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Gun Control Advocates Regroup Following Failure of Background Check Bill

Update Friday, 19 April:  The Huffington Post reports that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) on Thursday pulled legislation to curb gun violence from further consideration by the Senate after only 2 of 9 amendments–both supported by the National Rifle Assocation (NRA)– passed.  Reid vowed that proponents of the bill would regroup and he would once again submit it for a vote, promising:   

"It's only a matter of time before we bring this anti-gun violence measure back to the floor for a vote," Reid said. "The stand of the Republicans is not sustainable. It's a question of how long they're going to stand firm, but it's not sustainable."

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(earlier post)

After the Senate failed to secure the 60 votes needed to pass the Manchin-Toomey Amendment, which would have expanded background checks to include sales of guns over the internet and at gun shows, groups that have advocated for tighter restrictions on the sales of guns and ammunition are regrouping and planning their next phase of activism.

 

Gabrielle Giffords, through her organization Americans for Responsible Solutions, had this to say to supporters:

Over two years ago, when I was shot point-blank in the head, the U.S. Senate chose to do nothing. Four months ago, 20 first-graders lost their lives in a brutal attack on their school, and the U.S. Senate chose to do nothing. 
 
It's clear to me that if members of the U.S. Senate refuse to change the laws to reduce gun violence, then we need to change the members of the U.S. Senate. 

 

In a New York Times Op-Ed on Thursday, April 18, Giffords added:

Speaking is physically difficult for me. But my feelings are clear: I’m furious. I will not rest until we have righted the wrong these senators have done, and until we have changed our laws so we can look parents in the face and say: We are trying to keep your children safe. We cannot allow the status quo — desperately protected by the gun lobby so that they can make more money by spreading fear and misinformation — to go on.
 
I am asking every reasonable American to help me tell the truth about the cowardice these senators demonstrated. I am asking for mothers to stop these lawmakers at the grocery store and tell them: You’ve lost my vote. I am asking activists to unsubscribe from these senators’ e-mail lists and to stop giving them money. I’m asking citizens to go to their offices and say: You’ve disappointed me, and there will be consequences.

 Support Giffords in her effort.

 

The group Moms Demand Action sent out this statement to members:

We are sickened and appalled by the cowardice of the senators who blocked bipartisan, common-sense gun reforms supported by 90 percent of the American people. But we are not defeated.
 
If this Congress will not protect our children and families, we will find one that will.
 
The group Mayors Against Illegal Guns (MAIG) said:
We never thought this fight would be easy or fast. This was round one. Round two begins tomorrow -- in the Senate, in the House, and in state houses across the country.
 
You’ve already changed the conversation in Washington. Today marks the biggest majority in the Senate voting for major gun reform in 17 years -- and there's no turning back.
 
MAIG has created this video update about the vote to ask activists to tell Senators how they feel about the vote: