Background checks on potential purchasers of firearms went down in flames today. The bill that was defeated by a 54-46 vote in the U.S. Senate was already badly hobbled when both an assault weapons ban and a ban on high capacity magazines were removed. Polls have indicated that 90% of Americans agree with legislation that would keep military-style weapons and the accoutrements out of the hands of individuals who might use them to unleash more Newtown, Columbine, Tucson, Aurora, and Virginia Tech mass shootings and serial murders like the D.C. area sniper attacks.
By ALAN FRAM
The Associated Press
Senate Republicans backed by a small band of rural-state Democrats scuttled the most far-reaching gun control legislation in two decades Wednesday, rejecting tighter background checks for buyers and a ban on assault weapons as they spurned pleas from families of victims of last winter’s school massacre in Newtown, Conn.
Former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords has let forth with a stinging op-ed in today’s New York Times.
By GABRIELLE GIFFORDS
Published: April 17, 2013
SENATORS say they fear the N.R.A. and the gun lobby. But I think that fear must be nothing compared to the fear the first graders in Sandy Hook Elementary School felt as their lives ended in a hail of bullets. The fear that those children who survived the massacre must feel every time they remember their teachers stacking them into closets and bathrooms, whispering that they loved them, so that love would be the last thing the students heard if the gunman found them.
On Wednesday, a minority of senators gave into fear and blocked common-sense legislation that would have made it harder for criminals and people with dangerous mental illnesses to get hold of deadly firearms — a bill that could prevent future tragedies like those in Newtown, Conn., Aurora, Colo., Blacksburg, Va., and too many communities to count.
What these senators faced was not fear. Those killed in these massacres knew fear. Parents who send their children off to inner city schools know fear. Those cheering at the finish line at the Boston marathon faced fear, and before you think I am confounding things, Lawrence O’Donnell reported tonight that the defeat of this legislation effectively blocked the FBI from obtaining evidence related to “taggants” in the gunpowder in the home-made bombs used there.
Senators Manchin and Toomey, who co-authored the legislation, are both gun owners and NRA members with A ratings from the organization. Giffords and her husband, Mark Kelly, are also gun owners and members of the NRA. Yet these 46 senators voted against this legislation for “fear” of the gun lobby. These senators are cowards.
So, what is it going to take? What do these senators need in order to hear 90% of the American public? Do they have the woodman’s tin ear – and no heart?
Or would giving them a medal help?
Maybe they just need this. Ba-Bye!
These are the reasons.