Obama: Senate's Fail on Gun Control Compromise 'A Shameful Day'

4 years ago

On Wednesday, the Senate voted down several gun control measures, including the bipartisan compromise expanding background checks on gun buyers proposed by Sens. Joe Manchin III (D-W. Va.) and Patrick Toomey (R-Pa.). Other defeated initiatives included a ban on assault weapons and a ban on high-volume ammunition.

President Obama addressed the press, at 5:30PM ET today, appearing angry and disappointed. "How can something have 90% support and still not happen?" he asked, referring to a poll from January 2013 that showed nearly all Americans polled in three states (Virginia, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania) support background checks on gun buyers -- including gun owners themselves.

Image: Washington Post video of speech (see below)

The president also said pledged to continue to work toward "commonsense" gun control, saying:

Even without Congress, my administration will keep doing everything it can to protect more of our communities. We're going to address the barriers that prevent states from participating in the existing background check system. We're going to give law enforcement more information about lost and stolen guns so it can do its job.

We're going to help to put in place emergency plans to protect our children in their schools.

The president was introduced by Mark Barden, father of 7-year-old Daniel, who died in the shootings in Newtown, Conn.; Giffords, Vice-President Biden, and other victims of gun violence stood at his side.

The Washington Post reported that two women shouted "Shame on you!" from the Senate gallery, one of whom they identified as Patricia Maisch -- the bystander in Tuscson who helped disarm the gunman who shot Congresswoman Gabby Giffords, and Lori Haas. Maisch and Haas were escorted from the Senate. The Post quotes them:

“They are an embarrassment to this country, that they don’t have any compassion or care for people who have been taken brutally from their families,” Maisch said as officers attempted to remove her from the building. “I hate them,” she said of the senators.

“We’re sick and tired of the death in this country and these legislators stand up there and think it’s a bunch of numbers,” said Haas, whose daughter, Emily, was wounded in the April 2007 shooting at Virginia Tech.

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