DN Editorial: NO MOVING ON: Thanks, Sen. Toomey, but no, there is no more important issue

Posted: April 19, 2013

PENNSYLVANIA Sen. Pat Toomey, who deserves praise for bringing the background-check gun legislation to the Senate, had this to say when it was defeated Wednesday, in a vote that fell six short of the 60 needed: "The Senate has spoken on the subject, and it's time to move on. We have a lot of other very important issues to deal with . . ."

Oh, no, it isn't time to move on. And no, we don't have anything more important than keeping this issue alive.

The gun industry and its NRA shills promoted bare-faced lies in fighting against the measure that would have required background checks on all commercial gun sales, including those made via Internet and gun shows, with ridiculous claims that it would lead to a national gun registry. Those lies and the money that accompanies them held sway with five cowardly Democratic senators and 49 Republicans who voted the measure down, in a big "go to hell" to the majority of Americans who favored background checks, and an even bigger "go to hell" to the families devastated by gun violence. That included Patricia Maisch, a survivor of the mass shooting in Tucson, Ariz., who was escorted out of the Capitol after yelling "Shame on you!" following the vote.

The fact that this happened days after the bombings in Boston that killed three adds a new level of outrage. That's because although we have no information yet on who was responsible for that terroristic violence, the Senate's actions send a message to anyone who thinks that violence is a plausible answer: a big shrug that tacitly endorses the continuation of terror - by bombs or by any other weapons.

Now is the time to make sure that victory comes from this momentary defeat. We agree with a much better response to the Senate vote, that of New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who said, "The only silver lining is that we now know who refuses to stand with the 90 percent of Americans - and in 2014, our ever-expanding coalition of supporters will work to make sure that voters don't forget." Meanwhile, there's work to be done, to keep the pressure on Congress and the White House to act.

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