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Rounds, Thune Oppose Senate’s Compromise Gun Safety Bill

Senate negotiators have agreed on a compromise gun safety bill that does not ban guns or bullet clips designed for fast mass killing or significantly expand background checks. The bill does…

  • Require that the national background check system check state juvenile records for buyers age 18 to 21, though that requirement sunsets in 2032;
  • Expand grants to states to enforce red flag laws and other interventions;
  • Suspend your right to have a gun if you beat up your boyfriend or girlfriend (though you get your right back five years after you’ve finished your sentence, if you don’t do other violence);
  • Pour a bunch of money into mental health services;
  • Tighten the definition of gun dealers to pull more sales out of the regulatory shadows and into the background-check system;
  • Crack down on illegal gun dealers.

Senate Majority Leaer Mitch McConnell says this bill works for him and for the Second Amendment:

“Our colleagues have put together a commonsense package of popular steps that will help make these horrifying incidents less likely while fully upholding the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens,” McConnell said in a statement [Kelsey Snell, “Senators Reach Final Bipartisan Agreement on Gun Safety Bill,” NPR, 2022.06.22].

But even addressing the side problems to gun violence is too much for McConnell’s #2, varmint-scaremonger Senator John Thune, who joined 33 Republican Senators in voting against even discussing the bill Tuesday night. Likewise Senator Mike Rounds, who says he’s a slow reader:

“They only provided us with legislative text one hour before the vote was scheduled and the legislation is about 80 pages long. I’m not a real fast reader when it comes to that,” Rounds said [Perry Groten, “Thune, Rounds Oppose Senate Gun Bill,” KELO-TV, 2022.06.22].

…and who sees no problem with letting boyfriends who smack their dates keep packing heat:

But Rounds says the bill’s closing of the so-called “boyfriend loophole” goes too far.

“If you have a young couple that would have an argument and if one of the two individuals is found guilty of a misdemeanor offense in the altercation, a misdemeanor, they lose their Second Amendment rights for a period of five years. I think that’s moving in the wrong direction for a misdemeanor violation,” Rounds said [Groten, 2022.06.22].

I don’t know, Mike: that misdemeanor dodge didn’t work for Jason Ravnsborg this week; are you sure you want to hang your resistance to doing something—anything—to respond to the Uvalde/Buffalo/Ames/I’m-losing-count gun murders? How is this constant stream of death preserving America’s freedom in any way that excuses your legislative inaction?

Maybe we shouldn’t worry too much: Rounds and Thune and NRA be jiggered, the bill will likely pass the Senate, and the slimly Democratically controlled House’s only reason for not passing this bill would be that it doesn’t go far enough to seriously respond to gun murders in America…and that’s still a poor reason not to take the only steps that are going to pass this Congress.

But the reason this lackluster bill is the best we can do is that Congress is filled with gun nuts like Rounds and Thune who sanctify an obsolete Constitutional provision and a destructive gun culture at the ongoing cost of innocent lives.

Update 10:30 CDT: But the Thomas Court says today that requiring people to show good reason for walking around with guns hidden in their pants is unconstitutional. The Supreme Court this morning overturned a New York state law requiring that applicants for concealed weapons licenses demonstrate proper cause to carry a gun, because, says Justice Thomas, carrying a gun in public for self-defense is a basic right.


  1. Scott 2022-06-23 10:31

    How much money has Rounds received from the wife beater lobby?

  2. cibvet 2022-06-23 11:02

    This bill makes about as much sense as voting thune, rounds, dusty and noem into office and expect good things to happen.
    Nothing but political posturing to brag about at election time.

  3. All Mammal 2022-06-23 11:52

    This won’t wash off those gory hands, you lousy…oh there’s something waiting for your hides. This is just as much on you as the d-bag pulling the trigger

    Sleep tight. I wrote this for Thune and Rounds and the rest of the toothpick holders:

    Amen, a woman.

    They say they love freedom. You have no freedom without thought.
    They say they love America. Then forced me to watch her get shot.
    The dream wasn’t told to me. It was sold to me.
    They say, “No way. Not in America.”
    Then why is it still spelled with a triple K, your Amerikkka?
    The brotherhood walks the streets, armed to the teeth. A brother holds his palms flat on the street, still turned to a sieve.
    They call it justified homicide. It wasn’t their kind thats died. They say it on tv, so it must be believed.
    They say they want me to succeed while they watch me bleed. How can I trust what they say, Amerikkka with an AK loaded with FMJ?
    They tell me to just say no when I’m walking to school. While they stand on the corner and prescribe me a death tool.
    They give me the hollow point seeds and tell me reap what I sow. Unfortunately for me that means pine boxes and life on death row.
    They vow to protect something that can’t even breathe life. But won’t look at bereaved mothers, betrothed as Misery’s new wife.
    Girls possess nothing, our bodies taken from last night’s maraud. They still won’t look at the mothers screaming curses at God.
    They claim they are true patriots and bleed red white and blue. Yet when she calls, they send ME to stain my hands red to prove that I’m true.
    They wave signs emblazoned, “Vote for me” and, “I am not a crook”. They leave nothing good left, consuming it all like a warm air chinook.
    They tell me I must pay my own way. They toss me the bill after their play and stay.
    “Roll up those sleeves” I hear as I’m hoisting by my boot straps. I asked the teacher if they were lying. She said, “Perhaps”.
    Teacher asked me to write out my thoughts. She did her job wrong by teaching kids, not robots.
    They gave her a pink slip once they read what I said: They say it stands for liberty. But my country was never ‘tis of thee.
    No way. Not my Amerikkka.

  4. Loren 2022-06-23 12:23

    After the Buffalo super market shooting, I wrote to Thune to urge that he “do absolutely NOTHING” in order to keep his perfect record. I hope he didn’t take that seriously, because he was on national news saying the reason he voted against it was because S. Dakotans would want him to vote that way. Yes, John, there are dead grandmothers laying in the aisle of a super market, children laying dead in classrooms, parishioners dead in their pews, concert goers dead in front of the stage, movie goers dead in their seats…, and you, butthole, are concerned that some 18 year old South Dakotan will be attacked by a PRAIRIE DOG? Does he have any idea how stupid that makes SD residents sound?

  5. O 2022-06-23 12:23

    The claims of self defense from these Congressmen and Justices who work in buildings that prohibit people from bearing arms, who at the first hint of danger are encircled with law enforcement protection all ring quite hollow for me. This is all really about property rights and the purchased indignation of a lobbying group that has become nothing more than the sales arm of the gun industry.

    The Second Amendment as now interpreted requires a reckless disregard for the welfare of others and an infantile focus on selfish wants.

    That being said, the toothpaste can never be put back in the tube. This nation is decades past the point where any meaningful gun control can be implemented. The number of guns in circulation undermines the ability of effective control anymore. Nothing short of confiscation (voluntary or otherwise) will have any real affect on the insanity of public gun violence. The rest is political posturing.

  6. larry kurtz 2022-06-23 12:46

    Why anyone is surprised by this remains a mystery. Follow the money. Thune has taken $700,000 and Rounds over $100,000.

    their own protection.
    But prohibition won’t work. Yes, bullying can lead to massacres but when the US ended the draft in 1973 the number of mass shootings began to rise. Compulsory military service or police training might indeed be one way to slow gun violence. Enlistment could look like the Swiss model where soon after high school eighteen year olds would join for two years then re-up or enroll in the college or vocational training of ones choosing.

    Raise the civilian age of possession, operation and ownership of all firearms to 21, levy 100% excise taxes on the sales of semi-automatic weapons then tag the revenue for Medicaid expansion so parents have the resources to address the devastating effects of Fox News on American youth.

  7. larry kurtz 2022-06-23 13:03

    Republicans have no shame. Love to them is how much money they can gouge from the other guy.

  8. mike from iowa 2022-06-23 13:07

    magats already balked at raising the age to own or buy assault weapons. That was DOA when negotiations first began in the new bill. magats were bragging about Biden being the loser in the war on guns because thwey blocked every proposal Biden offered.

    Partisan gamesmanship from the party that hates America and Americans unless they be white.

  9. bearcreekbat 2022-06-23 13:12

    Ah, Bruen now apparently (I haven’t read the opinion so I could be wrong) confirms a new unconditional 2nd Amendment right to carry a gun for self defense without allowing the government to place conditions requiring anyone to show some valid justification for exercising that newly expanded right to carry, whether or not concealed. So, wouldn’t this mean anyone can now carry their concealed weapon into schools, government offices, courtrooms, state capitols, churches, et al, without any interference by that pesky government? The signs prohibiting guns posted in front of county courthouses and other public venues surely are no longer constitutional under this new 2nd Amendment unconditional right to carry a gun for self defense; after all what if there is a prarie dog or other tyupe of varmit hiding in the corner ready to attack?

    Bet this guy wishes he had his AR-15 available:

  10. John 2022-06-23 16:48

    Sunsetting the background check plank is EXTREMELY STUPID. Sunsetting the background check planks is as STUPID as sunsetting the assault weapon ban. Sunsetting the background check plans is as STUPID as sunsetting the school meal funding.
    Sunsetting is STUPID public policy putting the focus on future fund raising and removes the focus from progressive public policy.

    IF the facts change then rescind the law. Do not blindly sunset a law just because maybe.

  11. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2022-06-23 17:35

    Self-defense, courthouses… O and BCB get me thinking…

    I have a right to self-defense. Rather than carrying firearms with me at all times and living in a constant state of awareness of a lethal weapon at my side, constant surveillance of my surroundings, and constant preparedness to shoot and kill any menacing human being around me—activities and a state of being that I believe would ultimately do me and the people around me more harm than good—I would prefer that the state require that all armed people around me carry their firearms openly so I can clearly see that they are armed, recognize the danger their armed state poses to me, avoid interacting with them, and turn them away if they attempt to enter my home or other property.

    However, Thune, Rounds, and now the court appear to be favoring one unique approach to self-defense. They recognize my right to self-defense but only if I choose to carry a gun for that purpose. They won’t require the armed people around me to display their weapons, let alone take my preferred step of telling people that they can’t just walk around town with a pistol la-tee-da, that they have to be a cop or at least someone with a heightened, clear and present risk of being targeted personally by brigands or assassins, or even taking the radical step of saying, “What the heck business do any of you rimshots have walking around town with loaded pistols? Lock ’em up!”

    If I can’t count on the state to help me defend myself, if the state is expecting me to conform to the gun culture and provide my own security at the barrel of a gun, then how can the state justify protecting its own agents—Supreme Court Justices, courthouse staff, former Presidents—by making any public building or the NRA convention a gun-free zone? Aren’t SCOTUS and Thune and Rounds really saying that self-defense isn’t just a right but the total responsibility of each individual?

    And at that point, if I have to carry a deadly weapon with me everywhere I go just to feel safe, what the heck am I paying taxes for? I’m no better off than I was in the state of nature, which I formed a social contract to escape, with all the rest of you. We all thought life would be less solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short if we formed a government to defend us and relive us of the burden of constant warfare. If we all have to defend ourselves with deadly force every day, then our social contract has failed, and we need to start anew—or just buy up all the bullets we can before the factories and civilization in general collapse and mow down anyone who comes near our barricaded gardens and goat plots.

    Does the Supreme Court recognize the point of the social contract or not?

  12. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2022-06-23 17:51

    Yeah, but John, come on, it’s like with the 1994 assault weapons ban, which included a 10-year sunset clause. We only need the law to be in effect for ten years, because no one will want to shoot anyone after that.

    Oh, wait… maybe it just buys us time to forget the urgency that drove our solution this year, and the gunmakers can pick up their profits again. If it takes 30 year to pass some small restriction that only lasts ten years, then over the long term, gunmakers still make a profit.

  13. bearcreekbat 2022-06-23 18:11

    Well I finally read Thomas’ majority opinion in Bruen and his analysis conflicts with one of his purported assurances. Thomas assures us that:

    Consider, for example, Heller’s discussion of “longstanding” “laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings.” 554 U. S., at 626. Although the historical record yields relatively few 18th- and 19th-century “sensitive places” where weapons were altogether prohibited—e.g., legislative assemblies, polling places, and courthouses—we are also aware of no disputes regarding the lawfulness of such prohibitions. See D. Kopel & J. Greenlee, The “Sensitive Places” Doctrine, 13 Charleston L. Rev. 205, 229–236, 244– 247 (2018); see also Brief for Independent Institute as Amicus Curiae 11–17. We therefore can assume it settled that these locations were “sensitive places” where arms carrying could be prohibited consistent with the Second Amendment. And courts can use analogies to those historical regulations of “sensitive places” to determine that modern regulations prohibiting the carry of firearms in new and analogous sensitive places are constitutionally permissible.


    This assurance seems hollow, however, given the precise holding of Bruen that iumposes a brand new standard for determining whether the government may restrict the carrying of a firearm

    We reiterate that the standard for applying the Second Amendment is as follows: When the Second Amendment’s plain text covers an individual’s conduct, the Constitution presumptively protects that conduct. The government must then justify its regulation by demonstrating that it is consistent with the Nation’s historical tradition of firearm regulation. Only then may a court conclude that the individual’s conduct falls outside the Second Amendment’s “unqualified command.”

    p. 15


    Instead, the government must affirmatively prove that its firearms regulation is part of the historical tradition that delimits the outer bounds of the right to keep and bear arms.


    Despite Thomas’ claim that Heller engaged in a “discussion of “longstanding” “laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places,” I could find no such discussion in the text of Heller. Likewise, Thomas identifies no such historical laws, except one: the Statute of Northampton, which prohibited carrying a weapon with the intent to terrorize. In other it did not prohibit carrying a gun anywhere unless it was later proved the defendant did so to terrorize people. So, for example, it would seem a thug could not be stopped from carrying a gun into a school but could be later prosecuted if his motive was determined to be to terrorize.

    Thomas describes one particularly pithy example of the historical attitude that a free citizen could carry a gun anywhere at all:

    in Dred Scott v. Sandford, 19 How. 393 (1857), Chief Justice Taney offered what he thought was a parade of horribles that would result from recognizing that free blacks were citizens of the United States. If blacks were citizens, Taney fretted, they would be entitled to the privileges and immunities of citizens, including the right “to keep and carry arms wherever they went.” Id., at 417 (emphasis added). Thus, even Chief Justice Taney recognized (albeit unenthusiastically in the case of blacks) that public carry was a component of the right to keep and bear arms—a right free blacks were often denied in antebellum America.

    p. 52. (Emphasis in text by Thomas).

    Thus, Cory’s questions make perfect sense. Why fund the police?, just carry a gun. Thomas certainly doesn’t seem to recognize a social contract that protects everyone, so long as he and Ginni are protected; everyone else can just fend for themselves.

  14. Mark Anderson 2022-06-23 19:11

    What do you expect? Republicans are willing to sacrifice well over one million Americans for their idea of freedom, you know, no masks, no vaccines. They are willing to put up with the deaths of children, worshipers, shoppers, movie goers to preserve their right to go to the gun range and blast away. It’s an integral part of their idea of freedom. They will pray for them but you know in your heart they don’t give a damn.

  15. O 2022-06-23 19:24

    Bearcreekbat, the language your refer to of “tradition of laws/regulations” that Thomas uses sounds like the kind of language used by Alito in the leaked Roe reversal text. It is the wolf in sheep’s clothing — the radical reinterpretation of Constitutional law disguised as traditional — even president affirming — reasoning. The issue is as you point out, that is NOT the tradition of law. In both the gun and abortion debate, society, practice, and the elements in use (be it abortion procedures or the weapons at hand for purchase), it is silly to even begin to draw the analogy between today’s circumstances and those of the past two centuries. This all seems an intellectual move to erase two centuries of progressive thought under the guise of “tradition.”

    Heller and the establishment of the Second Amendment as an individual right was a bad decision. The Second Amendment text clearly states that the right to bare arms is to serve the purpose of having a well-regulated militia. Once the government took on the burden of arming its own militia (during the Civil War), the right should have been rendered moot.

    I will also add, that there will be no limit to the legal twisting the court or congress will do to ensure that this absolute Second Amendment does not threaten them personally. The ban on firearms in THEIR places fo work will always be upheld — by them.

  16. O 2022-06-23 19:25

    Mark, the Dow and only the Dow matters when it comes to policy decisions.

  17. RST Tribal Member 2022-06-23 23:36

    When the inept inbred Republicans take the U.S. Constitution to the shedding machine and the U.S. no longer functions as a country those ill gotten treaties will be voided as one of the parties signing no longer exist.

    In World Court the original landowners will be made whole again. Hurry up trump with your inept inbred republican clowns and get the job done started decades ago. South Dakota leadership is all in as are a few other states.

    Indian Country watches and waits.

  18. bearcreekbat 2022-06-24 01:44

    Almost comically, Alito glibly asserts in his concurring opinion,

    And because many people face a serious risk of lethal violence when they venture outside their homes, the Second Amendment was understood at the time of adoption to apply under those circumstances.

    Let’s see now, given the current gun loving environment, “many people face a serious risk of lethal violence outside their homes,” including at elementary schools, high schools, colleges, churchs, synagogues, public buildings, courthouses, the U.S. Capitol, buiilding, the Pentagon, sky scrapers, sports events, marathons, and these days virtually anywhere else outside the home. Therefore, using this new historical analysis, i.e. how “the Second Amendment was understood at the time of adoption to apply under those circumstances” as Alito explains, coupled with Thomas’ “analogue” language, the majority ruling must mean gun lovers can now carry a gun virtually anywhere at any time.

    Amazing how this new radical conservative analytical framework for avoiding government interference with carrying guns simply feeds on itself. And as O predicts, it will be fascinating to see exactly how Thomas and Alito, et al, engage in the “legal twisting” necessary “to ensure that this absolute Second Amendment does not threaten them personally” after declaring such a broad 2nd Amendment prohibition against reasonable legal limitations on carrying guns.

  19. ABC 2022-06-24 03:05

    Thune and Rounds feed school and grocery store massacres. 2nd Amendment should be amended further in clear 21st century English.
    The right to unlimited guns has to go. If you have 400 cats in your house, any city or town will REMOVE your cats so you dont create a health hazard to yourself or others.

    Darn right, wife beaters should have no guns!

    The best thing is THIS YEAR–retire ROUNDS, send him home.

    Less guns, less massacres–it works in Australia and New Zealand, it will work here.

  20. leslie 2022-06-24 16:32

    If we look at politics in 1850 concerning slavery and guns, it is clear assault rifle sunsets and gutting the Voting Rights Acts were grave compromises and mistakes the GOP took full advantage of. The Assassin’s Accomplice, Kate Clifford Larson (Basic Books 2008)

  21. leslie 2022-06-26 09:08

    indeed, similarly, “something was going to happen to Old Abe which would prevent him from taking his seat, and that Gen Lee would make a movement that would startle the whole world.” Larson, ASSASSIN’S at 61.

    Republicans have done it before and we have seen the ‘lost cause” before too, as Thune, McConnell struggle to hold on to power for their corporate capitalist benefactors (owners).

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