Gun control backers: Senate defeat won't stop us
by Alan Fram, Associated Press and David Espo, Associated Press
April 18, 2013 02:45 PM | 1020 views | 8 8 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Family members of those lost in the Newtown, Conn. school shooting, Mark and Jackie Barden, with their children Natalie and James, who lost Daniel; Nicole Hockley, mother of Dylan, upper left, and and Jeremy Richman, father of Avielle in the back, stand together as President Barack Obama speaks in the Rose Garden of the White House, Wednesday, April 17, 2013, in Washington.  (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
Family members of those lost in the Newtown, Conn. school shooting, Mark and Jackie Barden, with their children Natalie and James, who lost Daniel; Nicole Hockley, mother of Dylan, upper left, and and Jeremy Richman, father of Avielle in the back, stand together as President Barack Obama speaks in the Rose Garden of the White House, Wednesday, April 17, 2013, in Washington. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
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In this Saturday, Jan. 26, 2013 file photo, handguns appear on display at the table of David Petronis of Mechanicville, N.Y., standing with rifle, who owns a gun store, during the heavily attended annual New York State Arms Collectors Association Albany Gun Show at the Empire State Plaza Convention Center, in Albany, N.Y. Key measures of New York's tough new gun law are set to kick in, with owners of guns now reclassified as assault weapons required to register the firearms and new limits on the number of bullets allowed in magazines. As the new provision takes effect Monday, April 15, 2013, New York's affiliate of the National Rifle Association said it plans to head to court to seek an immediate halt to the magazine limit. (AP Photo/Philip Kamrass, File)
In this Saturday, Jan. 26, 2013 file photo, handguns appear on display at the table of David Petronis of Mechanicville, N.Y., standing with rifle, who owns a gun store, during the heavily attended annual New York State Arms Collectors Association Albany Gun Show at the Empire State Plaza Convention Center, in Albany, N.Y. Key measures of New York's tough new gun law are set to kick in, with owners of guns now reclassified as assault weapons required to register the firearms and new limits on the number of bullets allowed in magazines. As the new provision takes effect Monday, April 15, 2013, New York's affiliate of the National Rifle Association said it plans to head to court to seek an immediate halt to the magazine limit. (AP Photo/Philip Kamrass, File)
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WASHINGTON (AP) — One day after the demise of gun control legislation, Senate supporters of the measure vowed to try again, while a leading opponent accused President Barack Obama of taking the "low road" when he harshly criticized lawmakers who voted against key provisions.

"When good and honest people have honest differences of opinion about what policies the country should pursue about gun rights...the president of the United States should not accuse them of having no coherent arguments or of caving to the pressure," said Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas.

The fate of the bill was sealed in a string of votes on Wednesday, when Republicans backed by a small group of rural-state Democrats rejected more extensive background checks for gun purchasers and also torpedoed proposed bans on assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines.

The Senate delivered its verdict four months after a shooting at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn., left 20 first graders and six educators dead. The tragedy prompted Obama to champion an issue that Democrats had largely avoided for two decades, and that he himself ignored during his first term in the White House.

Though the gun control bill was moribund for the foreseeable future, the Senate approved two minor amendments on Thursday. One by Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., cutting aid to state and local governments that release information on gun owners, was approved 67-30. Another by Sens. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, and Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., bolstering federal mental health programs passed 95-2.

Cornyn said he agreed with Obama that Wednesday had been a shameful day but added it was because of the president's own comments, rather than the events on the Senate floor.

"He could have taken the high road...instead he chose to take the low road, and I agree with him it was a truly shameful day."

Cornyn spoke shortly after Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said the struggle for tougher gun legislation was not over.

"This is not the end of the fight. Republicans are in an unsustainable position," he said, after voting with few exceptions against a tougher requirement for background checks for gun purchasers, a proposal that shows very high support in most public opinion polls.

Reid offered no timetable for renewing the drive to enact legislation that Obama has placed near the top of his domestic agenda.

Another Democrat, Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, said the proposed expansion of background checks that he co-authored would have passed easily had it not been for the National Rifle Association's decision to take the vote into account in deciding which candidates to support or oppose in 2014.

"If they hadn't scored it, we'd have had 70 votes," he said. Instead, it drew 54, six short of the 60 needed to advance.

Manchin also told reporters at a breakfast sponsored by the Wall Street Journal that the outcome would have been different if the Senate had acted more quickly after the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown. "If we'd have gone to a bill like this immediately, boom," he said, predicting it would have received 65-70 votes.

