IN CASE YOU MISSED IT, LIST OF SENATORS WHO VOTED TO MOVE FORWARD ON GUN CONTROL
If you haven't heard Mark Levine's comments on the unconstitutionality of an up or down vote on the 2nd Amendment, I highly recommend it here.
The Senate voted to move forward on gun control Thursday, clearing the first of what is expected to be many 60-vote hurdles for the legislation.
In a 68-31 vote, the Senate approved a procedural motion that will allow debate on the Democratic measure to begin. Sixty votes were required for approval.
Sixteen Republicans voted in favor of the motion, while two Democrats — both from states President Obama lost in the 2012 election — voted against it.
The two Democrats were Sens. Mark Begich (Alaska) and Mark Pryor (Ark.), both of whom face reelection next year.
The 16 Republicans who voted to proceed were Sens. Lamar Alexander (Tenn.), Kelly Ayotte (N.H.), Richard Burr (N.C.), Saxby Chambliss (Ga.), Tom Coburn (Okla.), Susan Collins (Maine), Bob Corker (Tenn.), Jeff Flake (Ariz.), Lindsey Graham (S.C.), Dean Heller (Nev.), John Hoeven (N.D.), Johnny Isakson (Ga.), Mark Kirk (Ill.), John McCain (Ariz.), Pat Toomey (Pa.) and Roger Wicker (Miss.). Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) missed the vote.
The vote comes nearly four months after 26 people, including 20 first-graders, were killed by a lone gunman at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.
The crime shocked the nation and changed the debate on gun control in Washington. Relatives of the victims lobbied the Senate to allow the gun bill to come to the floor, aligning themselves with the president, who also had demanded the vote.
“Today let us decide that there will be no more Newtowns,” Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) said ahead of the vote.
Just prior to the vote, relatives of the Newtown victims issued a joint release saying those who threatened to filibuster the bill should be "ashamed." Some of the victims' families watched the vote from the Senate gallery.
"The senators who have vowed to filibuster this bill should be ashamed of their attempt to silence efforts to prevent the next American tragedy," the group said in a statement. "Their staunch opposition to sensible gun reform is an affront to the 26 innocent children and educators who were murdered in Newtown. No one should have to experience the pain we have endured – commonsense gun laws will help spare others from the grief we live with every day."
The Senate bill would expand background checks on gun purchases, crack down on straw purchasers of guns and beef up security in schools