‘Shame on you!” two women yelled in the Senate as the background-check proposal was scuttled on Wednesday, prompting Vice President Joe Biden to ask for order.
But that was only the beginning of what has been a day of outrage following the vote. The Senate blocked the proposal to expand background checks on gun sales and the reaction was swift. President Obama said it was a shameful day for Washington.
“Instead of supporting this compromise. The gun lobby and its allies willfully lied about the bill,” said President Obama.
With the final tally at 54-46, the plan failed to get the 60 votes it need to pass. The proposal would have expanded background checks to sales at gun shows and on the internet. It was even a bi-partisan proposal.
“Time and time again, on issue after issue, I’m sorry to say, we’ve seen Republicans put their short-term political goals and interests ahead of the interests of mainstream America,” said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, the co-chair of Mayors Against Illegal Guns, said “Today’s vote is a damning indictment of the stranglehold that special interests have on Washington. More than 40 U.S. senators would rather turn their backs on the 90 percent of Americans who support comprehensive background checks than buck the increasingly extremist wing of the gun lobby.”
It was a victory for the gun lobby. In a statement from the National Rifle Association, the Executive Director Chris W. Cox said, “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.”
Newtown parent Mark Barden, who lost his 7-year-old son Daniel in the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre, said the fight is not over. “We’ll return home now disappointed but not defeated. We return home with determination change will happen maybe not today but it will happen,” said Barden.