Posted by AzBlueMeanie:
As the Arizona Republic correctly noted a couple of weeks ago, Flake urges victims to continue gun control fight: "Gun violence victims said they were not impressed with Jeff Flake’s political posturing, and accused him of trying to appease voters from both sides of the gun control debate without risking retribution from the National Rifle Association."
Sen. Jeff Flake is back to his old ways, playing the media villagers for fools with his political posturing, trying to have it both ways. In Turnaround, Flake Says He’s Open To Expanding Background Checks:
Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) told CNN he's open to expanding background checks if the Manchin-Toomey legislation is modified to be more accommodating for Internet sales between friends.
Flake said he'd consider voting for the bill if the requirement is altered to ensure that a gun owner may sell a firearm to a friend without an FBI check after exchanging text-messages or emails or posting on Facebook. The senator fretted that as currently written, the bill may deem that a commercial transaction and require a background check.
The legislation generally exempts background checks for private gun sales between friends and family.
Flake recently took a beating in the press after obfuscating his position on background checks with the mother of a shooting victim who was slain in Aurora, Colo. He admitted his vote against the bill harmed his poll numbers.
Update: Flake clarifies his position on Twitter: "I've always supported background checks."
"Cutting thru clutter, I've always supported background checks," Flake wrote on Twitter. "I didn't support Manchin-Toomey, and still don't. I voted for Grassley amdt."
[An NRA-endorsed proposal by Sens. Charles Grassley and Ted Cruz.]
Update II: Flake's spokeswoman Genevieve Rozanksy emails TPM to explain that the senator's position on background checks hasn't changed -- he opposes expanding them to new gun sales but supports modifying the existing FBI check system.
Senator Flake remains opposed to the Manchin-Toomey amendment. He believes there were several key problems with this amendment, including that it encroached on private sales. Senator Flake has long felt that our current background check system can be strengthened with regard to mental health data, which is why he voted for the Grassley amendment. The Grassley amendment will strengthen the current background check system in a way that doesn’t restrict Second Amendment rights by encouraging states to report mental health records. Senator Flake is also an original cosponsor of legislation with Senator Graham, Begich, and Pryor that would clarify which mental health data should be reported into the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS).
The media villagers are getting played. This guy is such a facile liar, trying to have it both ways, that he can no longer keep his lies straight. Just hand him a shovel and let him dig his hole deeper.
UPDATE: Jed Lewison at Daily Kos makes a great catch, Jeff Flake scrambles for new background check position:
According to Flake, if his concerns are addressed in the future, he would reconsider his vote. The problem, though, is that his explanation for his vote against the legislation misrepresents the facts of what actually happened.
The text of the legislation that Flake voted against specifically exempted friends and family from expanded background checks unless the transfer was "pursuant to an advertisement, posting, display, or other listing on the Internet."
Clearly, texts and emails among friends do not qualify by that definition. Facebook is a little more complicated because of the various privacy settings, but while Facebook posts intended for public consumption probably would (and should) qualify for expanded background checks, private messages among friends and family clearly would not.
Don't take my word for it, either. Before he cast his vote, Jeff Flake explained why he was going to vote against it:
Manchin-Toomey would expand background checks far beyond commercial sales to include almost all private transfers – including between friends and neighbors -- if the posting or display of the ad for a firearm was made public.
So in Flake's own words—before things blew up in his face—Manchin-Toomey wasn't about requiring background checks for transfers that resulted from private communications among friends. It was for public posts and ads—thinks like paid advertisements or listings on Craigslist, but not private emails and texts among friends.
But now that Flake realizes his vote has put his favorable rating "below pond scum," he's making stuff up to explain his opposition.