How the Senate Will Attempt to Pass Gun Control
It occurs to me that some of our members may not be familiar with the Senate rules and not understand how the game works.
What is likely to happen is that a bill will be offered that everybody agrees on. When this bill makes it to the Senate floor, any Senator can offer "relevant amendments" and usually the meaning of "relevant" is interpreted broadly.
Once that happens, Senators will offer individual amendments to the overall bill on things like magazine bans, assault weapons bans, registration (also known as "universal background checks"), etc. If the vote on those amendments is successful, they become part of the larger bill. Once all the amendments have been voted on, the entire bill is offered for a vote. If that bill passes, it is sent to the House.
If you have a politicially sensitive issue like say, gun control, one popular way to get it passed is your party leadership organizes it so that only the bare minimum of Senators necessary to pass each amendment votes "YES." Then you rotate that responsibility around... so for example, you have one Senator vote "Yes" on an AWB; but no on mag bans and registration. Then you have another Senator vote yes on mag bans, but not on AWB and registration, etc.
In this way, each Senator can point to votes where he opposed gun control and claim he supports the Second Amendment - and when the overall bill comes to the floor for a vote, they will vote to pass the overall bill and point to all the good, non-controversial things it does.
If you are opposed to ANY additional gun control, you must make it clear to your Senators that:
1) You are aware of this game
2) You will be watching every single vote during the bill very closely (and we will be discussing it here)
3) ANY support of gun control anywhere in the process is going to cost them