Roll call votes are public information

When a letter to the editor accused Republicans of “lying” about gun control, two claims stuck out to me: That Republicans supported both the Brady Law and the assault weapons ban. Since I have been paying attention to politics since high school, I knew the claims were false right away. Here is the truth:

  • Republicans in the House voted 116 to 56 against the Brady law.
  • Republicans in the Senate voted 28 to 16 against the Brady law.
  • Republicans in the House voted 137 to 38 against the Assault Weapons Ban.
  • Republicans in the Senate voted 24 to 10 against the Assault Weapons Ban.

See the roll call votes here and here and here and here.

Beyond the flagrant misrepresentation of the facts, it is utterly absurd to accuse Republicans in 2020 of “lying” about their position on gun control by using votes from 1993 and 1994. Republicans have become more opposed to gun control over the last 28 years, especially with the Republican takeover of Congress in 1994 and again with the Tea Party waves of 2010 and 2014.

There were other misleading claims in the letter regarding the Republican position on gun control. As far as the ban on fully automatic weapons, very few people are for an unlimited right to own any weapon. Ronald Reagan’s ban on “open carry” in California was before 60% of Americans were even born, and a law passed in 1967 has no relevance at all to Republican sincerity on gun control in 2020.

Roll call votes are public information, and are easily accessible by the websites of both the House and the Senate. If you are going to make a claim about which party voted for what, you should probably check those sites and assume your readers will do the same. because the facts are so blatantly wrong, this letter cannot be seen as a serious argument. It is propaganda and misinformation, designed to smear.