With Rep. Gabrielle Gifford alongside him, President Obama called it a “pretty shameful day for Washington.” Nearly five months after the massacre at Sandy Hook, the gun control package making its way through Congress shut down in the Senate yesterday. Democratic politicians were unable to muster the 60 votes necessary to push forward provisions that would require universal background checks for all gun users. It was a defeat for the Obama administration and a heavily paid victory for the NRA.
In recent weeks, the mayor of New York City has posited himself as the anti-NRA figure, the head of the Mayors Against Illegal Guns with enough financial firepower to pressure senators into voting for the reform bill. That bill’s death proves to be a setback for Hizzoner’s group but it doesn’t look like the mayor and his colleagues are giving up anytime soon.
In an interview with BuzzFeed, Mark Glaze, a director at the Mayors Against Illegal Guns, ramped up the optimism on a day that saw Newtown victims’ families in tears on the Hill. “We’ll get through this day, take down the bill, and get senators prepared for the fact that they are going to be dealing with this issue every day for the foreseeable future until they resolve it in the way the public wants,” he said.
Bloomberg has already promised that the influx of funds to the cause is just getting started. And, with that type of money in hand, the group will continue its shame campaigns against anti-gun-control candidacies in the coming months. According to Glaze, this will be the defining advantage over the NRA moving into the midterm elections next year.
“But between now and 2014,” Glaze said. “You’re going to see Mayor Bloomberg, you’re going to see a lot of folks who have not been focused on this issue providing support for people who did the right thing and letting the folks who did the wrong thing know someone’s watching.”
Outside of the White House yesterday, President Obama repeatedly reaffirmed the fact that 90 percent of Americans support these measures. “There is still hope,” he declared. Let’s see if Bloomberg and his crew can live up to it.