As NBC News reported:
Despite an impassioned push by President Barack Obama and an emotional lobbying effort by the families of mass shooting victims, proponents of a compromise measure to expand gun background checks on Wednesday fell six votes short of passage in the Senate.I'd like to point out that 54-member majority supported the Manchin/Toomey amendment, while 46 opposed it. But, because of Republican obstructionist tactics, proponents needed a 60-vote supermajority and came up far short. Technically, it would have been 55-45, but according to NBC News, Majority Leader Harry Reid had to switch his vote for procedural reasons.
Even though 90% of the American people support universal background checks that make it harder for a dangerous person to buy a gun, the vote was 54 to 46. Sixty votes were needed for the amendment to be adopted.
For their part, the National Rifle Association - who willfully lied about the legislation - released the following statement:
This amendment would have criminalized certain private transfers of firearms between honest citizens, requiring lifelong friends, neighbors and some family members to get federal government permission to exercise a fundamental right or face prosecution. As we have noted previously, expanding background checks, at gun shows or elsewhere, will not reduce violent crime or keep our kids safe in their schools.One of the biggest pushes for changes in our gun laws has come from a group of parents who lost their children at the massacre in Newtown, CT. Some of those families were in the gallery when the Senate voted.
Feeling good about your votes, Senators?
Former congresswoman Gabby Giffords - who nearly died after being shot in the head by a gunman who went on a rampage outside a grocery store in Tuscon, AZ - and her husband Mark Kelly, slammed senators for "ignoring the will of the American people":
We will use every means possible to make sure the constituents of these senators know that their elected representatives ignored them, and put Washington, D.C., special interest politics over the effort to keep their own communities safer from the tragedy of gun violence.Giffords and Kelly's PAC Americans for Responsible Solutions vows on their website to "encourage elected officials to stand up for solutions to prevent gun violence and protect responsible gun ownership by communicating directly with the constituents that elect them."
When the vote was finished, a woman in the Senate gallery shouted "shame on you" at the members below. But, she was ignored. As were a majority of the American people, the families from Newtown and one Congress' own - Gabby Giffords.
Yes... SHAME ON YOU, Senators.
It seems to me that the only people who fear a background check when buying a firearm are the people who know they can't pass one.