The old line gun prohibitionists are becoming increasingly irrelevant in the debate. When Obama threw his hissy fit yesterday after Manchin-Toomey was defeated, he didn’t have Josh Horwitz or Dan Gross by his side. He had Gabby Giffords, former Congresswoman and co-founder of Americans for Responsible Solutions, by his side.
When Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA) partnered with Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) to revive gun control, it wasn’t out of fear of pathetic demonstrations by CSGV or an ad campaign by the Brady Campaign. While we will never know for sure what convinced him to go over to the dark side, I’m sure the pressure from Mayor Bloomberg and his fat wallet had something to do with it.
So I find the petulant responses of groups like CSGV and the Brady Campaign to the defeat of the gun control measures yesterday more amusing than irritating. They are like the high school prom queen who has not aged well and is still expecting to get the same attention she got in high school.
“This is an insult to the 90 people killed by gun violence every day and the 90 percent of Americans who believe that felons, domestic abusers, and the dangerous mentally ill should not be able to buy guns without a background check, no questions asked. The Senate failed to pass something that virtually all Americans support and would undoubtedly make this a safer nation. It is unfathomable that a Senator could sit across the table from a Newtown parent who lost a child, and then days later vote against this amendment. We will not give up in this fight and we should not lose sight of the progress we have made. That we have come this far only strengthens our resolve to make the American public heard until we can make the Congress listen. And we will work to make sure that those Senators who refuse to represent the will of the overwhelming majority of Americans on this crucial issue are replaced with others who will.
In addition to continuing the fight for expanded background checks at the federal level, the Brady Campaign continues to work to keep the American public safe from gun violence. We are working to maintain momentum at the state level and pass common sense legislation, as we’ve seen in several states including New York, Colorado, and Connecticut. The Brady Campaign has also created groundbreaking programs to help change the way we approach guns in our communities. With 300 million guns already in the nation, it is imperative that we take shared responsibility for how they are stored and handled.”
The outcome of today’s votes is a stain on the reputation of the U.S. Senate, and insulting to victims and survivors of gun violence nationwide.
At the same time, gun violence prevention advocates have made tremendous progress in changing the political dynamic of this debate, and we will keep the heat on both the Senate and the House of Representatives until we get meaningful reform. More importantly, with today’s recorded votes, we will be able to inform Americans exactly which legislators are prioritizing the grade they are getting from the NRA over the safety of their constituents.
Americans have made it clear time and time again that they want real reform. Strong majorities of Americans support universal background checks, tough new criminal penalties for gun traffickers, and the renewal of the federal ban on assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines.
More than 3,482 Americans have been killed by guns since 20 children and six adults were slaughtered at Sandy Hook Elementary on December 14, 2012. We are destined to bury our loved ones following future tragedies if this Congress continues to willfully ignore this epidemic of gun violence.
Tonight was merely the first step in a tireless campaign to keep the gun issue at the top of Congress’ agenda until decisive action is taken. To Americans who want to stop gun violence, we say don’t retreat. Don’t despair. Redouble your efforts and maintain daily pressure on those Senators and Representatives who have failed to support sensible gun reforms. Working together, we can and we will enact life-saving legislation at the federal level.