From THE WALL STREET JOURNAL:
Expanded Background Checks Fail; Obama Denounces ‘Shameful Day for Washington’By Kristina Peterson and Janet Hook | Updated April 17, 2013, 8:36 p.m. ET
WASHINGTON—The biggest push in nearly two decades to restrict firearms in the U.S., touched off by the emotional response to December’s mass shooting of schoolchildren, collapsed in the Senate on Wednesday, scuttling a major element of President Barack Obama’s second-term agenda.
The centerpiece of a Democrat-led gun-control effort—a plan to expand the system of background checks aimed at detecting buyers ineligible to own guns—failed in a 54-46 vote, six votes shy of the 60 needed to advance. Shortly afterward, the Senate blocked a proposal to ban the manufacture and sale of certain semiautomatic rifles often called assault weapons and ban high-capacity ammunition magazines. It drew 40 votes, with 60 senators opposed.
Mr. Obama denounced the Senate action in the White House Rose Garden, where he was joined by victims of gun violence, including former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D., Ariz.), who was gravely injured in a mass shooting. “This was a pretty shameful day for Washington. But this effort is not over,” the president said.
Supporters of the background-check measure had hoped the co-sponsorship of Sen. Pat Toomey, a conservative Republican from Pennsylvania, would draw in his party colleagues. But only four GOP senators joined 50 of the Senate’s 55 Democrats and independents in support.
More at the link.
The President was right: it was indeed a shameful day in America when there were actually 54 Senators who believe, and voted for, a provision which would directly violate the Constitution of the United States, when there were 40 Senators who voted for yet another provision which would take away the rights of law-abiding American citizens. And it was a shameful day when the President of the United States, who has taken an oath to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States,” seeks instead to subvert, ignore and undermine that Constitution.Our friends on the left have a serious conceptual problem: they seem to believe that the solution to a crime problem is to take away the rights of people who are not criminals, that you solve the problem of law-breaking by attacking the law-abiding.
There are those who say that nobody needs an assault rifle, as if that is somehow a reason to suspend our Constitutional rights. Such statements completely misunderstand freedom and liberty. Unless someone violates someone else’s rights, it is nobody else’s concern as to why someone would want any particular firearm. It is not Dianne Feinstein’s or Barack Obama’s or Chuck Schumer’s or Michael Bloomberg’s or anybody else’s fornicating business whether I own an AR-15 as long as I have not used that weapon to shoot anybody else.