May 1st, 2013
01:31 PM ET
2 years ago

Gun vote follows senators home

(CNN) – It was a tense moment on an emotionally charged topic: the daughter of the slain principal of Sandy Hook Elementary School asking Sen. Kelly Ayotte why, in mid-April, she voted against bolstering background checks on gun sales.

"I'm just wondering why the burden of my mother being gunned down in the halls of her elementary school isn't as important" as inconveniencing gun sellers, asked Erica Lafferty, daughter of Dawn Hochsprung.

If it looked like a made for television moment, it should. Lafferty was sent to Ayotte's event by the organization Mayors Against Illegal Guns, one of several gun control groups using this week's Congressional recess to bring the gun control message to the states.

The April 17 defeat of a bipartisan measure expanding background checks to gun shows and internet sales was seen as a major blow to gun control efforts, which began after the Newtown shooting in December that left 26 people dead. The new gun laws are a major initiative of President Barack Obama's second term.

After the vote, Obama called out senators who opposed the background checks bill, suggesting they were ignoring the will of the people who elected them.

Noting polls that showed 90% support for such a measure, Obama called it a "pretty shameful day for Washington" and wondered of Congress: "Who are we here to represent?"

WATCH: Erica Lafferty will appear Wednesday night on CNN's "Anderson Cooper 360," starting at 8 p.m. ET.

But while he vowed to continue pressing for tighter controls on guns, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid ultimately shelved the gun control legislation without bringing it to a final vote.

However, there are discussions among senators to revive gun legislation, multiple sources say. One Senate source said even Ayotte is "willing to consider alternatives" to the background checks measure.

Senate Democratic leadership sources say they are willing to return to the gun issue, but only if they come up with legislation that is guaranteed to pass. Outside groups sending advocates to senators' events and running ads may help get there.

Those groups hope pressure from constituents will help fuel another go at gun control. Ayotte, who represents a state that voted for Obama in November and whose four other statewide representatives are Democrats, has been a particular target.

The group founded by former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and her husband began airing radio ads accusing Ayotte of "ignoring the will of the people."

A spot from New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's Mayors Against Illegal Guns takes a similar approach, charging Ayotte with giving "criminals a pass" – a hard blow for the former state attorney general who ran largely on her tough-on-crime record.

And Organizing for Action, the political outlet formed from Obama's presidential campaign, took out ads online encouraging supporters to "Remind Senator Ayotte: You work for New Hampshire, not the gun lobby."

That gun lobby happens to be on the air in New Hampshire as well, praising Ayotte for her "no" vote on background checks. The National Rifle Association's radio spot thanks the senator for her "courage to oppose misguided gun control laws that would not have prevented Sandy Hook."

A survey conducted by a pro-Democratic polling firm indicated a drop in support for Ayotte after her vote against the background checks provision, along with other senators who opposed the measure. One, Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona, wrote on Facebook earlier this week his new approval rating "probably puts me somewhere just below pond scum."

"It was a popular amendment, and I voted against it," Flake wrote. He'll be the subject of a protest organized by Bloomberg's group on Thursday, when survivors of gun violence will gather at his Phoenix office to demand a face-to-face meeting discussing the vote.

The poll also indicated a drop in support for other opponents of the bill, including Alaska's Mark Begich, one of the four Democrats from pro-gun states who sided with most Republicans in opposition.

Another one of those Democrats, Sen. Max Baucus of Montana, will soon be the subject of a television spot from the Progressive Change Campaign Committee that features a woman detailed her harrowing experience of hiding from an armed intruder.

"I hid my girls in a closet, called for help, aimed my handgun at the door and waited," Claire Kelly of Stevensville, Montana, says in the ad. "Guns can protect us but we're less safe with guns in the wrong hands."

The group said Wednesday they'll spend $50,000 to air the spot in Montana – even though Baucus announced in April he won't seek re-election in 2014.

"Another vote will happen in the Senate," Adam Green, PCCC's co-founder, said. "Max Baucus needs to choose whether he stands with the overwhelming majority of Montanans who support background checks or the gun manufacturers that profit by selling guns to criminals."

