If you liked the Rand Paul filibuster of March 2013, you'll love the Rand Paul filibuster of April 2013. Unless you want the Senate to enact new gun restrictions, and unless you liked the part where he stood up and talked for twelve hours.
According to Politico, Paul and Senators Mike Lee of Utah and Ted Cruz of Texas will deliver a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid later today threatening a filibuster on the Democrats' upcoming gun control package. Lee and Cruz were the first of the dozen-or-so senators who joined Paul on the Senate floor earlier this month for the marathon gabfest opposing drones strikes on U.S. citizens. Apparently this won't be one of those throwback, non-stop talking filibusters, though. It will be the new, popular, quiet kind, resulting from Paul and his allies refusing to grant consent to floor debate on the package. The group appears to be operating under the theory that once you've used a nuclear weapon, all you need to do in the future is point to it.
Politico explains Paul/Cruz/Lee's rationale: "Conservatives are concerned that once that bill reaches the floor, amendments could stiffen restrictions on gun control." It's hard to find much of a reason for that concern; Reid is letting the assault weapons ban vote happen as an amendment specifically because he expects it to lose and doesn't want to taint the rest of the package.
As with his drone filibuster, Paul's move will play strongly to his base. A CBS News poll released today suggests that support for tighter gun laws has dropped since December. Overall, 47 percent of Americans want to see new gun measures — down from 53 percent last month, but still a plurality. For the first time since last April, a majority of respondents want to see either looser laws or no change.
Opposition to new regulations is partly strong among Republicans, more than half of whom say laws should be kept as they are. A plurality of independents and a majority of Democrats disagree.
But Paul can worry about the Democrat and independent vote once the primaries are over.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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