The Senate last week rejected legislation that would have created more extensive background checks for gun buyers and banned high-capacity ammunition magazines.
The emotional vote drew the ire of President Barack Obama, who used the opportunity to lecture those who opposed the bill. They caved in to the wishes of the NRA, Obama said. The opponents presented no coherent arguments for opposing the legislation, the president said. Polls show that 90 percent of America supports tougher background checks, he continued, but that support clearly didn't get through to members of the Senate.
There will surely be continued debate about new gun control measures, and we're confident that reasonable changes can and will be made. Even the most die-hard Republicans and supporters of the Second Amendment do not want more tragic events like the shooting in Newtown, Conn., nor do they oppose the basic premise that those with serious mental illnesses should have easy access to firearms. But we certainly could do without the public scolding from Obama, who apparently has forgotten that Republicans are not the only ones who have held up important legislation on any number of issues through the years.
We'd also bet that those who voted against the changes last week do have coherent reasoning to support their vote. And since when is it a surprise when members of Congress have different opinions regarding legislation? That's not going to change.
We agree with Obama that the effort to toughen gun laws isn't over. The debate shouldn't be over, but we also hope it's approached with reason on both sides.