Quote of the Day

“It hurts her.  Elections are won in New Hampshire with the vote of independents, particularly independent women.  Independent women will not favor a candidate who does not believe in background checks.  Will it be the only issue?  No, but it will be an issue.”

Kathy Sullivan, former head of the NH Dem party, on GOP Sen. Kelly Ayotte’s vote against the Manchin-Toomey bill to expand background checks for gun purchases.

Ayotte is now being called NRAyotte.

Ayotte says she supports fixing the mental health system to prevent people from getting guns.  But how would that work, other than through background checks?  If someone is in a data base as being too mentally impaired to own a gun, how would a gun seller know that without doing a check?  There are two steps here.  First, you have to get them into a data base, and then someone has to access that data base before doing the transaction.

The Times, They Are A-Changin’

I own a house in New Hampshire (near Scott Brown, unfortunately) and will move there in the next year or so, so I think of Republican Kelly Ayotte as one of my senators.

I am thrilled to see that her favorables have plunged 15 points since she voted against the Manchin-Toomey background check bill.  She’s to the right of Pat Toomey on guns?  Really?

I saw this as a very calculated, unprincipled vote, and I hope it comes back to bite her in the tush.

Ayotte feared a primary from her right, feared NRA 30-second ads.   Maybe she’ll be done in by a primary  from her left instead or just a plain old loss in the general.

 

Cruz Admits Background Checks Won’t Create Gun Registry

As the Manchin-Toomey bill for broader (not universal) background checks for gun sales appears headed for defeat, Sen. Ted Cruz  (Tea Party-Texas) admits that the bill wouldn’t create a federal gun registry:

“I don’t disagree that on its face, the currently pending legislation does not purport to create a national gun registry.”

Indeed, the bill provides a 15-year felony sentence for any government official who keeps such records.

 

Gun Registration Will Turn Us Into Rwanda

Stay with me here, cause this one is a little convoluted.

GOP Congressman Jeff Duncan of SC repeated on his Facebook page the gun-nut canard that background checks will inevitably lead to a national gun registry and then, well, then the America we love will become Rwanda:

“Ask yourselves about a National gun registry database and how that might be used and why it is so wanted by progressives.  Read about the Rwandan genocide, the Hutu and Tutsi tribes.  Read that all Tutsi tribe members were required to register their address with the Hutu government and that this database was used to locate Tutsi for slaughter at the hands of the Hutu. … I use this example to warn that national databases can be used with evil consequences.”

First, we already have background checks, just not universal checks, and we don’t have a gun registry.  There is no reason that the expansion of existing background checks would lead to the creation of a registry. No one is proposing such a registry.  In fact, we have laws against such a registry.

Second, um, Jeff, you moron, the Government already knows where we live!

 

Doesn’t Ninety Percent Mean Anything in a Democracy?

Poll after poll shows that 90% or more of Americans support universal background checks for gun purchases.  And that includes solid majorities of NRA members and Republicans.  Yet even this, the most popular  and least controversial of gun reforms, seems doomed, unable to get out of the Democrat-controlled Senate, let alone the GOP House.

Sahil Kapur writes today at Talking Points Memo:

“Politically, Democratic leaders are in a lose-lose predicament. If they somehow squeeze background checks through the Senate (it’ll still have to pass the House), their vulnerable members will face the wrath of the NRA. If the legislation fails, leaders will anger and demoralize their liberal base, which is demanding meaningful action on guns.”

It seems to me that if this legislation fails, the anger and despair and frustration will rightly extend well beyond the liberal base.  Background checks are not just a liberal cause, they are supported all across the political spectrum.

Kapur names four Dem senators who won’t vote for background checks because they are up for re-election in 2014:  Kay Hagan of North Carolina, Mark Pryor of Arkansas, Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, and Max Baucus of Montana.  I hope they lose their seats —  they don’t deserve the extraordinary honor and power of being a senator.

Jewish tradition says that if you save one life, you save the whole world.  I can’t imagine that universal background checks won’t save at least one life.  If I lost my Senate seat, but knew that I’d saved a life because of my vote, I’d consider that an excellent trade-off and be proud and at peace for the rest of my life.  And, given the lop-sided polling, I believe these senators can do the right thing and win in 2014 anyway.

It may be inevitable that crazies like Adam Lanza will do us harm, but it’s not inevitable that cowards will lead us.