Joe Manchin's continuing efforts to push background checks and other gun control reminds me of a (bad) joke I heard many years ago.
When told of a pervert's interest in bestiality, necrophilia, and BDSM, the listener just rolled his eyes and said, "That's like beating a dead horse."
Manchin was interviewed by Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday this morning. In the interview, Manchin continued to insist that his background check bill with a little tweaking could pass the Senate.
From the Fox News Sunday transcript:
WALLACE: All right. Finally, Senator Manchin, you and Republican -- fellow Republican Senator Pat Toomey, were the coauthors of this expanded background check that was voted down a few days ago in the Senate. You're talking now -- you're talking about revising the bill, bringing it back to the Senate floor.Manchin's co-author Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA) said the effort was over on his part according to his statements in a conference call on Friday. He has indicated he wants to return his attention to fiscal and economic issues.
It came out today that your cosponsor, Pat Toomey says, no, I'm done with it. Do you really think that the expansion of background checks can be revised and can be passed by the U.S. Senate?
MANCHIN: I certainly do. The only thing that we've asked for is that people would just read the bill. It's a criminal and mental background check strictly at gun shows and online sales.
The way the law is today, if you go to a gun store, you have a background check done. If you go to a gun show and you go to a licensed dealer, they still do a background check. But you can go to the next table over and have no check at all.
You can online. If you buy a gun out of state online --
WALLACE: But, Senator, respectfully, we knew all that beforehand and your colleagues didn't vote for it?
MANCHIN: Well, I think -- Chris, I think there were some confusion. The first bill that came out basically was dropped, the Chuck Schumer bill, which was all inclusive. Chuck, we talked to Chuck and he backed off that, and we worked on what we thought was a much better bill, especially coming from a gun culture that I come from in West Virginia.
I've gone down and worked the bill into the coal fields, into the gun--friendly West Virginians that I hunt with, and sport shoot with. And all of them to a "T," when they saw the bill, this basically not only protects your Second Amendment rights, it expands your Second Amendment rights.
WALLACE: But, and we're running out of time, Pat Toomey, cosponsor of Manchin/Toomey, says he's done with it?
MANCHIN: I don't think he's done. I really don't know. I was with Pat last night and Pat's totally committed to this bill and I believe that with all of my heart and we're going to work this bill -- when people read the bill, just take time to read the bill. I've said this, if you're a law--abiding gun owner, you'll love this bill. If you're a criminal, if you've been mentally adjudicated through a court, you probably won't like it.
But all we're doing, we don't infringe on anybody's rights, individual rights, transfers of families --
WALLACE: I want to make it clear: you're going to bring this bill back --
WALLACE: -- to the Senate floor. And you think it's going to be different?
MANCHIN: I truly believe if we have time to sell the bill, and people will read the bill, and I'm willing to go anywhere in this country, I'm going to debate anybody on this issue, read the bill and you tell me what you don't like. We stop registration completely from the standpoint of the felony, with 15 years of imprisonment.
WALLACE: And is part of the idea here that you are going to have it stripped away and separate it from --
MANCHIN: The bill needs to be clean, I believe. That's my belief, that if the bill runs clean and people can vote on this bill up or down based on the merits of this bill, how it protects a gun, a Second Amendment gun person, a law-abiding gun owner, it's perfect for that person.
If you're going to a gun show, you're going to expect to have a background check. If you're buying online, whether it's an out-of-state gun or in-state, a background check. No intervening at all with family transfers or any individual rights whatsoever.
From the CapitolInq blog at Philly.com:
"My own view is very simple: the senate has had its vote. We’ve seen the outcome of that vote. I am not aware of any reason to believe that if we had the vote again that we’d have a different outcome," Toomey, a Republican, said in a conference call with reporters Friday afternoon. "If that were to change my guess is (Senate Majority Leader Harry) Reid would consider having another vote."....I guess Toomey is not the glutton for pain that Manchin seems to be.
"Until we have such reason to believe that we’d have a different outcome I think the issue is resolved by the senate," Toomey said Friday. "I accept when the senate speaks and so I’ve turned my attention to the fiscal and economic matters that I’ve normally focused on."