The proposed bill for the expansion of gun background checks is dead in the Senate after the amendment fell six votes short of the 60 needed for a majority vote yesterday, preventing the bill from breaking a Republican filibuster with a 54-46 vote. The bill, which was initially proposed by Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), would have expanded background checks on firearm purchasers, including those at gun shows and online sales. According to national polls, a majority of Americans were in favor of the bill, making its failure in the Senate a notable loss for the Obama administration and fellow advocates of gun control.
While family members of victims of the Sandy Hook shooting stood behind him, President Obama was clearly distraught over the outcome during his speech at the Rose Garden press conference yesterday. He railed against gun lobbyers, the National Rifle Association, and the minority that voted “no” in the Senate for compromising the bill. The president declared it a “shameful day for Washington.”
“Instead of supporting this compromise, the gun lobby and its allies willfully lied about the bill. They claimed that it would create some sort of ‘Big Brother’ gun registry, even though the bill did the opposite,” Obama said. “Families that know unspeakable grief summoned the courage to petition their elect leaders. A few minutes ago, a minority in the U.S. Senate decided it wasn’t worth it. They blocked common sense gun reform even while these families looked on from the Senate gallery.”
The president has vowed that the dead bill is only “round one” in his fight for improved gun control. However, with the bill not being able to break GOP filibuster yesterday, it seems as if Obama and his gun control advocates will have a long road ahead of them.
Krysta Loera is a writer and researcher with Ring of Fire.