U.S. Rep. John Lewis, D-Atlanta, lashed out this morning in response to the Senate's decision yesterday to quash several gun control proposals.
The civil rights icon denounced the vote on the House floor and noted that the reforms had more than 90 percent of the public's support. In a prepared statement, Lewis called the Senate's inability to act both "heartless" and a "disgrace."
Watch the congressman's short speech above and read his remarks after the jump:
I am deeply dismayed by the inability of my colleagues in the Senate to pass a bipartisan proposal to require background checks before guns can be purchased in this country. We are standing in the wake of the Newtown Massacre and the everyday occurrence of gun violence in too many American cities. I ask my Senate colleagues when will enough finally be enough?
How many children must be killed before we have the courage to take one step to protect American lives and communities? The blood of the innocent is crying out from their graves. It is our responsibility to make sure they did not die in vain.
The American people have delivered a clear mandate to this Congress. They have placed their trust and authority in our hands. They expect us to have the guts to enact their will and pass legislation that restricts the availability of guns in our communities.
They have not demanded a wholesale ban on gun sales, but have conceded to a reasonable intervention in this matter, a simple background check that would help ensure gun ownership is limited to responsible citizens. The Senate's inability to act on this mandate is a disgrace. It is heartless.
A shameful cowardice was displayed on the Senate floor today and an amazing lack of courage. The people of this nation should have a sense of righteous indignation by the failure of this body to take any action steps on this issue. The people must make their voices heard. They should let members of Congress know why they were elected and whom they were sent here to serve.
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