I support the 2nd Amendment. “…the right of the people shall not be infringed….”
In District of Columbia v Heller, the Supreme Court ruled reasonable regulations do not infringe on the people’s gun rights. And, actually, even the most hardened, cynical, anti-government, gun-toter, probably agrees: if you have committed felonies with guns, it is probably in society’s best interests to minimize your access to firearms. If you have serious, diagnosed, mental issues making yourself dangerous to yourself or society, restricting your access to guns seems in order.
In his May 14 letter, Steve Morse celebrated the minority Party of No! for voting “down recent efforts to pass legislation that would place even further restrictions on gun ownership, in effect weakening our Second Amendment rights as citizens of this great nation.”
The truth is the courageous vote taken by the Party of No! (and four Democrats) was to not allow a vote on an amendment. Yeah, no legislation was bravely argued or defended here. The vote was on whether or not to have a vote.
And, even worse, the amendment on which Mr. Morse and the Party of No! (and four Democrats) didn’t want a vote was to simply improve the background check system and make purchases at gun shows undergo the same scrutiny purchases from a licensed gun store go through.
No guns were to be banned. No national registry was to be created. In fact, the proposed amendment specifically forbade a national registry of our guns. Sen. Toomey has an A rating from the NRA. Sen. Manchin is a lifetime member of the NRA and yet this logical amendment wasn’t even given a vote. Sandy Hook Elementary School parents were in the Senate Gallery shaking their heads in disbelief.
Mr. Morse laments “not spending our tax dollars on the root of the problem.” And, yet he praises the Party of No! (and four Democrats) who didn’t even allow a vote on an amendment which would have helped prevent criminals or mentally ill individuals from being able to purchase a dangerous weapon.
In his fractured logic, he states, “more people are killed in this country on a weekly basis by drunk or impaired drivers than in all the mass shootings we’ve witnessed in the last year.” He is absolutely correct. However, past history of drunk or impaired driving is kept on record and is accessed by insurance companies and law enforcement in an effort to minimize recidivism. Using Mr. Morse’ logic, we don’t need to keep that information or use it because, after all, more people die from flu or pneumonia (15.1 per 100,000) than in alcohol related vehicle accidents (3.31 per 100,000).
I am disappointed Congress has not acted in closing this loophole. Until they do, I hope Rep. Blake and others follow Mr. Morse’ advice and increase the funding necessary to “fill the gap between the criminal justice system and mental health care providers, helping to ensure that violent mental health offenders get the treatment they need.” I also hope they pass legislation requiring background checks at gun shows in Washington state. But, as long as the corrupt National Rifle (Manufacturer’s) Association and their political lackeys are pulling the strings, I won’t be holding my breath.