Obama, Newtown Families Respond to Defeated Gun Bill

Proposal to expand background checks for guns bought online and at gun shows fails Senate vote.
20:06 | 04/17/13

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Transcript for Obama, Newtown Families Respond to Defeated Gun Bill
We're coming to -- now because President Obama is about to speak in the Rose Garden. After a major defeat for his initiative to prevent gun violence. The senate has rejected his call to expand background checks for essentially all gun buyers the -- took place moments ago. Our senior Washington correspondent -- -- -- was there Jeff. This is really something the president called for an assault weapons ban after Newtown. He's not gonna get -- the president called. For a ban on these high capacity ammunition clips he's not gonna get that in this background check proposal had bipartisan sponsorship 90% support. In the American public -- the vote was -- all that close. Georgia right it wasn't all that close and he can play in this defeat on Democrats as well as Republicans. Four democratic senators defected and voted against this bill all from gun friendly states and they told me before this that it was -- -- -- vote for them. And it it was. The opposition of the NRA here was really playing a role in this as well. But I talk to Vice President Biden as he left the capital he was presiding over the senate and he told me this is not over this is not over. Says they plan to use the power of this public opinion to push -- issues. And the president coming to the podium right now he's being introduced by. Old Daniel Mark Barton of the father Daniel Bard first -- sandy -- elementary on December 14 lost his life on December 14 in -- It feels like it was just yesterday. In our deepest grief. We were supported by the love of our family is. And comforted by the love and prayers we received from millions of America. From every corner of the country. What happened in Newtown. Can happen anywhere. In any instant. Any dead in America. Could be in my shoes. No one should feel the pain. No one should feel our pain -- the pain felt by the tens of thousands of people who have lost loved ones to senseless gun violence. And that's why we're here. Two weeks ago twelve of us from new town came to meet with US senators and have a conversation about how to bring common sense solutions. To the issues of gun violence. We came with a sense of hope optimistic that real conversation could begin that would ultimately save the lives of so many Americans. We met with dozens of Democrats and Republicans. And shared with them pictures of our children or spouses or parents who lost their lives on December 14. Expanded background checks wouldn't have saved our loved ones. But still we came to support a bipartisan proposal. From two senators. Both with a ratings from the NRA. A common sense proposal supported by 90% of Americans. It's a proposal that will save lives without interfering with the rights of responsible law abiding gun owners. We'll return home now disappointed. But not defeated. We return home with a determination the change will happen. Maybe not today. But it will happen it will happen soon. We've always known this would be a long road and we don't have the luxury of turning back. We will keep moving forward and build public support for common sense solutions in the areas of mental health. School safety and gun safety. We take strings from the children and loved ones that we lost and we carry -- great faith in the American people. On behalf of the sandy -- promise. I would like to thank President Obama. Vice President Biden. For their leadership and for standing strong and continuing to fight for a safer America. I would like to thank senators Twomey mentioned Schumer and Kirk for coming together. To seek common ground on legislation that would keep guns out of the hands of criminals and save lives. I would like to thank Connecticut's two senators Blumenthal and Murphy. They've been right with us they stood by -- right from the very beginning -- the first few hours after this tragedy -- with us. We will not be defeated. We are not defeated and we will not be defeated. We are here now -- will always be here because we have no other choice. We are not going away. -- every day as more people are killed in this country because of gun violence our determination. Grows stronger. We leave Washington hoping that others both here and across the country will join us and making the sandy -- promise. A pledge that we had great hope that Morton US senators would take literally. I'd like to end by repeating the words. Switch to sandy -- promise begins. Our hearts. Our broken. Our spirit. Is not. Thank you. It is now my great pleasure. To introduce. The president of the United States of America. Barack Obama. -- -- A few months ago. In response to too many tragedies. Including the shooting -- United States congresswoman Gabby Giffords who's here today. And the murder of -- Innocent schoolchildren and their teachers. This country took up the cause of protecting more of our people from gun violence. Families that no unspeakable grief summon the courage. To petition their elected leaders. I just to honor the memory of their children but. To protect the lives of all of our children. A few minutes -- gold. A minority in the United States senate decided. It wasn't worth -- they blocked common sense gun reforms. Even while these families looked on from the -- -- -- By now it's well -- that 90% of them. The American people support universal background checks to make it harder for dangerous person to -- ago. We're talking about convicted felons people convicted of domestic violence people -- -- severe mental illness. 90% of Americans support that idea. Most Americans. -- -- -- -- A few minutes ago 90% of Democrats in the senate. Voted for that idea. But it's not gonna happen. Because 90% of Republicans in the senate just voted against that idea. A majority of senators voted yes to protecting more of our citizens. With smarter background checks. But by this continuing distortion of senate rules. A minority was able to block it from moving -- I'm gonna speak plainly and honestly about what's happened here. Because American people are trying to figure out how can something have 90% support and yet not happen. We had a Democrat and a Republican. Both gun owners. Both fierce defenders of our Second Amendment. We have eight grades from the NRA. Come together and work together to write a common sense compromise on background checks and I want to thank. Joseph mansion and Pat Toomey for their courage in doing that -- was not easy. Given. There -- traditional strong support. For Second Amendment Rights. As they sent nobody could honestly claim. That the package they put together infringed on our Second Amendment Rights. -- -- did was extend the same background check rules that already apply to guns purchased from a dealer. To guns purchased at gun shows are over the Internet. So 60% of guns are already purchased through a background check system this would have covered. A lot of the guns that are currently outside that system. They're legislation showed respect for gun owners. And it showed respect for the victims of gun violence. And Gabby Giffords by the way his -- she's a gun owner and a victim of gun violence she is a westerner and a moderate. And she supports these background checks. In fact even the NRA used to support. Expand a background checks. The current leader of the NRA used to support. -- -- -- So while this compromise didn't contain everything I wanted or everything to these families wanted. It -- represent progress. It represented