Anger aimed at Sen. Flake for vote against background checks

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By Andrew Michalscheck By Andrew Michalscheck

PHOENIX -- This week saw the U.S. Senate's first effort to pass legislation dealing with gun control since the Newtown massacre.  The effort failed on all fronts.

On Friday, dozens of protesters gathered in front of Senator Jeff Flake’s office in Phoenix, angry about Flake’s “no” vote on the background check bill.

“And the sad thing is I voted for [Flake].  I won’t ever again,” said Tom Teves, whose son, Alex, was killed during the Aurora, Colo. theater shooting.

Teves told 3TV he sent Flake a letter asking him to support background checks, which polls show as many as 90 percent of American voters support.

“He sent me back a letter that said, 'I’m sorry that you're upset about Newtown….’ So as you can imagine I was a tiny bit put off.  So then he sent me this card that said he would support background checks.  Then he voted no, so I'm struggling,” said Teves.

A request for comment on this story sent to Jeff Flake’s office wasn’t returned in time for publication.  But on his Facebook page this week he explained his vote by saying the bill:

“… would expand background checks far beyond commercial sales to include almost all private transfers - including between friends and neighbors… This simply goes too far.”

Teves told 3TV he wants Flake to come have dinner with the family and see what it feels like to sit with an empty chair at the table.

 “If he wants to come to my house he can still come but he can't sit in Alex's seat anymore because Alex died shielding the love of his life and took a bullet for her.  Senator Flake would never have the courage to do that and that chair at my table is only for people who have courage,” said Teves.

Flake was among a minority of senators who voted against the universal background check bill. 

Arizona’s other senator, John McCain, voted for the bill.