Senate Republicans voted against a bill that would have prevented the Orlando shootings.
Early June 12, a mass murderer opened fire on people at a gay nightclub in Orlando, FL killing 50 and injuring over 50 more. But what if the Orlando shootings never happened? Or better yet, what if you had the chance to prevent it?
That may sound like wishful thinking from a time traveler’s fantasy, but our callous and craven Senate Republicans had a chance to stop the Orlando shootings back in December with not one, but three gun bills.
That’s right. After the tragic mass shooting in Santa Barbara CA, Senate Republicans voted down three gun bills.
According to CBS News, these three gun bills failed along sadly predictable party lines.
By a vote of 52 to 47, the Senate rejected a proposal to strengthen treatment for mental illness and substance abuse disorders.
Lawmakers voted 50 to 48 to reject a bill that would have expanded background checks for guns purchased online or at gun shows.
Additionally, they voted 45 to 54 against a bill that would have stopped people on the terror watch list from purchasing guns.
The third bill. in particular would have prevented the Orlando shooter from buying any guns because his avid following of pro-ISIS social media landed him on the terrorist watch list.
NBC News reports the suspect for the Orlando shooting is Omar Mateen, a 29-year-old US citizen whose parents came here from Afghanistan. Although he has no criminal history, the FBI has considered him a “person of interest” for the past five years because he is suspected of being an ISIS sympathizer.
As it turns out, just nine of these Senate Republicans alone have received a whopping total of over $22 million from the NRA, mostly through indirect campaign contributions.
- Mitch McConnell (R-KY): $1,262,189
- Roy Blunt (R-MO): $1,433,952
- Pat Roberts (R-KS): $1,584,153
- Tom Cotton (R-AR): $1,968,714
- David Perdue (R-GA): $1,997,512
- Bill Cassidy (R-LA): $2,867,074
- Joni Ernst (R-IA): $3,124,773
- Cory Gardner (R-CO): $3,939,199
- Thom Tillis (R-NC): $4,418,833
This is disgracefully cruel and outrageous, given that an overwhelming majority of anywhere between 86 percent and 92 percent of Americans want stricter gun laws, depending on the poll and the time frame. A poll from 2013 revealed that even 74 percent of NRA members at least want universal background checks.
MSNBC adds that Dianne Feinstein angrily denounced House and Senate Republicans and their ties to the NRA lobby after last December’s votes.
“If you need proof that Congress is a hostage to the gun lobby, look no further than today’s vote blocking a bill to prevent known or suspected terrorists from buying guns and explosives. Congress has been paralyzed by the gun lobby for years, while more and more Americans are killed in mass shootings. The carnage won’t stop until Congress finds the courage to stand up to the gun lobby and protect the nation.”
And yes, many of these Senate Republicans who voted down the gun bills that could have prevented the Orlando shootings are the same ones who rejected expanded background checks in 2013, just months after the Newtown massacre.
Watch: TYT’s Cenk Uygur shows Senate Republicans arguing for selling guns to people on the terrorist watch list (while still banning them from flying on planes).