An increasingly noticeable divide has developed between the GOP’s old guard and their new school counterparts over the past few months. Whereas the latter group tends to either be very conservative or tilt libertarian, the former is comprised of moderates who are more passionate about flexing America’s muscles overseas than what's going on over here.
The most recent example of these two tribes clashing came this week, when Sen. Lindsay Graham announced that he would not join Sens. Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio and James Inhofe in filibustering "any legislation that will serve as a vehicle for any additional gun restrictions." Rather, so long as he is permitted to offer an alternative amendment to proposed legislation, he will let the political process take course sans interruption.
"The only way I would filibuster a bill is if senator Reid wouldn't allow open amendments," he said on Sunday. "I have legislation with Senator Pryor and Begich, two Democrats, myself that would change the federal system."
The legislation he is referring to is the NICS Reporting Improvement Act of 2013 – a means of preventing mentally ill people from acquiring firearms.
Nevertheless, despite not wanting to take part in a filibuster, Sen. Graham maintained that he would not vote for universal background checks, and doubted any measure to enact them could pass through Congress.
"I don't think so, I don't think it makes any sense," he said. "Fix the current system, don't expand it to individual transfers. Nothing we're talking about would have prevented Newtown from happening. The guy did not fail a background check."