First, a sincere thank you to all of you who made calls, sent emails, and posted/tweeted on social media to Senators around the country asking for their vote.
I know how disappointing it is to you that common sense bills like Universal Background Checks and prohibiting gun sales to terrorists – bills with large public support in the polls and for which thousands of calls and emails made it to the targeted Senators – still failed to pass in the Senate, on mostly party line votes. For Senator Murphy’s amendment on Universal Background checks, only one Republican voted yes, Mark Kirk-IL; Three Democrats voted no: Heidi Heitkamp-ND; Joe Manchin-WVA; and Jon Tester-MT. For Senator Feinstein’s Terror Gap bill, two Republicans voted yes: Kirk and Kelly Ayotte-NH. One Democrat, Heitkamp, voted no.
Senator Murphy commented on the vote that: ‘Republicans have decided to sell weapons to ISIS.’
The fight will continue in Washington in the upcoming days and weeks as we continue to make the case for a federal assault weapons ban. And then in November in the fight to replace members who demonstrated by their votes that they are beholden to the NRA.
We can be proud that the effort to force Congress to do something following the worst mass shooting in the nation’s history was led by the courageous actions of three CT lawmakers: Congressman Jim Himes and Senators Chris Murphy and Richard Blumenthal. Again, the nation depends on Connecticut to lead the way.
We must use their courage as an example; and we must remember that the opposite of courage is to become dis-couraged. Connecticut cannot afford to become discouraged. We cannot let the nation down. We must continue to move forward, slowly perhaps, but steadily until we can make our Congress understand that it is their duty to stop making excuses and to do something – do some of the things that Connecticut has already done – to stop the gun violence that is a sorrowful embarrassment to people of good will in our nation.
Coincidentally, another hearing was held in Bridgeport Superior Court yesterday on the case brought by Sandy Hook families against the manufacturer, distributor, and seller of the weapon used in the deadly 2012 shooting. The defendant sellers of the weapons argued that the case should be dismissed. The Judge heard arguments but did not make a ruling yesterday. The defense also said that they will file a motion by July 5 to make all of the discovery documents sealed and not available to the public.
Finally, the Supreme Court ruled on Monday that they would not hear the appeal brought by the gun lobby to declare Connecticut’s Assault Weapon Ban unconstitutional.
The fight continues on many fronts.