In his Oval Office address Sunday evening, President Obama called for universal background checks on gun purchasers and to "make sure no one on a no-fly list is able to buy a gun." He called it "a matter of national security." It would seem like a no brainer.
But Republicans would have no part of it.
Even before the President spoke, both measures were defeated pretty much along party lines in the Republican-controlled Senate last week. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida argued that barring terror suspects from getting guns would violate their Second Amendment rights to get their semi-automatic assault rifles. What about the rights of their victims?
Republicans said their "thoughts and prayers" went out to the terror victims in the San Bernardino slaughter, but their hearts and votes clearly belong to the National Rifle Association. The NRA has spent over $27 million buying the loyalty of those 50 senators who voted against background checks, according to PolicyMic and the Center for Responsive Politics.
CRP reports 92 percent of Americans, including 74 percent of NRA members, support the background checks. But not the NRA brass.
It's worth noting that since 9/11 jihadi terrorists have killed 45 people in this country, compared to 48 by white supremacists and other right wing extremists, according to the New York Times. During that same period more than 200,000 Americans have been killed by guns.
Sen. Ted Cruz showed his NRA loyalty by holding a rally at a gun range two days after the San Bernardino shooting. It was the same range where he held another rally three days after nine people were shot at a black church in Charleston, South Carolina. This time he unveiled his Second Amendment Coalition of supporters of guns and Cruz. His greatest achievement was to demonstrate earlier this year how he could fry bacon wrapped around the barrel of a machine gun.
"[I]n Texas, we cook bacon a little differently than most folks," said Cruz in a video showing him firing a machine gun with the barrel wrapped in bacon and covered with aluminum foil. "Mmmmm. Machine gun bacon."
Cruz, now leading the polls in Iowa, said owning guns is a "God-given right" and dismissed gun control proposals as "being sensitive to Islamic terrorists."