The background check bill, modest as it was, failed to pass the Senate with a 54-46 vote. Five Democrats voted against the bill, and only four Republicans voted for it–a far cry from the as-near-total-as-you’re-going-to-get bipartisan support for anything. Even if one is wary of the prickly nature of polls and doesn’t want to draft policy based on a handful of recent polls, support this overwhelming can withstand a conservative accounting of the figures. Some polls showed support in the high 70s to the low 90s, including one which showed 91% of support among veterans. The discrepancy between the makeup of opinion of the U.S. and our legislative bodies is glaring and can be explained, for the most part, by two democratic pitfalls.