Later, in the Capitol, he renewed his accusations that the NRA had spread lies about the proposal he had hoped to pass, and that fellow lawmakers had evidently believed them. "Reading is a lost art," he said.

Obama spoke in clipped, angry tones at the White House on Wednesday after the Senate scuttled legislation he had campaign for energetically.

"I see this as just Round One," the president said, flanked by relatives of Newtown's victims and former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who was shot in the head in Tucson, Ariz., in 2011.

Looking ahead to the 2014 congressional elections, he added, "If this Congress refuses to listen to the American people and pass common-sense gun legislation, then the real impact is going to have to come from the voters."

Obama blamed lawmakers' fear that "the gun lobby would spend a lot of money" and accuse them of opposing the Second Amendment's right to bear arms.

A spokesman, Josh earnest, told reporters on Thursday, "we're pretty close to a consensus on this just about everywhere except in the United States Congress. And as the President alluded to yesterday, I think that is an indication of the pernicious influence that some special interests have in the United States Congress. And that is going to require a vocalization of public opinion to overcome it."

Emotions were high on Wednesday at the Capitol.

When the background check amendment failed in the Senate, Patricia Maisch, watching from a visitors' gallery, shouted "Shame on you!" Maisch helped restrain the gunman at the 2011 Tucson shooting in which six people died and 13, including Giffords, were wounded.

___

Associated Press writers Donna Cassata, Laurie Kellman, Richard Lardner and Andrew Taylor contributed to this report.



Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

Comments
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Samuel Adams
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April 19, 2013
Video from Watertown, Mass. during the gunfight with Muslim terrorists from the area near Chechnya, shows Massachusetts citizens observing the war zone/gunfight on the streets in front of their homes. They are all yelling at each other, "Do you have a gun? Does anyone have a rifle?"

Poor unarmed sheep, waiting for police to come to their aid as the marathon bombers storm towards their homes and families, intent on murder and desperate to kill free Americans. Yeah, the vote went the right way and Obama and you liberals are on the wrong side of history once again.
dustoff
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April 18, 2013
Hey I have a novel idea how about giving any felon caught with a weapon the death penalty and any non citizen caught with one immediate deportation.

Now that should cut down on our crime in about a week.

Then lets make it federal law that anyone over 21 with no felonies can carry a weapon without a permit as long as it is in plain sight and if you wish to carry concealed you must have a permit.

Bet crime would drop so fast they could not keep up with the numbers game.
Nauseous
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April 18, 2013
Naseous. Disheartened. Angry. Depressed. Resolved. We are a better country than this. "These three remain: faith, hope and love. And the greatest of these is love." May God forgive those who voted No, including Saxby and Johnny, and may His message of love for one another become stronger each day.

With the popular question of "What Would Jesus Do?" I do not believe that Jesus would have voted "no."
Vorant
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April 18, 2013
Thank God in heaven there weren't more like you during the American Revolution otherwise we'd all still be British subjects.
Dixiechick59
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April 19, 2013
No more nauseous than seeing that jerk back in the white house trying to push his socialist agenda for another 4 years.

Really gratifying to see his arrogant self all puffed up and frustrated that one of his pet projects got slammed.

Love it, just love it!
anonymous
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April 19, 2013
When Homeland Security tells you to get on the train we taking you to a safe place keep tinking thats true!!!
anonymous
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April 19, 2013
Jesus was not dealing with Muslim terrorists, gang bangers and psycho Joker/Batman wannabes. He didn't have Big Hollywood corrupting his youth, he didn't have William Ayers, terrorist bomber and friend of Obama, in charge of education colleges.

Jesus would've encouraged people to defend themselves against evil. In fact I'm fairly certain Jesus DID encourage people to defend against evil.
FROM TEXAS
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April 18, 2013
It’s all about taking your second amendment rights and only that. I’m still looking for the place were you buy guns without sending them to a FFL dealer I guess Czar Obama knows those places. Probably because of his connections with FAST & Furious, Bill Ayers and being from Chicago he knows about all those gun dealers that sells guns in that fashion. We are still waiting on the Bengasi full investigation and if you’re a victim of Boston don’t look for much help there the Saudi that was detained is now being deported I’m sure it’s not a cover up like Bengasi!! Obama might send thrills up Chris Mathew’s leg Obama send chills down my back!!
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