Washington’s fight and failure to strengthen background checks

Background Checks on Guns
Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) walks away from the podium after he and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) introduced their background check legislation. Credit: Getty Images

In the wake of the Sept. 16 gun massacre at the Washington D.C. Navy Yard, President Barack Obama and some members of Congress are once again banging the war drums about the necessity of stricter gun control laws.

Based on how the massive federal legislative push went after the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary, it’s unclear that any meaningful legislation will pass the gridlocked Congress.

Sens. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) and Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) led the effort for common sense gun reform after the school massacre in Newtown, Conn., by introducing a bill that would have required background checks on most private sales of guns and mandated mental health checks as part of typical background checks. On April 17, that bill with its modest proposals died on the U.S. Senate floor after only garnering 54 votes, six fewer than the 60-vote threshold to avoid a filibuster. 

It was a vote that baffled some, given the country’s high rate of gun violence. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 11,078 homicides, 19,392 suicides and 73,505 non-fatal gun injuries occurred in 2010. Those numbers don’t include incidents where guns were used in robberies or other violent crimes.

In the face of these numbers, solutions like closing loopholes in background checks were supported by 90 percent of Americans, according to recent poll taken by CBS and The New York Times. The measure also sought to extend existing safeguards when buying a gun from a licensed dealer to all gun sales — including intrastate online sales.

The political opposition to background checks, led by the National Rifle Association, maintains that “no background check system will ever be truly ‘universal’ because criminals will not submit themselves to the system,” according to the NRA Institute of Legislative Action. Therefore, the NRA does not support these proposals and is not working to implement this type of legislation.

It’s a claim that opponents say makes as much sense as suggesting that drinking age limits should be abolished because some teenagers are still managing to consume alcohol.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
News

Rock legend Neil Young files for divorce after…

The legendary Canadian rocker Neil Young has filed for divorce from his wife of 36 years.

Local

FDNY debuts new fire simulator for blazes at…

The New York City Fire Department christened its newest, state-of-the-art, custom-built simulator at its training academy on Randall's Island Tuesday.

Local

Brewer celebrates Women's Equality Day with voter pledge

Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer celebrated Women’s Equality Day Tuesday by pledging to register at least five women voters before the Oct. 10 deadline. Brewer…

Local

NYPD looking for lewd D train rider

The NYPD is enlisting the public’s help to find a man they say performed a lewd act on the D train Saturday evening. The incident…

Movies

Review: 'The Last of Robin Hood' is a…

Dakota Fanning plays Errol Flynn's (Kevin Kline) teenage gal pal in "The Last of Robin Hood," which takes a scandal and makes it dully empathetic.

Movies

Review: The uneven 'Life of Crime' mostly gets…

Elmore Leonard's "The Switch" becomes the new indie crime dramedy "Life of Crime," with Jennifer Aniston as a kidnapped woman whose husband won't pay up.

Movies

Review: Pierce Brosnan gets a cut-rate Bond knockoff…

Pierce Brosnan tries to reclaim his glory days with the spy thriller "The November Man" but instead gets a sad DTV-style ripoff with lame action.

Music

Tiesto headlines Made in America

Electronic music legend Tiesto is ready to get in touch with his inner Rocky at the Jay Z-curated Budweiser Made in America festival this weekend…

College

When are 2014 college football playoffs? (Schedule, date,…

When and where are 2014 college football playoffs? A look at the schedule, date, TV, time for the semi-finals at championship game.

NFL

Dimitri Patterson suspended only for rest of preseason…

Dimitri Patterson ended up getting just a slap on the wrist.

Sports

Eugenie Bouchard excited for 'rowdy' fans at US…

Eugenie Bouchard is sure to endear herself to New York's tennis faithful as she tries to win her first grand slam title across the next two weeks.

MLB

MLB Power Rankings: Angels and A's still at…

MLB Power Rankings: Angels and A's still at top, Nationals climb

Career

Stop eating lunch at your desk

What are you doing for lunch today? If you are like most workers, you'll be eating at your desk - which isn't much of a…

Parenting

Lure your baby to sleep with Maroon 5…

These new renditions of "Moves Like Jagger" and "Payphone" are Maroon 5 like you've never heard them before.

Wellbeing

Who is having the most orgasms?

  Single lesbians report having orgasms more often than heterosexual women but both gay and straight men still come out on top of the climax…

Home

Jonathan Adler shares his tips for a great…

Jonathan Adler took a break from boogie boarding at his beach house to tell us how to keep that Labor Day party festive.