The ad isn't the only effort to highlight Baucus' vote. Bloomberg's group organized a "shame on you" rally at the senator's office in Bozeman shortly after the vote, part of a national effort to loudly protest senators who helped defeat the measure.

Mayors Against Illegal Guns will also send the father of a Newtown victim to Arkansas Thursday to attend a public event held by Sen. Mark Pryor, a Democrat who voted "no" on background checks and is up for re-election next year.

Meanwhile, national polling still indicates a desire for extending background checks on gun sales. Nearly two-thirds of Americans said in a Gallup survey out Monday that the Senate should have passed the measure in mid-April.

But the survey indicated a partisan divide, with Democrats and independent voters not seeing eye-to-eye with Republicans.

Prior to the Senate's failure to pass the proposal, most national polling indicated that nearly nine in 10 Americans supported expanded background checks for gun sales.

CNN's Dana Bash, Ashley Killough and Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.


Filed under: Gun control • Kelly Ayotte • Max Baucus
soundoff (94 Responses)
  1. ghostriter

    I love it when teabag nutcases bring up Fast and Furious. A two year investigation that ended with, "We think that someone did something....and if we had more information, I'm totally sure we could find something. We aren't sure what, but we'll keep looking till we find it. Whatever it is we are looking for."

    Which also shows that either they are inept or have an agenda. Because, most intelligent folks would look at the 2 similar programs and find the common links. Those links being the local folks who actually ran these programs. But that is like simple detective work. Way too much for conservatives to process. Much easier to chant "We HATE OBAMA!"

    May 1, 2013 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  2. The Real Tom Paine

    -Peoples State of Illinois

    @rs

    The GOP turned its back on 90% of the population and know they're taking heat for doing deals with the blood-soaked NRA. Its good to see them squirm at least a little bit for their actions
    --------
    As usual, you leave out the fact that 90% you are so fond of quoting, falls to well below 50% when the gun registration and tracking data bases, part of the question is asked. That is why you have no credibility.
    ******************
    It never stopped you from parsing data, delta-minus. Go away, your mom need her compter, and your shift starts at WalMart.

    May 1, 2013 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  3. DEMOCRATS = ANTI-BILL OF RIGHTS = ANTI AMERICAN

    Liberals using the term teabag obviously do it for fun. After all they talk about it so much.

    Let's face it Obama could never do anything wrong in their eyes.

    Ignorance is bliss for democrats.

    May 1, 2013 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  4. Ed1

    You need to go online and read the bill and you will see why it was voted down.

    It's on the official Senate website

    See Section 122 "Firearms Transfers".

    This is no way about background checks you might be able to understand it is in English too.

    Before you do spouting off at the mouth know what you are talking about first then you will see why it was voted down.

    Looks like more than enough read the bill not like Nancy pass the bill then we can see what's in it.

    May 1, 2013 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  5. The Real Tom Paine

    -WouldYouLookAtThat

    RudyNYC wrote:
    Problem with that is simple. There are no federal laws on the books to better enforced. The only gun trafficking laws that exist are at the state level. Ayotte, and others like her, simply want to maintain the status quo, one which makes it easy for criminals and terrorists to obtain weapons.
    --------------
    Ignorance is bliss, eh, Rudy? They could start enforcing current laws more by prosecuting a larger percentage of those who fail background checks... but that wouldn't fit your agenda, now would it?
    ****************
    Coughing up the money to pay for it wouldn't fit your agenda, would it? The Right wants a perfect world where the bad guys get caught and prosecuted for nothing, as usual.

    May 1, 2013 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  6. ghostriter

    82ndABNVET, there was one at the AZ shooting where Giffords was. How did that gunslinger help the situation? I hear he hid while others rushed the guy in between re-loading. Of course, that would be a good reason for magazine limits.

    So having gun touting tough guys wouldn't have stopped Sandy Hook either. Matter of fact, the had armed guards in Colombine. Didn't help. And it wouldn't save everyone, even if the guy did manage to take out the shooter AFTER he got a few rounds off.

    You can't claim to be against legislation that wouldn't have prevented Sandy Hook and the present legislation that wouldn't have prevented Sandy Hook as a solution. Because neither would prevent mass shootings.

    May 1, 2013 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  7. ghostriter

    WouldYouLookAtThat, republicans made it impossible to enforce those laws. I wonder why they would do that?

