The vast majority of Americans support background checks for guns at gun shows which exceeds our present background check system. The NRA is stronger than the will of the American people at least at this moment in time. The U.S. Senate failed 90% of Americans on Wednesday, April 17, 2013 when it failed to pass the gun control legislation. Over 90% of Americans support filling in the gap with stronger background checks to help prevent getting guns in the wrong hands. Sixty votes were needed to pass the legislation due to procedural rules agreed to by both sides of the aisle. With 52 Democrats in the Senate and several Republicans voting in support, it seemed to have a chance at passing. However, several Democratic Senators voted against the amendment on background checks. Four Democratic Senators voted to kill background checks.
The final vote on the Manchin-Toomey background checks amendment was 54-46. The Manchin-Toomey plan would have expanded background checks to include private sales at gun shows and all Internet sales, while continuing to exempt most sales between family members and friends. A proposed bill to ban assault weapons failed. And the bill to limit magazine cartridges to no more than 10 also went down in flames. The NRA’s attempt to lessen restrictions on concealed handguns also failed.
President Obama spoke on the failed vote at the White House Tuesday evening. “All in all, this is a pretty shameful day for Washington,” he said. Congresswoman Karen Bass (D. CA) asked what does it say about our democracy when a few special interests are able to cloud out the wishes of the majority of the American people.
The battle is not over. Progressives vowed to fight even harder saying another vote will be scheduled. In round 2 of the gun battle, former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords will hold a press conference on Thursday to discuss and address the Senators who voted against the bill. Having almost lost her life due to senseless gun violence. Giffords has found another voice in speaking out in support of gun control. Others such as the vocal families of the Newtown victims also vow to continue the fight until we can say we did all we could to help prevent another Newton tragedy from occurring. Nothing is fail proof. But with no further actions to control guns in the wrong hands and continuing the same course of action, the same results are likely to occur.
On another fight on the state level, the NRA vowed to fight the Maryland gun control bill in court instead of by referendum. During the recent Maryland General Assembly which just concluded, Maryland passed sweeping gun control legislation. But if the NRA has its day in court and wins, Maryland may have to reverse its course.
The fight is not over. This is a war and the first battle was won by the NRA. The war must be won by the will of the American people. And the fight for sensible gun control legislation continues.