I disagree with almost everything here: the claims about the support
and no "substantive reasoning to be against it."
From Rolling Stone magazine:
. . . The biggest push since the inauguration has been on gun control. The president made you the point person, and yet the background-check measure failed in the Senate, even though it was supported by 90 percent of the American people. What does it mean that we can't pass even the weakest measures to curb gun violence?
It means two things. One, that we have had an impact on the public's thinking. If we did that poll a week before Sandy Hook, my guess is you wouldn't have 90 percent of the American people. They said, "You have to do something." So we've already won the battle with the American public on this, not just on background checks but on magazines, on assault weapons, et cetera. This is a case where the public is way ahead of Congress, and the Congress hadn't figured it out, just like they were . . .
Did you get blowback from the president or people in general?
I got blowback from everybody but the president. I walked in that Monday, he had a big grin on his face, he put his arms around me and said, "Well, Joe, God love you, you say what you think." I knew he agreed with me. It wasn't like he was in a different place. My point is: That's where the public is on guns. There has been a seminal shift in the attitude of the American public toward gun safety.
Is the Senate really that insulated from the rest of the country?
A lot of our colleagues – a few Democrats and a lot of Republicans who know better – thought, "The public hasn't changed, if I vote with you, I get beat up. . . ." The 17 or 18 people I called and spoke to thought they would get in trouble supporting any additional, quote, "burden on gun ownership." The ones who still said no, the four Democrats and remaining nine or 10 Republicans, they didn't offer any substantive reasoning to be against it. In one form or another, they all said the same thing: "Joe, don't ask me to walk the plank, because the House isn't going to do anything, anyway." The other one was, "Joe, I know it's 85-15, 80-20, 90-10 in my state. You know how it works: The 10 percent that are against, they're all going to be energized; they're going to organize against me. And the 90 percent who are for it, it's not going to be a determining vote for them." My argument was, "You've got it wrong. The public has changed." And guess what? It turns out we were right. To use the vernacular, there's suddenly a lot of senators out there who have seen the Lord. You find out that the senator from New Hampshire is in trouble; she voted no. I can name you four senators who called me and said, "Jesus, I guess you were right – maybe we can find some other way of doing this. Can we bring this back up?"
So what's the next move?
We're going right back at it. The biggest thing that's changed is that the people who were for the background checks are saying it will be a determining issue. There's pace on the ball now; this is a different country. I'm convinced we'll be able to bring this back up, and I'm convinced we can win this. . . .
Labels: JoeBiden, ObamaGunControl