Only two things have really changed in the push by Senate Democrats to enact a slate of new gun legislation. The first is that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid saved a little face. The second is that a vote isn't coming until April. What hasn't changed is that the Senate is a broken institution.
Earlier this week, we noted that Reid was planning to slice the assault weapons ban off of the main package the Senate would consider for a vote. At the time, reporting suggested that the ban would be an amendment to the package, a move taken so that it could be voted on — and fail — without dooming the other components. "The assault weapons ban is dead!" reported various outlets, most of whom laid the blame at Reid's feet.
Last night, Reid put the package on the calendar for a vote after the Senate's two-week recess. "The assault weapons ban is not dead yet!" reported various outlets, because it was included in the package. As an amendment. As Reid said all along. But by releasing an affirmative statement on the move — "I will ensure that a ban on assault weapons, limits to high-capacity magazines, and mental health provisions receive votes" — Reid generated a little good will.