The morning after the U.S. Senate failed to pass a bipartisan compromise to expand background checks to gun shows and online sales, MSNBC’s ‘Morning Joe’ host Joe Scarborough raged against the lawmakers who blocked the bill. Scarborough, a former Republican Congressman, predicted both his party as well as the “Democrats who cowered in the corner” would “pay a heavy price” in the 2014 midterm elections.
As the show flashed images of each senator who voted against the measure, Scarborough reminded viewers that 90 percent of Americans support universal background checks, an even more extensive proposal than the one ultimately included in the failed bill. The former GOP legislator warned that his party will face “extinction” for opposing such an overwhelmingly popular bill:
You don’t ignore 90 percent of what the voting population wants when you’re talking about the safety of Americans, of our families, of our communities, of our schools. The safety that we feel when we send our kids to malls, to churches, to college…I just want to be clear. I said this party is heading towards extinction. Talking about the 2013 version of the Republican Party. A new Republican Party, though, is going to come in its place. This sort of extremism is going to be called out by the 90%. We’re the 90% and we are going to win. This is just the first battle.
Indeed, the senators voting for the gun violence prevention measure represent 194 million people, roughly 65 percent of the entire American population, yet were defeated by a minority representing just 118 million people. Scarborough’s fury over these counterintuitive numbers echoes President Obama, who called out senators yesterday for choosing special interests over the American people.
Background checks are also exceedingly popular with gun owners and NRA members, though the gun lobby threw its full weight behind killing the measure. A full 87 percent of gun owners and 57 percent of NRA members support universal background checks.