    May 1, 2013 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  8. rs

    Federal government approves of arming the Mexican drug cartel (fast & Furious) while disarming American citizens.

    THANKS OBAMA.
    __________________
    More il-informed nonsense. The guns in F & F were purchased by straw buyers in Phoenix and Tucson and othe SW cities, then passed on to the cartels those gun NEVER were in the possession of LEOs or the BATF.

    May 1, 2013 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  9. Atlas

    I hear random killings and murders rarely happen in North Korea(unless it was sanctioned by the government). Im pretty sure they would love to have all of that wish for more "security" and less "freedom". Freedom comes at a degree of security and I would much rather be free than "safe" under an oppressive regime. Sadly, most of you apparently welcome your new overlords like good little serfs.

    May 1, 2013 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  10. jrm03063

    The first blow in getting rid of a worthless senator. Many more to come. I hope selling out to the extreme right wing and the NRA was worth it Kelly – because it's cost you your reputation – and it will soon cost you your job.

    May 1, 2013 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  11. Ed1

    If you want to blame somebody for the 5 year old getting a 22 start with the stupid parents first. There isn't a 5 year old that needs a real gun of any kind. I was brought around guns all my life just like my kids but never ever would I have given a 5 year old a gun you can't fix stupid with any laws.

    May 1, 2013 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  12. rs

    Peoples State of Illinois

    @rs

    The GOP turned its back on 90% of the population and know they're taking heat for doing deals with the blood-soaked NRA. Its good to see them squirm at least a little bit for their actions
    --------
    As usual, you leave out the fact that 90% you are so fond of quoting, falls to well below 50% when the gun registration and tracking data bases, part of the question is asked. That is why you have no credibility.
    ____________________
    And you lie when you say the bill before the Senate contained a registry- it did not. Face it- you just don't believe polls. Here's a test who was predicted to win the election, and who won? Believe polls now? How's your credibility?

    May 1, 2013 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  13. Michelle

    What a bunch of Communists demo-rats are in these posts. THIS HAS NOTHING TO DO WITHCONTROLING VIOLENCE... IT IS ABOUT CONTROLING FREEDON... and the Lady from Sandy, my condolences... but she is letting politics shadowing her pain and her intensions. Question here: if the killing would have been executed with a knife… (or with a hard piece of bread for that matter), what would you expect the government to do? Remove all the knifes (or hard bread) from the citizens?

    May 1, 2013 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  14. Rudy NYC

    -WouldYouLookAtThat wrote:

    Ignorance is bliss, eh, Rudy? They could start enforcing current laws more by prosecuting a larger percentage of those who fail background checks... but that wouldn't fit your agenda, now would it?
    ----------------------
    Ignorance not reading, or ignoring, my entire post. I pointed out that the right wing has CUT the enforcement budgets.

    May 1, 2013 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  15. The Real Tom Paine

    -Atlas

    I hear random killings and murders rarely happen in North Korea(unless it was sanctioned by the government). Im pretty sure they would love to have all of that wish for more "security" and less "freedom". Freedom comes at a degree of security and I would much rather be free than "safe" under an oppressive regime. Sadly, most of you apparently welcome your new overlords like good little serfs.
    **********************************
    Using your logic, can we safely assume that you would prefer to be in parts of Somalia, or southern Sudan? Your perception of what other people want turns you into the very thing you claim you hate.

    May 1, 2013 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  16. rs

    Peoples State of Illinois-
    One last point on credibility- The bill before the Senate would have passed had it not been for the Republican filibuster.

    May 1, 2013 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  17. DEMOCRATS = ANTI-BILL OF RIGHTS = ANTI AMERICAN

    Democrats cut the military through Obama's sequester and blame everyone else.

    This surprises no one. Competely expected even.

    May 1, 2013 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  18. rs

    Question here: if the killing would have been executed with a knife… (or with a hard piece of bread for that matter), what would you expect the government to do? Remove all the knifes (or hard bread) from the citizens?
    ______________________
    But it wasn't, and survival rates for stabbings and slashings are hugely higher than when guns (you know, those things that kill) get used.

