Obama denounces Senate failure to pass gun control bills post Orlando shooting

  • Agencies, Washington
  • Updated: Jun 21, 2016 22:54 IST
President Barack Obama waves as he walks off stage after speaking at the SelectUSA Investment Summit in Washington, Monday, June 20, 2016.  The US President denounced the Senate’s failure to pass gun control bills on June 21, 2016. (AP)

US President Barack Obama on Tuesday denounced the Senate’s failure to pass gun control measures in the aftermath of the mass shooting in Orlando, Florida, saying “the senate has failed the American people”.

Obama took to Twitter to say that the Senate failed the American people and that gun violence requires more than moment of silence. The White House has said previously that tweets from his account are from Obama himself.

Meanwhile, White House spokesman Josh Earnest said the vote is a “a shameful display of cowardice” He told CNN on Tuesday that the Republican-led chamber’s blocking of four gun control proposals Monday does nothing to keep extremists from acquiring guns.

Earnest said lawmakers lament gun violence but “don’t do anything about it.” He said that while no bill can prevent all gun violence, “why wouldn’t we do more?”

“They were common sense bills that were put forward that should have drawn strong bipartisan support that would prevent individuals who are currently suspected of having ties to terrorism from being able to buy a gun,” he told MSNBC television.

A measure put forward by Democrats sought to bar people on FBI watchlists or no-fly lists from buying firearms.

Another Democrat-backed bill aimed to strengthen criminal and mental health background checks for those seeking to purchase firearms at gun shows and on the Internet.

A Republican measure proposed a 72-hour waiting period for those on FBI watchlists seeking to buy weapons, so that the government has time to seek a court order to block the sale if need be.

The second Republican proposal aimed to improve the background check system. Democrats rejected both GOP measures. Guns are responsible for some 90 deaths each day in the United States, but serious legislative efforts to enact gun control are only raised after particularly horrific shootings.

Americans are still reeling from a lone gunman’s June 12 attack at the Pulse gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida that left 49 dead and 53 wounded, making it the deadliest mass shooting ever in the United States.

Police stormed the club and killed the gunman, 29-year old Omar Mateen, a Muslim American of Afghan descent pledged allegiance to the leader of the Islamic State group during President Barack Obama has spoken out after each tragic shooting, exhorting Congress to enact stronger gun control laws to no avail.

Obama made a similar plea last week while meeting with the families of the Orlando shooting victims.

So far, however, the Republican-led US legislature has failed to pass any new gun control laws, with opponents saying that to do so would infringe on the constitutional rights of gun owners.

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