Republican controlled House of Representatives on Thursday blocked a gun legislation effort by Democrats to respond to the series of mass shootings in the United States.
The House Republicans refused to make a bipartisan vote and blocked Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s effort to pass a bill that would ban people that are on a terrorist watch list from purchasing guns. The House voted 242 to 173.
According to Reuters, Pelosi argued that the bill by Republican Representative Peter King should have been passed and stated “It is shocking to the American people that Congress refuses to keep guns out of the hands of those on the FBI’s terrorist watch list.” She also added that it was a “disgrace” that the House has failed to make a vote on legislation curbing gun violence after the shootings in a Connecticut school three years ago where a gunman killed 20 children.
However, after the most recent killings in Colorado where three people were killed and California where a Muslim couple killed 14 people, there is a growing agreement among the American people with the Democrat effort to introduce legislation on gun control. Only a day after the shootings in California the Senate legislators rejected a bill that would expand background checks for gun purchases.
The legislators from the Republican Party are arguing that the government may easily put innocent people on the terrorist watch lists and will deny them their 2nd Amendment right to purchase guns. The opposition to King’s bill by Republican leaders has been supported by the powerful National Rifle Association, which has many friends among Republicans.
The House Democrats have said that they will not be discouraged by the vote and will try to push the effort even further and collect signatures to have a “discharge petition” to bring King’s bill to the floor. In order to achieve a discharge petition they would have to gather 218 House members’ signatures.
According to Reuters, an average of 87 deaths and 183 injuries are caused by gun violence every day across the nation. After President Barack Obama has made his White House statement on curbing guns, the sales have been rising, despite his warning of terrorists being able to buy more weapons.
Each year, more than 30,000 people are killed in the United States due to gun violence and around 4.5 millions fire arms are purchased annually at the cost of 2 to 3 billion dollars.