Nine days earlier, the Paul amendment seemed on the verge of victory. But Senator Mark Begich (D-AK) and Ranking Republican Tom Coburn (R-OK) raised “red herring” issues, openly wondering what would be the effect of Paul’s pro-gun language on post offices which were located in shopping malls or court houses.
This was a phony issue. A post office is a post office is a post office. Shopping malls and court houses are not post offices. But Rand Paul worked in good faith, with our drafting help, to satisfy Begich’s phony complaints.
Well, it turned out something else was happening. In the nine days that Paul was negotiating in good faith, Begich was using the time to organize an ambush.
When the committee came back, Committee Chairman Tom Carper sprung a “poison pill” amendment to the Paul amendment which, rather than lifting the gun ban, would merely “study” it. Because the Carper amendment was an amendment to the Paul amendment, the committee would never be required to vote on the Paul amendment at all.