News / USA

Obama: Gun Bill Defeat 'A Pretty Shameful Day For Washington'

President Obama White House speaking on gun control vote with family members of school shooting victims and others, April 17, 2013President Obama White House speaking on gun control vote with family members of school shooting victims and others, April 17, 2013
x
President Obama White House speaking on gun control vote with family members of school shooting victims and others, April 17, 2013
President Obama White House speaking on gun control vote with family members of school shooting victims and others, April 17, 2013
Kent Klein
— After the U.S. Senate Wednesday defeated a bill to require gun buyers to pass expanded background checks, President Barack Obama angrily blamed a minority of senators and gun owners groups for the setback. Both the president and the families of shooting victims vowed to continue fighting.
 
In a highly unusual move, President Obama allowed someone outside his administration to begin his statement in the Rose Garden.

Mark Barden lost his seven-year-old son Daniel four months ago, in a mass shooting at a school in Connecticut.  The president briefly put his hand on Barden’s shoulder as he spoke.

“We will not be defeated.  We are not defeated, and we will not be defeated.  We are here now.  We will always be here, because we have no other choice.  We are not going away,” Barden said.

When Obama took the podium, the president, who is known for his cool demeanor, lashed out.  He accused both Republicans and Democrats who voted against the bill of political cowardice.

“There were no coherent arguments as to why we would not do this.  It came down to politics-the worry that that vocal minority of gun owners would come after them in future elections,” the president said.

The president went on to blame the National Rifle Association and other gun owners groups of distorting the provisions of the legislation.

“But instead of supporting this compromise, the gun lobby and its allies willfully lied about the bill,” Obama said.

Afterward, an NRA statement said the bill “would have criminalized certain private transfers of firearms…requiring lifelong friends, neighbors and some family members to get federal government permission to exercise a fundamental right”.

Republican Senator Chuck Grassley, who voted against the bill, said expanded background checks would not have prevented the Connecticut shootings.

The legislation was a bipartisan compromise, intended to keep guns out of the hands of convicted criminals and the mentally ill.

Fifty-four of the 100 senators voted for the initiative, but it fell short of the 60 votes needed for passage.

Obama said he sees the defeat of the bill as just “round one” in the battle for tighter gun control.

“I believe we are going to be able to get this done.  Sooner or later, we are going to get this right.  The memories of these children demand it, and so do the American people,” Obama said.

Former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords, who was shot while meeting with her constituents in Arizona in 2011, stood next to the president as he spoke.  Before the event, she sent messages on social media, saying the Senate ignored the will of the people.

You May Like

EU Court Fines Poland for Hosting CIA 'Black Sites'

Ruling is first time a court has acknowledged suspects were held and tortured at the sites, under US program launched following the 9/11 terrorist attacks More

Migrant Issues Close to Home Spur Groups to Take Action

Groups placing water, food in the desert, or aiding detainees after release, have one common goal: no more deaths of migrants crossing illegally into the US More

Video At AIDS Conference, Prevention Pill Stirs Excitement

Truveda shows promise, spurring debate over access and other approaches More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debatei
X
Shelley Schlender
July 24, 2014 6:43 PM
In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Death Toll From Israel-Gaza Conflict Surpasses 700

Gaza officials say a shelling hit a compound housing a United Nations-run school in the Gaza Strip, killing more than a dozen people, during an Israeli offensive in the area. Heavy fighting between the Israeli military and Hamas militants continued on Thursday, pushing up the death toll. So far, more than 730 Palestinians and 35 Israelis have been killed in the conflict. VOA's Scott Bobb has the latest from Jerusalem.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnels

The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video Researchers Target Low-Cost Avatar Technology

Scientists at the University of Southern California Institute for Creative Technologies say 3-dimensional representations could revolutionize social media. Elizabeth Lee has more from Los Angeles.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.

AppleAndroid