The contested vote will also set a broader positive precedent. Constituents who care about peace and human rights will find out how their senators voted and will praise them or criticize them for it. That will change the perception among members of Congress that arms deals are the exclusive political turf of the Pentagon-industrial complex.
The tragic news from Orlando dominated the week's media, as once again someone with easy access to military-style weaponry takes dozens of lives. According to Donald Trump and John McCain, this is all Barack Obama's fault (of course). Personally, we think if you want to go back and point fingers, you'd have to include George W. Bush.
I can't stomach another battle of ideologies that ends in stagnation once we're feeling desensitized again. But I'd like to get to know the people who disagree with me better. Of all my beliefs, and believe me, I've got 'em, this one feels the most pressing, the most promising and the most likely to inspire change.