Senate shoots down background checks for guns, angers Obama

by David Sherfinski-The Washington Times  |  published on April 18, 2013

Senators dealt a devastating blow to gun control efforts Wednesday, defeating the background check compromise that was the centerpiece of President Obama’s post-Newtown push for stiffer laws and leaving advocates struggling to figure out what to do now.

The Senate also defeated efforts to ban some semi-automatic firearms and to limit the size of ammunition magazines. The series of votes showed that Congress remains bitterly divided between those who think the Second Amendment is paramount and those who say lawmakers must take any steps to prevent another school shooting.

Speaking about 90 minutes after the vote in the White House Rose Garden, an angry Mr. Obama called his opponents deliberate liars and said it was “a pretty shameful day for Washington.”
He urged voters to punish senators who voted to defeat expanded background checks.

“You’ve got to send the right people to Washington,” he said. “That requires strength and it requires persistence. I see this as just Round 1. Sooner or later, we are going to get this right. The memories of these children demand it.”

Mr. Obama doubled down on politics in other ways, blaming the defeat on the National Rifle Association and mocking arguments of opponents. At one point, he blurted out a rhetorical “Are they serious?” to the charge that he had been exploiting the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., by using its victims as props.

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