How did your Senators vote on background checks? Let them know what you think.

Well, despite the fact that 90% of Americans want to see background checks for gun purchases written into law; despite the fact that the bill actually got a majority of votes in the Senate; and despite the fact that some 3,500 Americans have been fatally shot since the Newtown massacre on December 12 – the Senate voted down the Manchin-Toomey background check bill.

I will be honest: I am so angry, I can hardly see straight. This is not right. By any measure.

At the same time, I agree with the President: This is Round One (you can watch the video of his very powerful, and very angry, statement, below). This will happen, if we don’t lose focus, if we don’t lose our passion. If we continue to stand up and say that something has to change – we will bring that change.

Here’s how we do that: We don’t let up. We keep the pressure on.

Click here to see how the vote broke down, and if your Senator(s) voted yea, please call and thank them, especially if it’s one of these Republicans:

  • McCain (R-AZ) 202-224-2235
  • Kirk (R-IL) 202-224-2854
  • Toomey (R-PA) 202- 224-4254
  • Collins (R-ME) 202-224-2523

If, on the other hand, your Senator(s) voted no, call them and tell them what you think – here’s the list of all the nays, by state, followed by their direct phone numbers* (if you’re looking for email addresses, go here).


  • Alabama: Sessions (202) 224-4124  Shelby (202) 224-5744
  • Alaska: Begich (202) 224-3004  Murkowski (202) 224-6665
  • Arizona: Flake (202) 224-4521
  • Arkansas: Boozman (202) 224-4843  Pryor (202) 224-2353
  • Florida: Rubio (202) 224-3041
  • Georgia: Chambliss (202) 224-3521  Isakson (202) 224-3643
  • Idaho:  Crapo (202) 224-6142  Risch (202) 224-2752
  • Indiana:  Coats  (202) 224-5623
  • Iowa:  Grassley (202) 224-3744
  • Kansas: Moran (202) 224-6521  Roberts (202) 224-4774
  • Kentucky: McConnell (202) 224-2541  Paul (202) 224-4343
  • Louisiana:  Vitter (202) 224-4623
  • Mississippi:  Cochran (202) 224-5054  Wicker (202) 224-6154
  • Missouri:  Blunt (202) 224-5721
  • Montana:  Baucus (202) 224-2651
  • Nebraska: Fischer (202) 224-6551  Johanns (202) 224-4224
  • Nevada:  Heller (202) 224-6244 Reid (but Senator Reid gets a pass for voting against the thing he supports for the reasons you can read about by clicking here)
  • New Hampshire:  Ayotte (202) 224-3324
  • North Carolina:  Burr (202) 224-3154
  • North Dakota:  Heitkamp (202) 224-2043  Hoeven (202) 224-2551
  • Ohio: Portman  (202) 224-3353
  • Oklahoma: Coburn (202) 224-5754  Inhofe (202) 224-4721
  • South Carolina: Graham (202) 224-5972  Scott (202) 224-6121
  • South Dakota: Thune (202) 224-2321
  • Tennessee: Alexander (202) 224-4944  Corker (202) 224-3344
  • Texas: Cornyn (202) 224-2934  Cruz (202) 224-5922
  • Utah: Hatch (202) 224-5251  Lee (202) 224-5444
  • Wisconsin:  Johnson (202) 224-5323
  • Wyoming:  Barrasso (202) 224-6441  Enzi (202) 224-3424

*Please note: I copy-pasted these numbers from the Senate website. If something’s amiss (my fault or theirs) you can always call the Capitol switchboard at 202-224-3121 and ask for your Senators by name.


Big, big h/t to my internet pal @ferallike, who started tweeting out phone numbers almost immediately upon the completion of the vote.


  1. If we do not remove these cretinous power-mongers from the halls of Congress, then we as Americans should be ashamed of ourselves. We allowed this to happen by giving these miscreants their jobs, and we can fix it by removing them from those jobs. No more. No more.

  2. Want2Know

     /  April 17, 2013

    “I am so angry, I can hardly see straight. This is not right. By any measure.”

    Not right, but completely expect since this issue has become very much part of the “cutlure war” that is profoundly divides the country on so many key issues. The supporters of the bill had the poll numbers, but the NRA folks had the intensity, passion and money and will still have it long after the incidents of recent times fade for most voters.

    An aspect of the story that did not get so much attention, but was I think key……a number of Senators, especially the handfull of Democrats and a few of the Republicans who might have voted for the bill, were less than willing to take the political hit at home for something that, even if it passed the Senate, was sure to die in the House. I

    A different result will require a different congress, and 2014 is the best chance of that. It won’t be easy, you know well that the incumbent President’s party usually LOSES seats in a second term mid-year election. Not only would the Dems have to not lose seats, they will have to make historically unprecendent gains to retake the house and gain a few more in the Senate. If it were to happen at all, it would require an absolutely huge turnout of Dem/Obama voters in an off-year election, which has not been the pattern. We shall see.

  3. Geneva Titsworth

     /  April 17, 2013

    I can’t stop seeing those little children being “mowed down” in the “safety” of their OWN classroom. I’m a retired teacher and Principal and had three children of my own and now have eight grandchildren. It is both heart breaking and enraging to see Senators who put their political careers,, OR ANYTHING ELSE, above their duty to represent the People of this Country. Thank goodness both my Senators, Stabenow and Levin voted for today’s legislation that would have been a step in the proper direction to protect our children and everyone else. BLESS THEM!

  4. RosiesDad

     /  April 18, 2013

    Hi Emily:

    I live in PA and although I disagree with Pat Toomey on virtually, well, everything, I emailed his office last night for trying to bring a small bit of sanity to Federal gun laws.

    At the same time, I contacted Harry Reid’s office (because this is also important) and thanked him for reforming the filibuster. 60 votes needed to pass anything makes the US Senate the most useless legislative body in the history of mankind.

  5. wannabewonkfp

     /  April 18, 2013

    I’m proud that both of my Senators (Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell) were on the right side of this one.

    • Steve Elliott

       /  April 19, 2013

      Your opinion of the right side is not shared by majority of thinking Americans. I am sorry that both of them vote party lines rather than being smart enough to give clear thought to what the real issues are.

      • Poll after poll after poll says that ~90% of Americans approve background checks. Even considering statistical error, even if you want to assume polling bias (which I’m guessing you might) – heck, let’s knock 25% off that number just for fun! It’s still a majority.

  6. Make a l note to support those who cast a risky vote and who are up for reelection, notably Sen. Landrieu

  7. Pam

     /  April 18, 2013

    Does it ever help to call congresspeople from other states? Or is that a waste of time?

    • Yeah, I don’t think it really helps much… BUT. If you know anyone in those states – make sure you tell them to call!

  8. An Oklahoma Voter

     /  April 24, 2013

    I’m writing this to my senators from Oklahoma:
    Ninety percent of Americans are disappointed and embarrassed by your vote against background checks at gun shows. How many innocent men, women and children will be murdered thanks to the No vote of the Gang of 45?
    Don’t talk to us about the 2nd Amendment. The 2nd Amendment was written for law abiding citizens, not for criminals. Wayne Lapierre’s argument that criminals will not submit to background checks is pure nonsense! Of course they will not submit since they will not be buying guns at gun shows!
    How much money did the NRA pay you for your vote? Americans need senators with integrity and courage! Vote Yes for background checks at gun shows.

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