Due to coverage of the tragic act of terrorism last week in Boston, the failure of the U.S. Senate to pass background check legislation was not widely reported by the news media. As is usually the case, the National Rifle Association holds enough power over our elected officials with their financial resources to defeat them in the next election if they do not vote as the NRA dictates.
The vote on background checks was typical. The NRA’s power defeated background check legislation that was supported by 90 percent of Americans.
This legislation had nothing to do with preventing law-abiding citizens from exercising their Second Amendment rights. Its purpose was to close loopholes in existing background check requirements, such as the ability currently to purchase firearms at gun shows without a background check. I was very disappointed that both of our U.S. senators voted against this legislation.
I am a Marine Corps veteran of the Vietnam War, and a strong supporter of the Second Amendment, but we need to start using some common sense in this country regarding guns and gun violence. Background checks would be a reasonable step to keep at least some guns out of the hands of convicted felons and those who are mentally unstable.
I intend to make my voice heard on this issue with my elected representatives, and I urge everyone who supports background checks to do the same.