Senate Rejects Expanded Background Checks In Gun Bill

Senate Rejects Expanded Background Checks In Gun BillThe Senate on Wednesday defeated a vital background check amendment seen as the linchpin to Democrats’ gun control bill, dealing a major setback to President Obama — who lashed out at opponents in unusually blunt terms during remarks from the Rose Garden.

‘Shameful day’

“All in all, this was a pretty shameful day for Washington,” Obama said, accusing the gun lobby of lying about the bill.

The failure of the background check proposal authored by Sens. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and Pat Toomey, R-Pa., now imperils the entire legislation. The proposal would have expanded background checks to gun shows and Internet sales while exempting personal transactions. The amendment was aimed at winning over reluctant conservatives, who were opposed to the more stringent background check plan in the existing bill.


‘Political pressure’

The vote was 54-46, with supporters falling six votes short of the required 60-vote threshold. Obama vowed to press on, saying the vote was “just round one,” while decrying those he claimed “caved” to political pressure.

Opponents, which included a few Democrats, voiced concern that the proposal would infringe on Second Amendment rights by imposing a burden on those buying and selling guns. They claimed the proposed system would not have prevented Newtown, and would not stop criminals. They also voiced concern about the possibility that the expanded system could lead to a gun registry, though the amendment language prohibits this.

The Senate gun bill would extend background checks to nearly all gun purchases, toughen penalties against illegal gun trafficking and add small sums to school safety programs.

Are you in favor of expanded background checks in the gun control bill? Why or why not?

Source: Fox News

Image: Rolling Out

Arizona Bill Could Outlaw Internet Trolling

After spending years targeting illegal aliens, the Grand Canyon State is turning its sights on obnoxious Internet users (commonly called ‘trolls’). A new update to the state’s telecommunications harassment bill could make the practice of harassing people online illegal.

Arizona House Bill 2549 has already passed both of the state’s legislative bodies and is currently sitting on the desk of Governor Jan Brewer. While there’s a lot in there that doesn’t concern trolling, here’s the line that has people worried:

It is unlawful for any person, with intent to terrify, intimidate, threaten, harass, annoy or offend, to use ANY ELECTRONIC OR DIGITAL DEVICE and use any obscene, lewd or profane language or suggest any lewd or lascivious act, or threaten to inflict physical harm to the person or property of any person.


Violators could be charged with a Class 1 misdemeanor and face up to 6 months in jail. If electronic devices are used to stalk someone, the charges then become a Class 3 felony, with penalties ranging from a minimum sentence of two and a half years in jail for non-dangerous offenders with no prior record to 25 years.

Despite its good intentions, the Arizona law is already being called “overly broad” by critics. By using vague terms like “annoy” and “offend,” it could easily encompass Internet forums or even comments like the ones found at the end of this story. Free speech groups say they don’t believe the law would ever stand up to court scrutiny if Gov. Brewer does, in fact, sign it. And many have pointed out the flaws in the bill to the governor herself.

Source: Yahoo News

Image: Tick Content