Stop me if you’ve heard this before. On June 12, there’s a terrible mass shooting at the LGBT nightclub Pulse in Orlando, Florida. A few days later, a group of U.S. Senators (including Democratic U.S. Senators Mazie Hirono and Brian Schatz of Hawaii) stage a 15-hour filibuster, calling for votes on a few “common sense” gun control regulations.
Well, today the Senate voted down all four measures, Reuters reported today. “In a familiar setback for gun control advocates, all four of the measures to expand background checks on gun buyers and curb gun sales to those on terrorism watch lists–two put forth by Democrats and two by Republicans–fell short of the 60 votes needed for passage in the 100-member chamber,” Reuters reported.
As you might expect, Senators Hirono and Schatz weren’t happy about the failures. Here’s Hirono’s statement, issued this afternoon:
“Last week on the Senate floor, I joined Senator [Christopher] Murphy [D, Connecticut] in calling for action on commonsense measures to curb gun violence in honor of the more than 6,000 people killed by guns so far in 2016. Since that speech last Wednesday, nearly 200 more Americans have been killed by guns. Enough is enough. These victims and their loved ones deserve more than empty promises, thoughts, and prayers. Today, Senate Republicans sent a clear message that they are more interested in pandering to special interests such as the National Rifle Association than taking steps to prevent tragedies like Orlando, like Newtown, like Charleston, from happening again. I will continue to fight alongside the millions of Americans demanding action.”
And here’s Schatz’s statement:
“More than 90% of Americans demand we take action on gun violence, but again Senate Republicans refuse to act. It’s unacceptable. Right now, known terrorists are banned from getting on an airplane, but they are still allowed to buy military-style weapons. It is absolutely insane. After one of the most horrific mass shootings in our history, we saw people across the country courageously stand up against gun violence and hatred. When will Republicans in Congress finally do the same?”
Then again, at least they took a few votes. We can argue about the statistics of gun deaths and the relative merits of the bills (tying gun purchases to terrorism watch lists, which are notoriously inaccurate, seems to be a poor idea) but at least the Senate actually did something other than offer “thoughts and prayers” after a bloody mass shooting.
Photo: Ken/Wikimedia Commons