    Grow-up. Your gun fetisch isn't freedom, and having to undergo a background check doesn't infringe on your right to own guns.

    May 1, 2013 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  19. The Real Tom Paine

    -Ed1

    If you want to blame somebody for the 5 year old getting a 22 start with the stupid parents first. There isn't a 5 year old that needs a real gun of any kind. I was brought around guns all my life just like my kids but never ever would I have given a 5 year old a gun you can't fix stupid with any laws.
    ******************
    A stupid culture in love with guns made them think was OK, and I would be willing to bet there are plenty of other parents who are quietly gathering up their child's first guns before they double-tap their siblings because of this. Face it, our society has a psychosis when it comes to guns.

    May 1, 2013 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  20. Rudy NYC

    MOCRATS = ANTI-BILL OF RIGHTS = ANTI AMERICAN

    Federal government approves of arming the Mexican drug cartel (fast & Furious) while disarming American citizens.
    ------------------------
    What laws were broken by federal agents watching straw purchasers walk out of AZ gun stores, and sell the weapons to a person waiting in the parking lot? They certainly didn't break any federal laws, and the original purchaser didn't break any AZ laws. Furthermore, the agents could no more follow the guy in the parking lot no more than a cop can follow you when you walk out of a bar.

    I ask again. What laws were broken?

    May 1, 2013 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  21. Peoples State of Illinois

    @The Real Tom Paine

    -Peoples State of Illinois

    @rs

    The GOP turned its back on 90% of the population and know they're taking heat for doing deals with the blood-soaked NRA. Its good to see them squirm at least a little bit for their actions
    --–
    As usual, you leave out the fact that 90% you are so fond of quoting, falls to well below 50% when the gun registration and tracking data bases, part of the question is asked. That is why you have no credibility.
    ******************
    It never stopped you from parsing data, delta-minus. Go away, your mom need her compter, and your shift starts at WalMart.
    ----------------------------
    Typical lefty, resorting to insults and name calling when you lose a discussion and the made up facts are exposed. No wonder leftists posters/schills on here have no credibility.

    May 1, 2013 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  22. rs

    DEMOCRATS = ANTI-BILL OF RIGHTS = ANTI AMERICAN

    Democrats cut the military through Obama's sequester and blame everyone else.

    This surprises no one. Competely expected even.
    __________________________
    The delusion is strong here. First- Republicans WROTE the Sequester, and they passed it with 100% of their members voting. The Sequester is a GOP bill. Only a Limbaugh idiot believes otherwise.
    Second- our military costs us (the tax payer) 10 times more than it costs in any other 1st world nation.
    You want responsible spending? That's where most of the money is. Meanwhile, do try to stay on track, this blog is about Republicans losing approval because they are in the NRA's pocket- not war.

    May 1, 2013 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  23. Rudy NYC

    Michelle wrote:

    Question here: if the killing would have been executed with a knife… (or with a hard piece of bread for that matter), what would you expect the government to do? Remove all the knifes (or hard bread) from the citizens?
    -------------
    If a knife had been used at Newton there probably would not have been 26 murders in 3 minutes.

    May 1, 2013 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  24. Jules

    blah blah blah 82nd – you cannot deal with the mental health issues without expanded background checks. And as someone who has a son with mental health issues, I am responsible enough not to allow that person access to a firearm in my home. My son is the reason I would never have had a gun in the house, because as great as he is when he is in his right mind, you don't know what he will do when he is not.

    May 1, 2013 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  25. Peoples State of Illinois

    @rs

    Peoples State of Illinois

    @rs

    The GOP turned its back on 90% of the population and know they're taking heat for doing deals with the blood-soaked NRA. Its good to see them squirm at least a little bit for their actions
    --–
    As usual, you leave out the fact that 90% you are so fond of quoting, falls to well below 50% when the gun registration and tracking data bases, part of the question is asked. That is why you have no credibility.
    ____________________
    And you lie when you say the bill before the Senate contained a registry- it did not. Face it- you just don't believe polls. Here's a test who was predicted to win the election, and who won? Believe polls now? How's your credibility?
    ----------------------------
    Hate to bust your credibility bubble further, but Section 122 would create a defacto registry. That was why it was voted down.

    May 1, 2013 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
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