The White House criticized the U.S. Senate’s rejection of a series of gun proposals on Tuesday, as Democratic backers of gun control turned up the heat on opponents.
“What we saw last night on the floor of the United States Senate was a shameful display of cowardice,” said White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest on MSNBC Tuesday. He added: “Republicans have run around and spent the last week saying ‘radical Islamic extremism’ to anybody who will listen. But when it actually come to preventing those extremists from being able to walk into a gun store and buy a guy, they’re AWOL.”
President Obama has vented his frustrations with the stagnation of gun laws in Congress in the past, most recently following an attack on an Orlando nightclub on June 12 that left 49 people dead. And on Tuesday, he did it again, saying on Twitter, “Gun violence requires more than moments of silence. It requires action. In failing that test, the Senate failed the American people.”
A series of mass shootings in recent years has led to repeated calls by Obama to tighten gun regulations. But on Monday afternoon, such proposals failed to pass—again. Senators introduced a series of gun control measures that would have expanded background checks and barred people on the terrorist watch list from buying guns. They were voted down. As my colleague Russell Berman noted, “It was all a familiar ritual, the latest reaffirmation of deep political division that has followed several of the mass shootings in recent years.”