Newtown families are planning a major push to coincide with Friday's six-month anniversary of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. Families of the victims have been meeting with lawmakers on Capitol Hill this week and will launch a nationwide bus tour Friday with the gun-control group, Mayors Against Illegal Guns.
Despite the Senate rejecting a bill requiring universal background checks on gun purchases, Connecticut Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal told Jansing & Co. Thursday that he believes momentum is still on the side of gun control advocates.
"These families are so powerful," said Blumenthal. "We still have momentum and very strongly we're going to keep pushing it with the same passion and determination that these families have brought to this issue, despite the unspeakable grief that they have suffered."
To the dismay of some Democrats, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is turning up the heat on four Democrats who voted against the background checks bill. Bloomberg is calling on New York's biggest donors to withhold contributions from Senators Max Baucus of Montana, Mark Begich of Alaska, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota and Mark Pryor of Arkansas.
"I welcome Mayor Bloomberg's involvement and initiative to help counter the enormous impact of the NRA. It has had a stranglehold over this process," said Blumenthal. "But the science of politics or the art of politics, as one of my colleagues once told me, is the science of addition, not subtraction. We need to add our allies. And I think that ought to be the focus, to reward our friends and our allies with support."
West Virginia Democrat Joe Manchin and Pennsylvania Republican Pat Toomey are hoping to have another vote on a gun control bill in the Senate later this year.