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

Pundits Split Over Long-Term US Role in Afghanistan

Security pact remains condition for American presence beyond 2014; deadline criticized More

US Eyes Islamic State Threat

Officials warn that IS could pose a threat to US homeland More

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Moscow says Russian troops crossed into Ukrainian territory by mistake More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocksi
X
George Putic
August 25, 2014 4:00 PM
How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Ukrainian officials say they have captured Russian soldiers on Ukrainian territory -- the latest accusation of Moscow's involvement in the conflict in eastern Ukraine. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the Ukrainian side of the battle, where soldiers are convinced of Russia's role.
Video

Video Rubber May Soon Come From Dandelions

Synthetic rubber has been around for more than a century, but quality tires for cars, trucks and aircraft still need up to 40 percent or more natural rubber content. As the source of natural rubber, the rubber tree, is prone to disease and can be affected by bad weather. So scientists are looking for replacements. And as VOA’s George Putic reports, they may have found one in a ubiquitous weed.
Video

Video Jewish Life in Argentina Reflected in Yiddish Tango

Jewish people from across Europe and Russia have been immigrating to Argentina for hundreds of years. They brought with them dance music that was eventually mixed with Argentine tango. The result is Yiddish tango -- a fusion of melodies and cultural experiences that is still evolving today. Elizabeth Lee reports on how one band is bringing Yiddish tango to Los Angeles.
Video

Video Peace Returns to Ferguson as Community Tries to Heal

Thousands of people nationwide are expected to attend funeral services Monday in the U.S. Midwestern city of St. Louis, Missouri, for Michael Brown, the unarmed African-American teenager who was fatally shot by a white police officer August 9 in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson. The shooting touched off days of violent demonstrations there, resulting in more than 100 arrests. VOA's Chris Simkins reports from Ferguson where the community is trying to move on after weeks of racial tension.
Video

Video Meeting in Minsk May Hinge on Putin Story

The presidents of Russia and Ukraine are expected to meet face-to-face Tuesday in Minsk, along with European leaders, for talks on the situation in Ukraine. Political analysts say the much welcomed dialogue could help bring an end to months of deadly clashes between pro-Russia separatists and Ukrainian forces in the country's southeast. But much depends on the actions of one man, Russian President Vladimir Putin. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video Artists Shun Russia's Profanity Law

Russia in July enacted a law threatening fines for publicly displayed profanity in media, films, literature, music and theater. The restriction, the toughest since the Soviet era, aims to protect the Russian language and culture and has been welcomed by those who say cursing is getting out of control. But many artists reject the move as a patronizing and ineffective act of censorship in line with a string of conservative morality laws. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video British Fighters on Frontline of ISIS Information War

Security services are racing to identify the Islamic State militant who beheaded U.S. journalist James Foley in Syria. The murderer spoke English on camera with a British accent. It’s estimated that several hundred British citizens are fighting for the Islamic State, also called ISIL or ISIS, alongside thousands of other foreign jihadists. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from the center of the investigation in London.

AppleAndroid