Arizona Senator Jeff Flake felt so bad for Caren Teves, whose son died shielding his girlfriend from bullets in the Aurora theater massacre, that he wrote her a handwritten note in response to a letter she sent him pleading for reform. "I am truly sorry for your deep loss," Flake wrote. "While we may not agree on every solution, strengthening background checks is something we agree on."

Then, Flake gave his surname a nod and voted against Wednesday's gun control legislation strengthening background checks for guns sold online and at gun shows—just days after writing Teves his heartfelt letter.

Though a majority of senators supported the plan, it fell short by six votes.

Flake is close friends with Gabrielle Giffords, but probably not for long—her husband Mark Kelly didn't seem pleased with his vote on Twitter:

Flake defended himself to the Associated Press by stating that the measure was too vast and that he doesn't support background checks for gun sales between individuals.

"The whole thing was just shameful," Teves said before a protest in front of Flake's office. "What he did was to go against his own words and vote no against comprehensive background checks...I believe he's a coward."

[Image via AP]