by Max Brantley
The U.S. Senate today begins a series of votes on gun safety legislation, including a bipartisan but controversial effort to expand gun purchase background checks to gun shows.
Political opponents will be watching U.S. Sen. Mark Pryor closely. He's an important vote on filibusters, which will decide the outcome of the votes, most likely. Doubtful with an election next year that he'll cast a vote not approved by the NRA. And doubtful that he'll get credit from the gun zealots for siding with them.
For the record, the Progressive Change Committee has scheduled a news conference today to urge Pryor to support gun reform. It will cite polling that shows a majority of Arkansans — and a majority of gun owners — favor the legislation being considered today. That's a generally silent majority, however, compared with the shrill gun lobby, which no longer will accept any legislation pertaining to guns, period. The news conference today included Arkansas gun owners calling on Pryor to vote for background checks.
UPDATE: Here's a poll that shows Arkansans, like the rest of the country, favor expanded background checks. The beauty of this insanity is that the gun nuts simply say the polls are wrong. They know it. Just like they know, against all evidence to the contrary from A. Scalia and Co., that 2nd Amendment allows no regulation of guns.
UPDATE II: I tuned into the live broadcast long enough to hear Mark Pryor's vote against the measure. He mealymouths about it here.