Ayotte reasoning doesn’t add up

To the editor:

At her town hall meeting last Thursday in Fitzwilliam, Sen. Ayotte finally allowed herself to be asked this question: What’s wrong with universal background checks?

Her answer collapsed under its own weight.

Sen. Ayotte said that she voted against universal background checks because she was concerned this would lead to a national gun registry. This is nonsense, for two reasons.

First, the bill stated that the government would not, and could not, create a gun registry. The bill would have established criminal penalties for anyone who created a gun registry.

Second, how can it be that our existing background check law — which Sen. Ayotte says she wants to strengthen — does not lead to a ‘gun registry,’ but expanded background checks would? Sen. Ayotte has no answer.

Background checks work. Sen. Ayotte admitted this when she said she wants to expand the number of mental health records that go into the background check database.

Over 1.8 million gun purchases have been stopped due to background checks since 1994. The problem is that federal law only requires background checks for sales through licensed gun dealers. If a criminal is denied a gun purchase due to a background check, the criminal can go to a gun show or the internet, and buy a gun with no questions asked.

If we are going to have a background check law — and Sen. Ayotte says we should — it makes no sense to have a law with such a gaping loophole. The question remains: What’s wrong with universal background checks?

Recently, Bobby Jindal, the Republican governor of Louisiana, said that the Republican Party needed to stop being “the stupid party.” The Senate vote on background checks shows that nothing has changed.

Mark Fernald


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