Sen. Reid: ‘Not Going to Give Up’ on Gun Legislation
Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call(WASHINGTON) — Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says Congress will not give up the fight on gun legislation. He put on notice the Republicans — and Democrats — who voted against the bill.
“The writing is on the wall,” Reid said Thursday, taking the rare move of calling out the four Democrats in his party, along with the Republicans, who opposed the background check proposal. “I’m here to tell you: We’re not going to give up the fight.”
Nearly sixth months after the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, family members read a roll call of the victims’ names Thursday at the Capitol. Some in the crowd wept when the age of the slain students — 6 — was read over and over.
“Sometimes people have very short memories,” Reid said, sounding an apologetic note to the families about the lack of progress in Congress on the gun debate. “We can never take those names out of our hearts and minds.”
Gilles Rousseau, whose daughter was a first grade teacher at Sandy Hook, traveled to Washington to press lawmakers for action. He has spent time over the last six months visiting town meetings of Sen. Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire, who voted against the bill, and lobbying state legislatures like Nevada, where gun bills passed both chambers.
But he is upset at the inaction in Congress.
“It’s so disappointing,” Rousseau told ABC News. “How can they forget these 20 first graders? It should be a no-brainer. It is common sense.”
Even though Senate leaders have pledged to hold another vote, the path forward remains a difficult one. Even if five more votes could be found in the Senate, the Republican-controlled House has shown little intention of taking up any gun measures.
“Congress cannot continue to allow these guns to be in the hands of madmen,” said Jillian Soto, whose sister was killed in Newtown. “We will continue to fight until Congress makes us safe from gun violence.”
President Obama and Vice President Biden are meeting with families of the victims of the Sandy Hook shooting Thursday, White House press secretary Jay Carney announced at the daily press briefing.
“We commend the families’ courage and perseverance in continuing to press for common-sense legislation to reduce gun violence. And we want them to know that as we approach the six-month anniversary of that terrible day, we will never forget, and we will continue to fight alongside them,” Carney said.
Six months after the Newtown massacre the state police investigation is still unfinished. State police had expected to release a comprehensive report about the shootings this month but say the magnitude of the crime and the depth of the investigation make meeting that goal impossible.
When the report is finished state police say they’re “hopeful we’ll be able to turn over to the families and to the public a complete overview of what happened.”
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
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