The decision by the U.S. Senate to shoot down gun control measures is showing advocates just how difficult the fight to ban high capacity clips and assault weapons can be in the United States. On Wednesday, with 80 percent of Americans in favor of the measures, 54 senators approved the bill, according to Reuters.
Republicans threatened to use a filibuster to block on gun proposal that did not get 60 votes out of the 100 seat Senate, and so the plan to expand background checks to sales made online fell short of the required support for approval.
With the disapproval of at least sixty senators, Senate leaders are faced with the decision to either remove substantial new gun restrictions from the bill or allow it to fall to a filibuster next week. Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, who threw his support behind the bill following the massacre in Newtown, Connecticut, is expected to pull the bill from the Senate floor and move on to an Internet sales tax measure and then an immigration policy, which is more likely to pass.
On Wednesday, the President expressed his disappointment over the Senate’s failure to pass the measure, calling it “a pretty shameful day for Washington.”
Lori Haas, whose daughter was shot at Virginia Tech, and Patricia Maisch, a survivor of the mass shooting in Arizona, shouted together, “Shame on you,” as they sat in the Senate Gallery as their leadership failed to pass the measures.
Democratic leadership aides said the effort could be revived if public support demanded it, according to the New York Times. “The world is watching the United States Senate, and we will be held accountable,” said Senator Richard Blumenthal, Democrat of Connecticut.
“It’s almost like you can see the finish line, but you just can’t get there,” said Andrew Goddard to the New York Times, whose son was hurt in shooting at Virginia Tech. “It’s more annoying to be able to see it and not get to it.”