Families of the victims of December’s elementary-school massacre in Newtown, Conn., lamented the “political game” they said prevented the passage of an amendment to expand background checks on gun purchases.
The Senate on Wednesday failed to pass the bipartisan-sponsored amendment, as it fell short of the 60 votes needed to move it through the Senate. It drew an angry response from President Barack Obama and former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, among others.
Neil Heslin, whose son, Jesse Lewis, was killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School, called Senators who prevented the amendment’s passage “cowards.”
“It’s not about the Second Amendment,” he said on CBS’ “Face the Nation” Sunday. “It’s strengthening and adding to laws that are already in effect. So I don’t think they did justice for all the victims of Newtown.”
Heslin appeared on the show with Carlee Soto, the sister of slain teacher Vicki Soto, and Erica Lafferty, the daughter of slain principal Dawn Hochsprung.
Lafferty said she was “disgusted” at the vote. Both she and Soto drew a contrast between the courage of their family members and what they called a lack of courage on the part of the Senate.
“My sister wasn’t a coward that day,” Soto said. “… My sister was not a coward. She protected her kids. Why aren’t they protecting us?”
Added Lafferty: “I’ve said it a plethora of times before: My mum was not scared in the halls of Sandy Hook. They should not be scared to case a vote to protect millions of innocent people.”
All of the family members said, as they have before, that this is “just the beginning” of their efforts, and they vowed to continue pushing for new measures.
Watch the full interview below:
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