Senates GOP’s ‘Dr. No’ Backs Background Checks For Gun Purchases

Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) is one of the Senate’s most aggressive obstructionists. He’s wielded the Senate’s broken rules to block or stall literally hundreds of bills, earning the nickname “Dr. No” in the process. Indeed, Coburn is so far out on the right fringe, he thinks Medicare and Medicaid violate the Constitution. And yet, even Coburn recognizes that the National Rifle Association’s opposition to universal background checks is untenable:

Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) is working with Democratic senators on a bill that would mandate background checks for all gun buyers, with some limited exceptions. . . . “I think there’s lots of good things that can happen in terms of mental health screening and checks,” Coburn told KRMG-TV Friday. “If you transfer your car, you have to have a license to transfer, it has to go through that. That’s a responsibility of freedom. I have no problems with us making sure that we don’t allow guns to get in the hands of either felons, or people who are a danger to themselves or other people. … I’m willing to work with Manchin and Schumer on that, and going to.”

A recent poll found that more than 9 in 10 Americans back “criminal background checks for all gun sales.” Just 8 percent agree with the NRA.