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Senate gun control vote ignored public opinion


In a not-so-shocking day in Congress on Wednesday, two proposed changes to a gun control bill in front of the Senate failed to garner the 60 votes necessary to be enacted by a mere six votes. The proposed legislation, called the Manchin-Toomey plan, was a bipartisan compromise meant to expand background checks on gun purchases made online and at firearms trade-shows.

Though the mass tragedies at Sandy Hook, Conn., Aurora, Col. and Tucson, Ariz. are still raw in the minds of Americans, the Senate has ignored these incidents and ignored public opinion on gun control.

According to the well-known pollsters at Gallup, 58 percent of Americans believe that laws covering the sale of firearms should be more strict. In January, 51 percent of people felt dissatisfied with the nation’s gun policies, of which 38 percent felt that the nation should have stricter laws. But, the most intriguing statistic was that, in December of last year, 92 percent of people surveyed favored a law that would require background checks to those who buy firearms at gun shows.

There is no question that gun control is a controversial and polarizing issue.

The gun control debate has unfortunately turned into a social issue hopelessly convoluted by the bevy of political manipulation, stark contradictions and misinformation, so much so that even common sense approaches to remedy only a minute percentage of gun violence is forced to be backed up by grieving family members of shooting victims.

And, as was seen on Wednesday, even that cannot escape the bureaucracy and move this country forward on limiting the number of Americans who are killed each year by guns.

It is pitiful that our government has turned a blind eye to the will of the people in order to appease special interests and their misconstrued perception of the wording of the Constitution and the reasoning behind the second amendment. It is pitiful that the NRA has more of a stronghold on the government so much so that even requiring background checks on gun purchases made online and at gun shows cannot pass the legislature.

The government was entrusted to make a decision on common sense, bipartisan legislation on one of the most divisive issues in this nation. Citizens’ voices were heard, but the republic failed to listen.