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Democrats mix disappointment and anger after Senate blocks gun bill

REUTERS/Yuri Gripas
President Barack Obama speaking next to Vice President Joe Biden in the Rose Garden of the White House following Wednesday's vote in the U.S. Senate.
  • “While today’s vote on this bipartisan compromise is disappointing,” Klobuchar said in a statement, “I will continue to work with law enforcement to find a way forward to strengthen background checks, and build on the bipartisan support we’ve seen on other issues in the Senate.”
  •  “Today was a heartbreaker … probably my saddest day in my years of public life,” Connecticut Sen. Richard Blumenthal said.
  • “This is a sad day, but this is a shameful day too,” his Connecticut colleague Sen. Chris Murphy said.
  • “All in all, this was a pretty shameful day for Washington,” President Obama said.

Comments (12)

  1. Submitted by Richard Schulze on 04/17/2013 - 08:07 pm.

    Democrats or at least a number of them deserve as much blame as Republicans.

  2. Submitted by Tom Christensen on 04/17/2013 - 09:34 pm.

    They can’t even do what the majority of Americans want

    Unlimited corporate giving is on full frontal display with the senate vote today. Absolutely cowardly politicians in Washington are afraid of the NRA. Here is a prime example of the negative effects of unlimited giving by big business. In a one voter, one vote system this was the NRA’s first vote. They will get more votes as time goes on. When they leave work and go home, their final vote will be just like your vote or mine in the polling booth. The NRA doesn’t give to politicians without a huge expectation in return. It is very obvious which vote means the most to the politicians. It is another case of the politicians in the minority getting to run the country. Harry Reid said, over and over again, he was going to change the 60 vote rule in the senate. When push came to shove, Harry took the cowardly route and didn’t make any changes. Those that the NRA shield from public view are loving the turmoil around the gun violence issue because their profits are soaring. Artificial fear has Americans running to buy their guns and ammo. Pretty soon everyone will be packing heat and the next time something happens in public there will be more people killed from the crossfire from those who don’t know a thing about the weapon they are blindly firing. Corruption is alive and well in America.

  3. Submitted by John Bracken on 04/18/2013 - 09:15 am.

    Speaking Honestly

    President Obama is not a man of principle…gun control was not on his “to do list” for the first four years of his Presidency because it would have cost him and other Democrats votes. As a disclaimer, I think the proposal looked reasonable, but if you give Harry or Nancy an inch, they will take a mile. That is the broken nature of Washington.

  4. Submitted by David Frenkel on 04/18/2013 - 11:23 am.


    What this vote really shows is the power of lobbyists in DC. The lobbying industry is a billion dollar business and it gets results. Certainly the NRA is one of the strongest and most powerful lobbying organizations but they get their way in DC by using plenty of money and threats of getting politicians on their list of politicians to defeat. Couldn’t have a discussion in DC on gun control without the NRA entering into the conversation. It is estimated the NRA membership is about 5 % of gun owners, it is amazing how such a small group can have so much political influence in our political system. Things will never change in DC with the influence of special interests and money only growing.

  5. Submitted by Tom Moberg on 04/18/2013 - 11:29 am.

    And now in your neighborhood…

    And as if on cue, the Gander Mountain flyer in my paper heralded the arrival of two new ‘Firearms Super Stores’ opening in Blaine and Woodbury. Just what we need!

  6. Submitted by Greg Price on 04/18/2013 - 12:19 pm.

    What a tragedy…the republicans and some rural democrats did not cave to pressure and voted their conscience and represented their constituents opinions.

    I believe that this is a victory for rural America…

    Oh by the way…if 90% of Americans were in favor of unlimited tobacco smoking…would it be right?… not in MN anyway..the land were nothing is legal…

    When the founding fathers set up the senate…it was as a counterbalance to the House of Representatives where the most populous states held sway. The Senate was set up to counter the 90% approval…it did so yesterday and fulfilled its function…just because a majority agrees…you still have to protect the rights of the minorities…

    Show me where 90% of the population favor this legislation…cant be done…

    my $,02

  7. Submitted by Mark Ohm on 04/18/2013 - 12:25 pm.

    60 votes were NOT needed for passage.

    “The final vote was 54-46, short of the 60 votes needed for passage.”

    This is simply not true and needs to be fixed. The final vote was enough to ensure passage of the bill since it had a majority. However, Republicans have placed a hold or filibuster on nearly every bill that comes up, requiring sixty votes to break the hold or filibuster. This bill was defeated due to the Republican hold/filibuster, not by lacking votes to pass.

    Again, I refer you to James Fallows at the Atlantic:

    • Submitted by Devin Henry on 04/18/2013 - 01:39 pm.

      Hey Mark,Getting into the

      Hey Mark,

      Getting into the intricacies of Senate procedure is a big hassle, and I generally try to avoid it in stories like this. Wednesday’s votes complicated things, since they weren’t technically cloture votes (those used to break filibusters). Rather, I’m told, the 60-vote threshold was agreed upon by leadership ahead of time.

      Now, if that agreement hadn’t been made, Republicans would have threatened a filibuster and forced a cloture vote, so James Fallows is right in saying one could effectively call this a filibuster.

      But even if it was a filibuster in practice, it technically wasn’t, so I didn’t call it so in my piece. Rather, the threshold for passage was 60 votes, which was not met. Thus the amendment did not have enough votes to pass.

      Along those lines, since the filibuster has become such a commonplace technique, most even mildly-controversial bills need to get to 60 votes for passage, making it another practical vs. technical problem. These days, until there are serious reforms made the process, most bills need 60 votes to move on, whether we call it a filibuster or not.

      So it’s a confusing situation, but in this case, what’s in the story is correct. For more reading, here are some of the pieces Eric Black and I wrote over the winter when filibuster reform looked possible:

      -Devin Henry

  8. Submitted by john milton on 04/18/2013 - 01:28 pm.

    Minnesota’s gutless wonders

    The self-serving comments by Senators Franken and Klobuchar are as disgraceful as the blood-stained NRA and reincarnations of Joe McCarthy like Senator Ted Cruz.
    When the Democratic caucus in the U.S. Senate had the opportunity to end the 60-vote rule, Franken and Klobuchar supported Harry Reid for another term as majority leader, and Gutless Harry proceeded to bend way over for the Republicans — until his elbows touched the ground!
    Before Senators Franken and Klobuchar come back home, to ask for our votes and our $$, they should apologize for helping Harry Reid kill legislation to prevent the daily carnage of gun violence.
    And, will the Reid-Franken-Klobuchar 60-vote rule ensure that nothing meaningful will be passed on immigration, tax fairness, pay equity, and climate control?
    No more whining, Amy and Al. Do something!
    — former DFL Senator John Milton, Afton MN

  9. Submitted by Connie Sullivan on 04/18/2013 - 03:48 pm.

    All it takes to be clear on this, Mr. Henry, it to add an adjective or adverb to your statement that it takes 60 votes to pass a bill in the U. S. Senate. It only takes 51 votes–or 50 plus the Vice President’s vote. Don’t turn a falsehood, a temporary Senate rule on its way to perpetual status, into Truth.

    The Republicans made a gigantic, a huge concession last week, when they agreed even to let this gun-control measure and its amendments come up for any Senate vote at all.


    Harry Reid is to blame for this shameful victory by the 10% of fearful Americans who live in rural areas (most of us live in cities, and want guns controlled), because he refused earlier this session to change the Senate’s rules to avoid the holdups by threatened filibusters (you don’t need to filibuster, just mention the word). That’s an important part of our current history, because Harry Reid is afraid of the NRA and the gun manufacturers’ organization, etc.

  10. Submitted by John Bray on 04/18/2013 - 05:03 pm.

    Presidential behavior tacky

    The President’s nonstatesman-like rant at the gun control defeat’s press conference was disgraceful, and his over the top threats about political revenge were downright offensive — I guess you can take the politician out of Chicago, but you can’t take Chicago out of the politician–now the Senate should demand that the President disclose the real story about Bengazhi and Fast & Furious. And while he’s at it, maybe he could explain to the American people the rationale for his drone assassination program that has killed thousands of innocent men, women and children throughout the middle east. And also the stark inconsistencies between his strong support of partial birth abortions (killing, by any definition) and his goal to destroy the 2nd Amendment to our Bill of Rights.

  11. Submitted by Greg Price on 04/18/2013 - 05:22 pm.

    Can anybody give any documentation?

    Can anybody give any documentation on where this 90% of Americans favoring this bill came from?

    That is …other than the mouth of Sen. Al Franken?…

    We cant even agree at 90% when Bush went after Iraq after 9-11….

    where is this number coming from…?


    one of the disadvantaged 10%…not fearful…we are armed after all…LOL

    my $.02

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