Background-Check Amendment Fizzles

As support for a background-check deal collapses in the Senate, Harry Reid broke with the National Rifle Association and declared his support for an assault-weapons ban. “We must strike a better balance between the right to defend ourselves and the right of every child in America to grow up safe from gun violence,” the A-rated Nevada Democrat said on the Senate floor. Unfortunately for him, the outlook for gun-control legislation looks bleak. A bipartisan amendment on background checks that is a vital ingredient in a passable gun bill appears to lack the necessary votes. Sen. Joe Manchin, one of the bill’s co-sponsors, said on the floor that he knows they’re close, but doesn’t know what the outcome will be.