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Senate Rejects Gun Safety; President Gets Cranky

The United States Senate today rejected measures to protect Americans from gun violence. South Dakota's Republican Senator John Thune voted against more background checks, stiffer punishments for firearms trafficking, banning assault weapons, and regulating large-capacity ammunition magazines (more than 10 rounds). South Dakota's retiring Democratic Senator Tim Johnson voted against banning assault weapons but for the other three measures listed here.

With that, I yield the floor to the esteemed gentleman from Chicago, who called the NRA liars:

One key passage from President Barack Obama's speech this afternoon:

I've heard some say that blocking this step would be a victory. And my question is, a victory for who? A victory for what? All that happened today was the preservation of the loophole that lets dangerous criminals buy guns without a background check. That didn't make our kids safer. Victory for not doing something that 90 percent of Americans, 80 percent of Republicans, the vast majority of your constituents wanted to get done? It begs the question, who are we here to represent?

I've heard folks say that having the families of victims lobby for this legislation was somehow misplaced. "A prop," somebody called them. "Emotional blackmail," some outlet said. Are they serious? Do we really think that thousands of families whose lives have been shattered by gun violence don't have a right to weigh in on this issue? Do we think their emotions, their loss is not relevant to this debate?

So all in all, this was a pretty shameful day for Washington [President Barack Obama, White House speech, as transcribed by Steve Benen, 2013.04.17].

Perhaps oddly for a man whose party holds two-thirds of South Dakota's Congressional delegation, South Dakota Senate Majority Leader Russell Olson responds by saying "Why single out just one day?"


  1. John Hess 2013.04.18

    Mind numbing. What kind of person is John Thune?

  2. Rorschach 2013.04.18

    Really? John Thune doesn't even want to clamp down on firearms trafficking?

  3. Mark Schuler 2013.04.18

    Our President and Congress are to PROTECT our Constitution and the BILL OF RIGHTS! Not chip away at it! Honest citizens buy their guns through proper channels and have no problem with back ground checks! Criminals DO NOT buy their guns through proper channels! They buy from under ground channels to go undetected to accomplish their intended agenda. And yes, congress voted for "self preservation", they want to keep their perks and cushie jobs and listened to their constituants. Its my understanding,the President came from Chicago, Ill. which has the most laws of gun control and the most killings by guns! The guns are not the problem but the people who choose to use them in a hurtful way.The laws should reflect actions taken against criminals that use gun with intent to do harm! Throw the book at them! Look at Sandy Hook, the media and the President blames the guns, not the person who chose to do this, but at the Boston Marathon, the media and the President blame the person who did this(the bomber) and not the bomb? What?? Talk about politics, it stinks of politics! I don't know what the bigger picture is, but the President and Congress are doing there best to turn us into a third world country. While I understand and hope that at schools and sporting events, that the FBI and the police are doing everything in there power to protect its citizenery!

  4. DB 2013.04.18

    Their attempts to bolster a false sense of security failed to pass. Bummer. The feds wouldn't enforce them anyways, much like they don't enforce current laws.

  5. John Hess 2013.04.18

    Then DB, why not sell alcohol directly to minors?

  6. Jerry 2013.04.18

    Our people (90% of us anyway) have the right to demand a law that not only protects the 2nd Amendment, but also protects us and our children and theirs. This was and is not about chipping away at anything, to me, it is about common sense. We already have background checks, we just do not have them a gun shows and private treaty sales. This law or any law, can be circumvented for sure. Case in point are the drug laws for an example.

    Your trail about the marathon is how these kinds of discussions become watered down. It seems to me that the NRA has mastered that and it just may come back to bite them and politicos like Johnny cakes, right on the boo boo. John has always been a coward when it comes to politics. His shtick has always been, hey I am John Thune and I am a pretty boy that knows how to accept my place. Seriously, what has this empty suit done for the state of South Dakota other than be a reliable vote for the NRA and for all the other extremist, obstructionist boneheaded ways of Washington. You go on about how "the FBI and the police are doing everything in their power to protect" but you fail to mention the ATF. That investigative arm and enforcement portion of government that does just that, does not have a leader at present. Your hero Johnny cakes and his gang refuse to allow one to be appointed. He is a dud of a dude and a complete fake that allowed the NRA to lie to you and the rest of America. He hopes that your brain capacity will move on to something that is more worthwhile, like looking at your belly button. This bill was defeated on an outright lie and you swallowed it, hook line and sinker Mr. Schuler. You and the rest of the 10% can be proud of that though. You are proving that we really are losing our democracy and helping to prove that Marx may have been right.

  7. Bill Sundstrom 2013.04.18

    3500 people have died by gun violence in the USA since the Sandy Hook - Newtown masacre.
    30 thousand die by gun violence each year. More than 80% of Dakotans want stronger Federal background checks for gun purchasers. John Thune has FAILED to represent us. He needs to be FIRED in the next election.

    Added notes about the USA: About 900,000 have died in gun since 1980. About 3,000 have died from terrorism since 1970. No cost is too much to stop terrorists, but banning assaut weapons and large gun magazines - or even a simple, universal background has been stopped by American EXTREMISTS like John Thune. Shame on us for electing those extremists.

  8. DB 2013.04.18

    Do the feds overlook minors purchasing beer like they do adults lying on background checks? As far as alcohol goes, I fully believe in allowing adults to drink when they turn 18. I fully support allowing younger children to be taught that alcohol is not a taboo and it has its place. Maybe that is why other countries don't have the alcohol abuse like we do.

  9. Jerry 2013.04.18

    DB, when was it that a FED checked your ID to buy a Blatz? You are going down another trail of deceit that has nothing whatsoever to do with background checks. Now, here in South Dakota if you are caught lying with an ID about your age, you are gonna get in deep problems. Has nothing to do with the Feds, has everything to do with the state law. To show you that you are correct in the ways of alcohol abuse, I only have to show you Canada and how that country deals with alcohol and its youth...they smoke pot.

  10. DB 2013.04.18

    Jerry, that went right over your head if you didn't interpret how I agree with the obvious oranges and apples comparison.

  11. Les 2013.04.18

    Talk about lies and distortions, this post has its share. Wishing ATF had a leader? Would that be a leader selling guns to the Mexican drug cartels? Do any of you protest the lightly prosecuted crimes or current laws not enforced as much as wanting more laws to protect a complacent society? Half the numbers quoted above are suicides. Do we give up rights to see what works?.
    Those were not attempts to bolster a false sense of security DB, they were attempts to subvert the constitution.
    The outcry from above has more to do with a victory for those clinging to their guns and bibles than any loss outside of the lives here.

  12. John Hess 2013.04.18

    The outcry is from the vast majority of people who supported this bill. We have a group of spineless Senators afraid of a very vocal (and often misinformed) 10% fed by a lying NRA. If there's a camera, Thune will be posing behind McConnell next to Barrasso. Party line boys without courage.

  13. bret clanton 2013.04.18

    Bill, can you tell me where you can find the 80% of dakotans stat because I cannot seem to find that anywhere.....

  14. John Hess 2013.04.18

    And there's obviously no excuse for those 4 Democrats. There's just no reasoning with people who think the Constitution is a sacred document that can't be altered to fit modern times. We should be able to vote for our own laws when Congress fails over and over and over. Occasionally Russell is right!

  15. Joseph g Thompson 2013.04.18

    I think maybe it is time for a national ID card. The card could serve many purposes, to include the ability to buy a firearm, vote, passport, and drivers license. Seems to me it would be a good compromise, the right wants proof of citizenship to vote and the left wants background checks for gun purchases. Oh, Oh, without adoubt somebody is going to yell apples to oranges.

  16. Joseph g Thompson 2013.04.18

    and John Hess, the Constitution is a sacred document to me and there is a way to change the document and it is called an amendment. Start a petition drive to ask the South Dakota legislature to request a bill be passed restrict gun purchases or go right to congress. It is easy to belly ache but most people lack the guts to stand up as shown by the names used by many people who post here.

  17. John Hess 2013.04.18

    Fortunately most people in South Dakota feel safe and take that for granted. I lived in a CA metro neighborhood with regular gun shots. You could never relax and feel comfortable. A pizza delivery guy was shot and killed at my apartment building for his change. A jogger was randomly stabbed outside my other building (better neighborhood). After you've heard someone screaming for their life you're willing to look at how to limit/restrict crazy people, and some reasonable ways to curb violence. People here can have a theoretical argument if they want to, but it's a very different thing when you have experienced high crime rates.

  18. Troy 2013.04.18

    John, please. I have been robbed at gun point. I've too been there. I also resent that the inference the President and you all value the lives of students and the innocent more than those who oppose this bill.

    At the end of the day, background checks will not impact people intent on getting and using a firearm illegally. Laws don't stop lawbreakers. They punish them.

    Safety is good. Giving people a false sense of safety is bad. This bill for all your theory of making us safer is a bromide.

  19. Bill Fleming 2013.04.18

    Troy that's a terrible argument. If you extend it, it says we shouldn't have any laws because lawbreakers will just break them anyway so what's the point. You know better than that.

  20. Joseph g Thompson 2013.04.18

    Been there done that John, thats why I live in South Dakota. Like the values like the low crime. I am for background checks but what will you use to prove the person is who they say they are are. Oh, I know, anybody who wants a gun needs a picture ID before the background check can be completed. What the heck, lets put on the form were he lives, lets make him update it every 5 years and if he doesn't update it is a crime, lets make him put on the form what kind of guns he owns and what kind he wants to buy. In the right circumstance, we could ask him his political or religious affiliation.
    If you want to see the slippery slope, all you have to do
    is read the 14th Amendment, read how it was interpretted in the 1800's and then how it is interpretted today.
    You want background checks, then do them on everybody and issue a national ID card.

  21. Troy 2013.04.18


    Your and my civil libertarian tendency is to have laws that punish those who do harm. Not have laws that impede on the freedoms of those who do no harm. Especially when the imposition only gives a false sense of security. It is doubly poor legislation.

  22. Jenny 2013.04.18

    The Senate not passing this is upsetting to me. Come on, Background checks are commonplace everywhere these days, from getting a job, to renting an apartment.
    I don't buy the 'false sense of security argument', Troy. Both sides need to step up and find some common ground.

  23. Les 2013.04.18

    Jenny, my daughter walked in to vote in Sturgis. "Hi, my name is Erin xxxxxxz". Ok, here you are Erin, thanks for voting. No question on her identity or request for ID. Now Jenny, were you and your liberal bent not p&m about ID requirements for voters last fall?
    John Hess, don't try to run SD from Cali. I had roomies across the hall in my Mpls apartment 70's era shoot each other until one died. I later left the cities after punks broke into my home twice and burglarized us the 2nd time. I've got friends that tired of stepping over bodies and left the cities for SD. They came here for our values not to change them.
    Joseph Thompson and Bill Dithmer, two folks I respect beyond compare, I love you both. I've got a passport, drivers license, pilots license and fed ID for pilots, REAL birth cert, REAL social, multiple utility bills addressed to me, virtual ID and The Lord only knows how many other methods of tracking or ID'ing me.
    I will never mind it a bit if it becomes a law on requiring ID to purchase any gun anywhere and most of responsible gun owners do just that before ever selling a gun.

  24. John 2013.04.18

    The US Senate stopped representing the will of the people years ago to merely represent the will of their donors. In rural states most of those donors, measured by weighted contributions, are out of state donors. Why else do you think SD, MT, ND, etc., became senate czars of the banksters instead of the more-expensive-to-buy senators from NY (home of Wall Street).

  25. Les 2013.04.18

    And brother Tim has served them well John. Thanks for bringing the economy of negative scale to light. The moola will flow in SD in 14!

  26. John 2013.04.19

    Les, yes it will be quite a campaign - the clash of the out-of-state wallets. When a DC politician spends / invests / wastes 70-80% of their time fund raising it's blatantly obvious whom they serve. Since most of the rural states DC politicians raise most of their money from out-of-state- contributors it's equally obvious whom they serve. Only the willfully blind and those whose financial being depends on this corruption of the republic don't see the problem - the US Supreme Court is among them.

  27. John Hess 2013.04.19

    The people aren't being served, that's for sure. Don't see it changing. Special interests, big pockets, revolving door, Citizens United, etc. The system is working pretty well for them as reflected by this vote.

  28. John Hess 2013.04.19

    Does anyone know Jonathon Cooper, a SD guy? This article ( is about moderate gun owners who differ from the NRA. The comments are mostly distrustful and very extreme, although for sure those on the left can be just as extreme. I once suggested to a friend from CA we throw up a few clay birds (which required an explanation). He reacted as though I suggested we go rob and kill the clerk at 7-Eleven. This is an intelligent person but he just freaked out. Ultimately, people in the middle will need to make the decisions on gun control. There's no dealing with the extremists on either end of this problem. They're not rationale.

  29. DB 2013.04.19

    It's good to see Jerry pointing out the ATF's involvement. Now, please go visit your local gun dealer and ask them how often the ATF follows up on gun purchasing violations. Then, ask them how often they follow up on straw purchases that dealers are unaware of.

  30. Jerry 2013.04.19

    As my daddy used to say DB, if you are so sure, go there, and then tell us the details. Me, I have a life and am too busy to bother with that. Regarding my local gun dealer, I actually have none. As I have no further need for guns other than what I now possess, it would not make sense for me to spend my moolah to duplicate. I sight and clean and do regular maintenance and have found that by doing that, I really can rely on myself. I guess that is the old infantryman in me. I do tend to shop for ammo though and have found that I can find some pretty good buys by just paying attention to the sales across the state and not making purchases around hunting season unless there is a hell of a deal. We will be waiting for your report from your local gun dealer though DB, with baited breath. Go get'um tiger. You too will find that the ATF needs a leader and how very important they are in these times in particular.

  31. DB 2013.04.19

    Jerry, if you aren't going to get informed, I won't do it for you. You like to comment on the ATF's involvement, but you aren't even willing to learn about it. Just goes to show that people who have no idea of the enforcement of current laws really have no business commenting on creating new ones.

  32. Les 2013.04.19

    Holding Maddville to its high standards Jer?

Comments are closed.