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Gun vote was a beginning, not an end

April 20, 2013 • Editorial

When President Barack Obama on Thursday in Boston referred to “small, stunted individuals who would destroy instead of build,” he was talking about terrorists.
He was talking about the person or people who planted the two bombs that destroyed the pure joy of the Boston Marathon on Monday, killing three, injuring dozens, jarring the national consciousness.

But the president could just as easily have been talking about the cowards in the U.S. Senate who the day before killed what was at most a minimalist attempt to bring some level of sanity to the nation’s gun debate.

Had the traditional rules of parliamentary procedure been in place, the Senate actually would have passed a bill to expand gun background checks to include online sales and gun shows. The proposal, among the weakest of possible gun control proposals, was supported by a clear majority, 54-46. But because Senate leaders had to agree to a 60-vote threshold just to get Republicans to allow the measure to come to the floor, it failed.

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