U.S. President Barack Obama (L) speaks alongside with Vice President Joe Biden and family members of Newtown victims on commonsense measures to reduce gun violence in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington April 17, 2013.
Credit: Reuters/Yuri Gripas
By Samuel P. Jacobs
NEW YORK | Thu Apr 18, 2013 1:35am EDT
(Reuters) – In the end, nothing could persuade enough U.S. senators to approve the most significant gun legislation in two decades:
Not the carnage from Newtown, Connecticut, where 20 children and six adults were massacred by a gunman in December, igniting a national debate on gun control.
Not the impassioned pleas of Newtown survivors’ families, whose calls for expanded background checks for gun buyers so moved a pro-gun senator from West Virginia that he became their advocate.
And not the support of President Barack Obama, who was inspired by Newtown to make gun control the first major initiative of his second term.
The U.S. Senate‘s key vote on Wednesday wasn’t exactly a rejection of expanded background checks, gun-control advocates were careful to point out.
Most senators – 54 – approved the measure, which polls indicated was backed by more than 80 percent of Americans. But because Republicans threatened to use a filibuster to block any gun proposal that did not get 60 votes in the 100-member Senate, the plan to expand background checks to sales made online and at gun shows fell short.
And just like that, the most aggressive push for gun control in a generation did, too.
Published on Dec 18, 2012
“DemocracyNow.org – Since Friday’s mass shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, that left 27 dead — 20 children and seven adults — the National Rifle Association has been silent. The powerful lobbying organization has long pressured lawmakers to maintain easy access to firearms in the United States, prompting many to say the NRA is standing in the way of reform. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, the NRA has spent more than $2.2 million lobbying Congress this year alone. By comparison, the gun control lobby spent just $180,000. We’re joined by Lisa Graves, who has extensively tracked how the NRA’s power and wealth has long thwarted gun control proposals. Graves documents how one of the key avenues used to exert its influence is the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), the secretive group helps corporate America propose and draft legislation for states across the country. Graves formerly served as Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Clinton administration‘s Justice Department, where she handled national gun policy.”
CNN will broadcast a press conference at 8:00 am EST where it is expected the names of the departed will be read.