by David Mendez
Earlier today, the U.S. Senate mustered 54 votes in favor of the Manchin-Toomey background check compromise—which was six votes shy of the 60 necessary to break a filibuster.
The vote drew the ire of many supporters of the legislation, from Mark Kelly and Gabrielle Giffords' Americans for Responsible Solutions ("We will use every means possible to make sure the constituents of these senators know that their elected representatives ignored them, and put Washington, DC special interest politics over the effort to keep their own communities safer from the tragedy of gun violence," said in a statement released earlier today) to President Obama ("...all in all, this was a pretty shameful day for Washington," said earlier).
Among the upset: Patricia Maisch, survivor of the Jan. 8, 2011 shooting, who watched the loss from the gallery—and made her voice heard as she left.
"Shame on you!" yelled Maisch.
Typically, when someone yells from the gallery, security hustles to bounce the heckler out of the room. Maisch wasn't elbowed out very quickly. Two years ago, she was one of the people who effectively shut down Jared Loughner's rampage. She saw him coming, she lay on the ground, and when Loughner fumbled his reload and was tackled, Maisch snatched away his extra magazine. And no one really ushered her out of the Hill today as she told reporters why she yelled.
"I could not stay still," she said, standing in a scrum of reporters. "They should be ashamed of themselves ... if it had been a yes vote, I wouldn't have said anything. It was spontaneous—but I was prepared to do that."
She gave her info and story a few times before one of the other activists started to usher her out. One reporter asked her what she thought of Sen. Jeff Flake's no vote on the amendment. "Sen. Flake?" she said. "I'm embarrassed. He's a flaky flake."