Senate Background Check Bill

April 18, 2013 by  

Senate Background Check Bill, President Barack Obama frowns during a news conference Wednesday in the Rose Garden of the White House about a bill to expand background checks on guns that was defeated in the Senate.

He called it the hardest day of his public life. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., exited the Senate floor Wednesday evening after a crushing blow on gun legislation and walked directly to Newtown families he has come to know so well since December when a gunman shot his way into a Connecticut elementary school and killed 26 people.

But when Blumenthal went to assure one mother who lost her child in Newtown that “this isn’t over,” she turned to him and replied “this is not even close to over.”

It seems while the Senate prepares to move on to immigration reform and a new round of fiscal fights, a devoted army of family-turned advocates has promised to march on.

“The public ought to be outraged and should let the Senate know that they won’t take ‘no’ for an answer,” Blumenthal says. “We are simply not going to fail.”

The Senate voted down a bipartisan amendment Wednesday 54-46 that would have expanded background checks to private online sales and exchanges at gun shows, but families who have been affected by gun violence pledged Wednesday evening not to abandon their public outreach.

“My sister didn’t die for nothing. We will make change,” says 20-year-old Carlee Soto. Victoria Soto, a teacher in Newtown, died protecting her students.

Since Monday, Soto and others have been making appeals on Capitol Hill to convince wavering senators to support the background check legislation. She says many lawmakers told her that they couldn’t support the bill because it was too restrictive and would be time consuming for gun owners.

“Their reasons why they weren’t going to vote weren’t good enough reasons,” Soto says.”[It’s] time consuming? Newtown shooting took three minutes. You cannot take three minutes out of your day to fill out a background check? That is nonsense and it’s disgusting.”

One woman in the Senate gallery yelled out “shame on you” as the Senate fell six votes short of passing the background check amendment. Vice President Joe Biden presided over the vote and former Rep. Gabby Giffords, R-Ariz., who was shot in the head during a town hall meeting in 2011, met with lawmakers up until the very last minute hoping to get some to reconsider their positions against the bill.

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