moderation. And common sense. That's why 90% the American people support. But instead of supporting this compromise. The gun lobbying and its allies willfully lied about the bill. They claim that it would create some sort of Big Brother gun registry. Even though the bill. Did the opposite this legislation affect outlawed. Any registry. Plain and simple right there in the tax. But that didn't matter. And unfortunately this pattern of spreading untruths. About this legislation. Served a purpose. Because those -- upset and intense minority of gun owners and that in turn intimidated a lot of senators. I talked to several -- senators over the past. Few weeks. And they're all good people. And all of them were shocked by tragedies like -- And I also understand that may come from states that are strongly pro gun and I've consistently said that the regional differences when it comes to guns. In the both sides have to lets -- job. But the fact is most of -- senators. Could not offer any good reason why we -- want to make it harder. For criminals and those with severe mental illnesses to buy -- -- There -- no. Co parent arguments as to why we wouldn't do this it came down to politics. The worry -- -- that vocal minority. Of gun owners. Would come after them in future elections. They worried that the gun lobby would spend a lot of money and paint them as anti second -- And obviously a lot of Republicans have that fear but Democrats have -- -- And so they -- to the pressure. And they start looking for an excuse any excuse to vote now. One common argument I heard was that this legislation would prevent all future -- massacres. And that's true. -- -- said from the start no single piece of legislation can stop every act of violence and evil. We learned that tragically just two days ago. But of action by congress could have saved one person. One child. A few hundred. A few thousand. If -- good permitted those. People from losing their lives to gun violence in the future while preserving our Second Amendment Rights. We had an obligation to try. And this legislation met that test. And too many senators failed -- I've heard some say the blocking the step. Would be a victory. My question is a victory for the victory for what. -- -- there was the preservation of the loophole that lets dangerous criminals buy guns without a background check. Let -- make our kids safer. Victory for not doing something. That 90% of Americans 80% of Republicans the vast majority of your constituents. Wanted to get done. It begs the question. Poor we here to represent. Have heard folks say that. Having the families of victims lobby for this legislation was somehow misplaced. A prop. Somebody called. Emotional blackmail. Some outlets. Very serious. Do we really think that thousands of families whose lives have been shattered by gun violence don't have a right to weigh in on this issue. We think -- their emotions their loss is not relevant to this debate. So all in all this was a pretty shameful -- for Washington. This effort is not over. Because. Or make clear the American people we can still bring about meaningful changes that reduce gun violence. So long as the American people don't give up on. -- -- -- congress my administration will keep doing everything it can to protect. More of our communities we're gonna address the very as the prevents states from participating. In the existing background check system. We're gonna give law enforcement more information about lost and stolen -- so it can do its job. Really helped to put in place emergency plans to protect our children in their schools. But we can do more if congress. Gets its act together. In of this congress refuses to listen to the American people and pass common sense gun legislation. The real impact is gonna have to come from the voters. All the people who supported this legislation. Law enforcement and responsible gun owners. Democrats and Republicans. Urban moms rural hunters whoever you are you -- -- -- your representatives in congress know that you are disappointed. And that if they don't -- this time you will remember come election time. To -- why the majority of NRA households who supported this legislation you mutilate your leadership and lobbyists or Washington know. -- and represent your views on this. The point is those who care deeply about. Preventing. More and more gun violence. We'll have to be as passionate and as organized and as vocal. -- those. Who blocked these common sense steps to help keep market -- Ultimately you outnumber. Those who argue the other way. But they're better organized they're better financed. They've been at -- longer. And they make sure. To stay focused on this one issue during election time. And that's the reason why you can have something that 90% of Americans support. You can get it through the senate or the House of Representatives. So to change Washington. You the American people are gonna have to sustain. Some passion about us. And when necessary you've got to send the right people to Washington. And that requires strength. And requires persistence. And that's the one thing that these families should have inspired and all of us. I still don't know how they. Have been able to Muster up to the strength to to do what they've been doing over the last several weeks last several months. And I see this is just round one. You know when Newtown -- -- That would these families I spoke to the community. And I said. Something must be different right now. We're gonna have to change. That's one of the whole country said. -- talked about how we were gonna change something to make sure there's been there. Again. Just like air -- talked about how we need to do something after a -- -- -- talked about we need to change something after -- And I'm assuming that the emotions that we've -- -- felt. Since Newtown. The emotions that we've all felt since Tucson and -- and Chicago the pain we share. -- these families and families all across the country who have lost a loved one to gun violence. I'm assuming that's not a temporary effect. I'm assuming our expressions of grief. And our commitment to do something different. To prevent these things from happening are not empty warts. I believe we're gonna -- to get this done. Sooner or later we are gonna get this right. The memories of these children Amanda and so the American people. Thank you very much of it. President Obama in the Rose Garden. -- the families of those Newtown victims. Calling it -- shameful day for Washington after the defeat. Of that amendment -- trying to pass in the senate that would expand background checks for all gun buyers have to say this is about as angry as I've ever seen the president in public. He said that those lobbying against his amendment willfully lied. So -- -- -- spreading untrue said that the senators. Who voted against that he talked to could not come up with coherent arguments could not offer a good reason. To vote against this. And he also promised to continue the fight -- to see him embracing Gabby Giffords there also a victim of gun violence the former congresswoman. He said that those who support his efforts are gonna have to be is passionate organized and vocal. As those for against and those in the gun lobby and he promised to fight. We'll go why has the president -- speaking should say that his call for an assault weapons ban that was defeated as he began to speak by far wider margin so. The president's major initiatives -- he's called for afternoon town for months ago have been defeated. In the senate but he promises that the fight will go one.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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