As reports come in that San Bernardino massacre shooter Tashfeen Malik posted a pledge of allegiance to Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi on Facebook, another interesting event has received much less attention.
That event was the vote Thursday by the US Senate on a two proposals put forward by Democrats in the wake of the massacre.
The Senate rejected a measure from Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) to expand background checks for guns purchased online and at gun shows on a 48 to 50 vote and an amendment from Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) to prevent individuals on the terror watch list from purchasing firearms on a 45 to 54 vote.
To counter Feinstein’s amendment, Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-Texas) proposed a measure that would give the attorney general the power to impose a 72-hour delay for individuals on the terror watch list seeking to purchase a gun and it could become a permanent ban if a judge determines there is probable cause during that time window.
Cornyn argued that Feinstein’s amendment was “un-American” and violated individuals’ constitutional rights by potentially preventing someone mistakenly on the terror watch list from purchasing a firearm.
All Republicans except one voted against Feinstein’s proposal. These include the four whose “thoughts” and “prayers” for the victims in San Bernardino were featured on the front page of The New York Daily News.
In whichever region of hell he occupies, the late al-Qaeda spokesman Adam Yahiye Gadahn (aka Adam the American), must have smiled at this news. Addressing American Muslim sympathizers in 2011, he said:
“America is absolutely awash with easily obtainable firearms. You can go down to a gun show at the local convention center and come away with a fully automatic assault rifle, without a background check, and most likely without having to show an identification card. So what are you waiting for?”
To be precise fully automatic (as opposed to semi-automatic) rifles cannot legally be sold to the general public, although I wouldn’t be shocked if there were some for sale “under the table” at gun shows.