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

Reports of Mass Murder on Mediterranean Smuggler’s Boat

Boat sailed from Libya with 750 migrants aboard and arrived in Italy with 569 More

Video New Thailand Hotline Targets Misbehaving Monks

Officials say move aims to restore country’s image of Buddhism, tarnished by recent high profile scandals such as opulent lifestyle, drug and alcohol abuse, as well as child sex abuse More

Study: Dust from Sahara Helped Form Bahama Islands

What does the Sahara have in common with a Caribbean island? Quite a lot, researchers say More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Astronauts Train in Underwater Labi
X
George Putic
July 25, 2014 7:25 PM
In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Not Even Monks Spared From Thailand’s Junta-Backed Morality Push

With Thailand’s military government firmly in control after May’s bloodless coup, authorities are carrying out plans they say are aimed at restoring discipline, morality and patriotism to all Thais. The measures include a crackdown on illegal gambling, education reforms to promote students’ moral development, and a new 24-hour phone hotline for citizens to report misbehaving monks. Steve Sandford reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Virtual Program Teaches Farming Skills

In a fast-changing world beset by unpredictable climate conditions, farmers cannot afford to ignore new technology. Researchers in Australia are developing an online virtual world program to share information about climate change and more sustainable farming techniques for sugar cane growers. As VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports, the idea is to create a wider support network for farmers.
Video

Video Airline Expert: Missile will Show Signature on Debris

The debris field from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is spread over a 21-kilometer radius in eastern Ukraine. It is expected to take investigators months to sort through the airplane pieces to learn about the missile that brought down the jetliner and who fired it. VOAs Carolyn Presutti explains how this work will be done.
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 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 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.

AppleAndroid