On Wednesday, April 17, just 48 hours after the terrible events in Boston, the Senate failed to pass the Manchin-Toomey amendment to the Senate's gun control bill, which mandated background checks on firearm purchases via the Internet and gun shows. Though it received a clear majority of votes (54-46), it didn't reach the 60-vote threshold that it needed to stave off a threatened filibuster. Also defeated on Wednesday, by a much larger margin (40-60), was Senator Dianne Feinstein's amendment, which would have instituted a ban on assault weapons and large capacity magazines.
The Manchin-Toomey amendment was supported by 90 percent of the public; the failure to pass it, or any meaningful federal gun control legislation, is a failure of colossal magnitude.
Once again, the public welfare has been sacrificed by political leaders in service to the gun lobby. Do Americans really value the right to bear firearms -- and not just any firearms, but ones that are designed to kill as many people in as short a time as possible -- more than they do the safety of their children?
"A majority of senators voted 'yes' to protecting more of our citizens with smarter background checks," as President Obama put it. "A minority was able to block it from moving forward."
"The gun lobby and its allies willfully lied about the bill," he continued, "It came down to politics -- the worry that that vocal minority of gun owners would come after them in future elections."
"All in all," he concluded, "This was a pretty shameful day for Washington."
The morning after the vote, the Morning Joe crew called out the 45 senators (four of them Democrats), who voted "No."
Take a good look at their faces. You'll have to make decisions about some of them in 2014.
The Forty-five Senators Who Voted "No"