Obama On Gun Control: 'Senate Failed The American People'

| by Ray Brown
President Barack ObamaPresident Barack Obama

President Barack Obama tweeted his frustration about the Senate failing to pass gun control measures in the wake of the largest mass shooting in modern U.S. history.

“Gun violence requires more than moments of silence. It requires action,” Obama wrote. “In failing that test, the Senate failed the American people.”

The U.S. Senate voted against four gun control proposals, including one that would have closed the so-called gun show loophole by requiring background checks on people who buy firearms at shows or online, reported ABC News.

But the most talked about proposal was one that would prohibit people whose names are on a secret government “terrorist watchlist” from being able to purchase firearms. Democrats accused Republicans of making it easier for potential terrorists to buy guns. Republicans, the National Rifle Association, and even liberal civil rights activists complained that the list itself was problematic and often arbitrary, and that banning people from practicing their Second Amendment rights without due process would be unconstitutional.

“The NRA believes that terrorists should not be allowed to purchase or possess firearms, period,” the gun lobbying group said in a statement, adding: “At the same time, due process protections should be put in place that allow law-abiding Americans who are wrongly put on a watchlist to be removed.”

The much talked about terrorist watchlist has been seen as problematic in the eyes of civil rights activists.

“The federal watchlists that the compilers of rap sheets draw on for these notations are notoriously arbitrary and inaccurate,” Ramzi Kassem, an associate professor at City University of New York School of Law, told The Intercept in March. “People are placed on these lists without ever being told why or given an opportunity to contest their listing. And the lists appear to focus disproportionately on individuals with Muslim-sounding names.”

But the Democrats' argument was that, by voting against the gun control measure, Republicans were supporting terrorists.

“The @SenateGOP have decided to sell weapons to ISIS,” tweeted Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts. 

Sources: ABC News, The Intercept, NRATwitter/Elizabeth Warren / Photo credit: Gage Skidmore/Flickr

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