Every gun reform measure put before the Senate Wednesday failed. The background checks bill, the one thought most likely to pass, failed to get the 60 votes required to continue (54-46). Shortly afterward, a proposal to ban the manufacture and sale of certain semiautomatic rifles and high capacity magazines 40 for to 60 opposed. There was no final vote on the background checks, leaving the issue essentially tabled. It could be revived in the future, if the political landscape changes.
Four Democratic Senators voted against the bill, all from GOP leaning states. They were Mark Begich (Alaska), Mark Pryor (Arkansas), Max Baucus (Montana), and Heidi Heitkamp (North Dakota).
After the vote, Obama gave a speech expressing his disapproval for the results of the vote. He repeatedly mentioned that 90% of Americans supported the measure. This most likely refers to a John Hopkins poll which found 89% of respondents supported “universal background checks”. No such poll was taken upon the specific background check bill before the Senate. Another Washington Post/ABC News poll found that 88% of respondents favored “universal background checks”, a CNN/ORC poll registered 95%, a Gallop poll registered 91% and an AP poll registered 84%.
When asked more generally about Obamas gun control proposals, public opinion was more divided. A Washington Post/ABC News poll found that 53% of respondents had a “favorable” view of Obama’s gun control proposals, while 41% had an “unfavorable” view.
The Wall Street Journal, Senate Scuttles Gun Limits: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323809304578428552342222358.html?mod=WSJ_hps_LEFTTopStories
The Wall Street Journal, Transcript of Obama’s Remarks on Gun Legislation: http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2013/04/17/transcript-of-obamas-remarks-on-gun-control-legislation/
Salon, No, Really, Americans Support Gun Control: http://www.salon.com/2013/01/31/no_really_americans_support_gun_control/
The New York Times, Gun Control Effort Had No Real Chance, Despite Pleas: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/18/us/politics/despite-tearful-pleas-no-real-chance.html?pagewanted=all