In blow to Obama, US Senate blocks gun-control plan
Washington: President Barack Obama's campaign to curb gun violence after the Newtown school massacre was dealt a crippling blow when the US Senate rejected a plan to expand background checks for gun buyers.
Despite emotional pleas from families of victims of the shootings in Newtown, Connecticut, and broad public support, the plan to extend background checks for sales made online and at gun shows failed on a 54-46 vote, six short of the 60 votes it needed to clear a procedural hurdle in the Senate. It was a stark reminder of the gun culture's hold on America - or at least its politics - and a display of how each party has used Senate rules to effectively block legislation even when it has the support of the majority.
At the White House, a visibly angry Obama said he sympathized with Americans who were trying to make sense of it all. "This was a pretty shameful day for Washington," said Obama, flanked by Newtown families and former US Representative Gabrielle Giffords, who was severely wounded in a 2011 mass shooting in Arizona.
"I see this as just Round One," Obama said. "Sooner or later, we are going to get this right. The memories of these children demand it."