This week, the U.S. Senate will find itself hard pressed to pass a bipartisan piece of gun control legislation.
That said, this past Saturday, NBC sketch show Saturday Night Live comically critiqued the Senate’s meager attempts at compromise thus far.
In the show’s cold opening, an actor portraying President Obama led a recap: “I am so excited to announce that this week, the Senate voted 68-31 to begin debating the idea of discussing gun control. Let me say that again. They’ve agreed to think about talking about gun control.”
Bill Hader portraying Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA) and Jason Sudeikis playing Joe Manchin (D-WV) then reluctantly approached the mic to discuss the prospects of senatorial progress.
The two senators, both gun rights supporters, have been key players in the creation of a bipartisan proposal to expand background checks.
“If our bill passes,” Toomey explained, “no individual can purchase a handgun from a private dealer without being asked, ‘Are you a good person?’ As well as the follow-up question, ‘Seriously, are you?’”
The two continue their discussion by highlighting other examples the bill’s provisions.
“We were able to ban AK-47s from all coin-operated vending machines, and the Papa John’s promotion buy two medium pizzas, get a free gun, has been completely outlawed,” except as the two point out, on weekends, on Super Bowl Sunday, or in Florida.
The skit draws attention to a stark reality: any proposals for gun control are likely to have a difficult time passing the Senate, and a nearly impossible time in the House.
And yet, the real Toomey and Manchin remain hopeful for the week ahead. The two appeared to discuss the prospects of their proposal on Face the Nation Sunday morning.
“There is not a single word in this legislation that in any way infringes on the Second Amendment rights of a law abiding citizen,” said Toomey. “But we think that the laws that make it illegal now for a criminal or a potentially violent, dangerously, mentally ill person to have a weapon…make sense and we think a background check to help increase the likelihood that we’ll be successful in keeping guns out of the hands of very dangerous people makes sense – it’s common sense. And so I think when people see the bill, they’re going to support it.”
Here’s that clip: