FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. – A group of Democratic Senators led by U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) and U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) expressed great disappointment Monday evening after two proposed gun control amendments were defeated in the Senate.
The two amendments were designed to expand background checks at gun shows and for online gun sales, and to deny gun sales to people on terrorist watch lists. The background check amendment, which was sponsored by Murphy, failed by a vote of 56 to 44, and the terror watch list amendment, which was proposed by Sen. John Cronyn (R-Texas), failed by a vote of 53 to 47.
“I’m mortified by today’s vote but I’m not surprised by it,” said Murphy.
The vote was brought forward after a 15-hour filibuster last week led by Murphy. He and Blumenthal were joined by several other Democrats following Monday’s vote, including Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV), Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.).
The senators placed the blame for the measures’ passing on Senate Republicans and the National Rifle Association, and insisted that the majority of Americans support gun legislation.
“We learned in the months after Sandy Hook that the NRA has a vise-like grip on this place,” Murphy said. “I don’t think democracy allows for this congress to be so out of step with the American public for very long.”
Blumenthal said that when gun control measures failed three years ago after the shootings at Sandy Hook, he heard people shouting “Shame on you” from the gallery of the Senate.
“That’s what the American people are shouting at the Senate of the United States today,” Blumenthal said. “The political dynamic of this nation ahs changed. It is a sea change and the American people have turned a chapter because the terrorists have turned a chapter. This fight is no longer about the 30,000 individual people who are lost every year to gun violence, it is now about making America safe against our enemies like ISIS who would inspire and support extremist violence here.”
“As Republicans scramble as we speak to try to find some way out of this mess, as they try to find some way to show that they understand that 90 percent of Americans don’t want terrorists to get guns, we are closer than ever before to breaking the NRA’s grip on this place,” Murphy said.
The democrats said that they would continue to fight, and take part in negotiations with Republicans.
“We’re not giving up, the American people aren’t giving up,” Murphy said. “We’ll watch how these negotiations play out over the next few days but I will tell you this: they are simply evidence of the fact that Republicans know they are on the wrong side of the electorate.”
“I urge my Republican colleagues not just to talk tough but to act tough,” Blumenthal said.
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