What is it? Something like 40% of all gun purchases are made without any background check? So, how is it that the status quo can keep the mentally ill from getting guns? The problem with the argument Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) is making is that we can’t make any progress on keeping guns out of the hands of the insane unless we subject all gun sales to a background check. It’s all fine and dandy to improve the information in the database, but if the database is not used almost half the time, then what good is it?
Supporters of gun violence argue that criminals will not subject themselves to background checks. Well, why don’t those 2nd Amendment absolutists explain to us why, in 2010 alone, 80,000 people failed background checks after lying about their criminal records? Assuming that most criminals are smart enough to avoid background checks, we can assume that more than 80,000 people successfully purchased guns in 2010 despite being legally barred from doing so from a licensed gun dealer.
Erica Lafferty’s mother was the principal at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. She was murdered in the hallway. Ms. Lafferty had a simple question for Ayotte during the senator’s town hall meeting.
“You had mentioned that day you voted, owners of gun stores that the expanded background checks would harm. I am just wondering why the burden of my mother being gunned down in the halls of her elementary school isn’t more important than that,” Lafferty said.
This is pretty basic. Sen. Ayotte voted against expanded background checks. In doing so, she said “steps must be taken to improve the existing background check system.” What steps would those be?
Obviously, they would have to be steps that don’t burden anyone.
Lafferty thanked Ayotte for meeting with her the day after senators took the vote on the Manchin-Toomey before challenging her for her vote.
After her exchange with Ayotte, Lafferty stood and stormed out of the town hall.
Asked afterward why she had done so, Lafferty said: “I had had enough.”
Ms. Lafferty stormed out of the meeting because Ayotte’s response to her was so non-sensical that it was insulting.
Ayotte responded: “Erica, I, certainly let me just say – I’m obviously so sorry.”
“And, um, I think that ultimately when we look at what happened in Sandy Hook, I understand that’s what drove this whole discussion — all of us want to make sure that doesn’t happen again,” Ayotte said.
Apparently, Ayotte had addressed the issue at the beginning of the townhall meeting, stating that “my focus has been on wanting to improve our current background check system.” So, like a robot, she repeats the same talking point. But what’s the burden of a dead mother compared to the burden of having a background check if you want to purchase something that kills people?