appears to be waning. NBC reports that Democrats are optimistic that enough Republican senators would opt to break the filibuster. They may have to.
Vice President Joe Biden met with the families of Newtown victims Tuesday morning. The families, who were lobbying for passage of the bill on Capitol Hill, asked Biden how to communicate with senators who intend to block gun control legislation. Biden was irked that politicians have distanced themselves from families that have suffered such a tragic loss.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has said that he will bring gun control legislation to the floor as soon as Thursday, which Vice President Joe Biden urges members of Congress to pass in spite of the proposed filibuster.
[Image by World Economic Forum [CC-BY-SA-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons]