Our View: Many in Congress even afraid to vote on guns

December 12, 2013 

Congress showed itself to be craven even as members banned deadly plastic guns.

With the advent of three-dimensional printers, plastic guns can be readily made. Miscreants seeking to do violence can sneak them through metal detectors at airports or government buildings. There is no doubt that the House and Senate were doing the right thing by extending the Undetectable Firearms Act for another decade.

Just don’t ask how any individual member voted. The House and Senate approved the measure by voice vote. That means you can’t find out if your particular representative or senator voted with the gun lobby or against – though it’s clear that most voted against those who would have seen this measure defeated.

Voice votes are appropriate for entirely noncontroversial measures. This was not one of those.

If it had been without controversy, Congress would have approved it months ago, not moments before the deadline for approval.

Members who depend on support from Second Amendment absolutists simply didn’t want to take grief for their stand on the plastic gun bill, whatever it might have been. Extending the plastic gun ban was hardly a profile in courage.

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