There was mass fury at the Senate for filibustering a weakened gun background checks bill that had been driven by the outrage that one man with an AR-15 could kill 20 schoolchildren. What's more interesting is whether all that rage will end up changing anything on its own. Those who were pessimistic that Congress would ever take up gun regulations were felt vindicated. The gun bill was doomed from day one, The New York Times' Jennifer Steinhauer wrote on Thursday, because red-state Democrats have calculated that "the political fury of opponents would not be offset by support from those who favor tighter controls." Has that calculation changed? And would it apply to Republicans?
Supporters of more gun control promise that it has. Former Rep. Gabby Giffords, the victim of an assassination attempt in 2011, wrote in The New York Times, "Speaking is physically difficult for me. But my feelings are clear: I'm furious… I’m asking citizens to go to their offices and say: You’ve disappointed me, and there will be consequences." President Obama said, "you need to let your representatives in Congress know that you are disappointed, and that if they don’t act this time, you will remember come election time." The New York Daily News put together the photos of all the senators who voted to filibuster the bill, inviting readers to "Meet the cowards." "This fight has just begun," Joe Scarborough said on MSNBC Thursday. "The American people were insulted yesterday." The GOP, he said, "is moving toward extinction." Michael Bloomberg's Mayors Against Illegal Guns promised to air ads attacking the most vulnerable senators up who filibustered the bill and are up for reelection in 2014, as well as House Republicans in suburban districts. When Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's Facebook page posted an image (at right) gloating over the bill's death, the page was filled with thousands of angry comments promising to oust him.