A sad day for people who believe we need stronger gun violence laws. Some 90% of the public support strengthened background checks. As President Obama pointed out, about 90% of the Democrats in the Senate today agreed with the public. 90% of the Republicans disagreed, and they will have to live with their decision. Some Republican Senators may have avoided a primary from a candidate further to the right, but some may yet lose their seat to a more moderate candidate in touch with a broader public.
In spite of being ill NJ Senator Frank Lautenberg was on the floor and received applause from his colleagues when he voted in favor of the initial key Manchin Amendment No. 715. It was designed to ensure that all individuals who should be prohibited from buying a firearm are listed in the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, and provide a responsible and consistent background check process.” The amendment received 54 votes in favor, including that of NJ Sen. Menendez, but needed 60 votes for passage. Sen. Lautenberg’s amendment No. 714 to regulate large capacity ammunition feeding devices received only 46 votes in favor. To see the votes on all amendments go here.
President Obama said this evening, “Those who care deeply about preventing more and more gun violence will have to be as passionate, and as organized, and as vocal as those who blocked these common-sense steps to help keep our kids safe.” He vowed that this effort is not over.
In the meantime it is now up to our New Jersey Legislature to show the courage so absent from many U. S. Senators.