Lee Seeks to Refocus Gun Control Debate

In an interview with National Review, an aide to Sen. Mike Lee says Lee’s plan to filibuster Harry Reid’s control control legislation is part of a larger effort to fundamentally transform the current discussion about Second Amendment rights.
Rand Paul, Ted Cruz and Mike Lee — the Senate’s rabble-rousing GOP triumvirate – seek nothing less than to fundamentally transform the debate over gun control.

As has been reported, they will likely filibuster when Harry Reid brings his gun-control legislation up for a vote. In doing so, according to sources, they hope to effect a dramatic shift in public opinion, akin to one that followed Paul’s 13-hour filibuster earlier this month over President Obama’s drone policy.

Their approach is carefully orchestrated, and they are operating on the premise that taking a principled constitutional stand with a little dramatic flair will rally people to their cause. Properly executed, they hope the upcoming filibuster will refocus the gun-control debate, which has been mired in technical details, on the meaning of the Second Amendment. 

“We haven’t had a debate yet about the purpose of the Second Amendment, why it is such an important part of our Constitution, and the right to self-defense as a part of self-government,” a Lee aide tells National Review Online, “but that’s the discussion we want to be having. We want to elevate the level of discussion to that point.” As Harry Reid tries to round up 60 votes in support of his proposals, they think Democrats will struggle to defend the constitutional merits of their proposal.