Thursday, May 23, 2013

Caught Red Handed

Now isn't this precious. This morning, TPM picked up Ralston's big scoop from yesterday. Senator Dean Heller (R-NRA) actually sent a letter to constituents explaining his position on gun safety. And believe it or not, he actually said this.

"Knowing your interest in gun control, I wanted to give you an update on legislation I have cosponsored and supported recently."

Imagine how Nevadans felt when they received a letter that began that way from none other than Sen. Dean Heller, who voted against the Manchin-Toomey bill, saying he feared a creation of a gun registry despite his general support for the concepts in the measure. He was hailed by NRA types and blistered by gun control advocates.

I wonder how many folks who received that missive fell for the having-it-both-ways Heller approach.

Believe it or not, Senator Dean Heller actually claims this. Never mind that he caved into 21st Century Know Nothing pressure and voted to filibuster the most basic gun safety legislation. Oh no, he's been working furiously on gun safety. In fact, he's now busy... Trying to block implementation of the Affordable Care Act.

So what's causing this latest bout of deceit? Perhaps it's this.

Following the Senate’s rejection of gun legislation last month, the public continues to overwhelmingly favor making private gun sales and sales at gun shows subject to background checks. Nearly three-quarters of Americans (73%) say that if the Senate bill is reintroduced, Congress should pass it. [..]

Gun control supporters can point to broad and consistent public support for expanded background checks. Fully 81% favor making private gun sales and sales at gun shows subject to background checks, little changed since January (85%). The proposal draws nearly equal levels of support from Democrats (83%), Republicans (81%) and independents (80%).

However, the Senate bill on background checks is far more divisive. Republicans are decidedly less supportive of this legislation than of the general idea of making private gun sales subject to background checks; 57% support the Senate bill, while 81% favor expanding background checks. Many of those who have reservations about the bill express concerns that it includes other restrictions beyond background checks, or that it opens a “slippery slope” toward more government power.

Wow. Only 57% of Republicans support the Senator Harry Reid's (D) gun safety bill. And overall, 73% of Americans want this bill passed. And Senator Heller opposed his home state colleague's bill.

So no wonder why he's now backtracking. He wants to have it both ways. Heller wants to continue pleasing his gun lobby BFFs while simultaneously claiming he wants gun safety reform. It's too bad for the Senator that he's just been caught red handed.

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