Yesterday, the majority of Senators voted to pass a background check bill, meant to keep guns out of the hands of criminals. But that majority wasn't enough to reach the 60 vote threshold needed to turn that bill into law. The final vote was 54 to 46. Four Republicans voted to support the background check measure, and four Democrats voted against it.
Yesterday, 46 members of the upper chamber said doing absolutely nothing is an adequate response to the Newtown massacre, and the thousands of gun deaths that have taken place since. Forty-six Senators voted against a measure that the vast majority of Americans support.
President Obama spoke from the Rose Garden shortly after the vote, and directly addressed those who prevented the measure from passing. He said, “I've heard some say that blocking this step would be a victory. And my question is, a victory for who? A victory for what?... It begs the question, who are we here to represent?” It's certainly clear that there are 46 senators who choose not to represent the will of the people, and prefered to guarantee a victory for the gun lobby instead.
As President Obama said yesterday, “this isn't over.” As a nation, we will not accept that doing nothing is the appropriate response to a tragedy. We are better than that. Poll after Poll show that over 90 percent of our nation support background checks, and the majority of Americans support stronger gun control laws in general.
We cannot allow this country to be governed by those who refuse to represent us. Come next election, we must remind our elected leaders that they work for us. And if they refuse to carry out the will of the people, than the people will find leaders that will.
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