In a government where any progress on gun control, no matter how minuscule, is viewed as apostasy, even incremental change feels impossible. Which is why today, led by Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Senate Democrats are attempting something a bit different: The filibuster.
The two goals are both simple and sensible: Deny suspected terrorists the right to purchase any firearms, and make universal background checks mandatory. Here’s what Murphy had to say on the Senate floor:
“I’m going to remain on this floor until we get some signal, some sign that we can come together on these two measures, that we can get a path forward on addressing this epidemic in a meaningful, bipartisan way.
The idea is that Democrats will attach amendments stipulating these new rules to a spending bill currently being debated on the floor. Murphy started speaking at 11:20 a.m., and most of his colleagues were ignorant of his plans. However, some of them, including Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), seem to be rowing in behind him.
Still, Republicans will be bitterly opposed to either rules—especially background checks—and prospects of getting them through are dim. Why? Because this is America, where guns rule. Even so, at least the Democrats are starting to actually fight.