The Senate has failed to pass four separate measures aimed at curbing access to guns, just eight days after a gunman massacred 49 people at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida. As families of people killed by gun violence watched from the Senate chamber, lawmakers voted down measures to block people on the federal terrorism watchlist from buying guns and to close background check loopholes. Connecticut Democratic Senator Chris Murphy, who staged a 15-hour filibuster last week to demand gun reform in the wake of the Orlando massacre, denounced the inaction.
Sen. Chris Murphy: “And I believe that for all of the scarring psychological harm that comes with losing a loved one or a neighbor, more harm is piled on when you find out that the people that you elected to run your country just don’t care. It hurts something awful when you lose someone, but it gets worse when your leaders are silent, are totally silent, in the face of your personal horror.”
Not one of the four failed gun measures would have reinstated an assault weapons ban. One of the two guns used by Orlando shooter Omar Mateen was an AR-15 semiautomatic assault rifle, the same style used in the massacres in San Bernardino, California; at a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado; and at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.