Several ammendments to the standing gun laws went before the Senate floor including bans on the selling of assault weapons and high capacity ammunition magazines but the key component – a supposedly bipartisan agreement on background checks – was what ultimately undid the bill.
The bill was seen by the President and his supporters as a key part of gun reforms that were promised in the wake of the Sandy Hook shootings late last year.
54 senators voted in favour of the bill, but the numbers needed to pass the bill were 60, with 46 (including a number of Democrats) voting against.
Cries of “shame on you!” could be heard coming from the gallery once the bills defeat was finalised; the most vocal of these calls coming from sections of people who had lost relatives at Sandy Hook, the Aurora movie theatre and Virginia Tech massacres.
Democratic Senator Joe Manchin, a gun-owner and member of the NRA, who had a hand in crafting the bill accused gun lobbyists of spreading misinformation about the proposal.
So too did senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, another card carrying NRA member, who said that gun lobbyists and the right had used “shameful scare tactics” to derail the bill.
In a statement made at the White House after his bill was defeated, President Obama could barely contain his rage saying “today was a pretty shameful day for Washington.”
‘I see this as just Round 1,’’ he also said, before urging his supporters to stay strong and passionate about getting gun laws reformed.
Obama was introduced by Mark Barden, whose son, Daniel, was among the 20 children killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown. Also present was a former representative, Gabriel Giffords, who was shot in 2011 in her home state of Arizona.
‘‘We always knew this would be a long road and there’s no turning back,’’ Barden is quoted as saying in The Sydney Morning Herald. ‘‘We will not be defeated.’’
Well done America, you screwed the pooch on this one again… People make me so mad!