Yeah, I couldn’t help but notice that it seems that Kelly, even though she did vote to kill the gun control filibuster, has now signaled that the Manchin / Twoomey “compromise” background check gets the back of her hand. With that, the M/T bill is now in worse shape than a spent 12 gauge shotgun shell laying on the ground. Good riddance to it, as both of those senators said that their bill would not have stopped either Aurora or Sandy Hook.
Thus, in my mind, this is the perfect example of why sometimes the best thing is to do nothing instead of the knee jerk reaction “Hey, we’re supposed to be charge – WE GOTTA DO SOMETHING!” And then we get bills that impinge on people in a myriad of small, incremental ways – but don’t solve the actual problem. Or worse, charge ahead to solve problems that extremely few have – or create solutions to which no problem exists.
And that is why before we give a thumbs up to Kelly on HER legislation, we need to see if it:
- Actually keeps guns away from evil doers instead of just making it harder on law abiding folks
- Actually starts to address the flip side – how to keep firearms out of the hands of the likes of Lanza and Holmes (Sandy Hook and Aurora, respectively) without it becoming a backdoor gun confiscation process (like declaring that returning vets have PTSD, so you loose your Constitutional Right).
And that is the main thing that most won’t bring up –
We live in a Free Society (ostensibly, it seems at times). Yes, we have seen tragedies and they truly are tragedies but to be totally objective, they are outliers in the 50,000 foot level and these politicians know it. Obama and the Dems, however, have continued the emotional crisis in order for society to be “safer” EVEN AS their claims to fix the “problem” fail to. “Constitutional values” seem to receive short shrift instead of being the fences that “cannot be passed” as they were initially intended. So yes, I am saying that the Constitution is far more important than the misnomer of “gun violence”. If the latter is a problem (versus being the focus group derived name to get around what it really is – gun control incrementalism) have the stones to do the right thing if you feel that way – go ahead and amend the Constitution. Be honest, be upfront, and persuade those that disagree with you to come to your side. Otherwise, stop with the lying. But I digress…
So here is her statement:
U.S. Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) announced today that she is an original co-sponsor of the Protecting Communities and Preserving the Second Amendment Act – legislation that reauthorizes and improves the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), increases resources for prosecutions of gun crime, addresses mental health gaps in the criminal justice system, and responsibly addresses gun violence by criminalizing straw purchasing of firearms and gun trafficking. She also announced that she is co-sponsoring the bipartisan Mental Health Awareness and Improvement Act, which includes provisions she helped author that improve mental health first aid.
Senator Ayotte released the following statement regarding the legislation as well as the current debate in the Senate:
“Last week, I voted to initiate Senate debate on preventing violence and protecting the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding Americans. Several proposals have been brought forward, and I’ve been carefully reviewing them all.
“There are responsible steps that can be taken to stop criminals and others who are already prohibited from possessing firearms under federal law from obtaining them. With those principles as a guide, I am cosponsoring the Protecting Communities and Preserving the Second Amendment Act, which includes needed reforms to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, addresses mental health gaps in the criminal justice system, and criminalizes gun trafficking and straw purchases.
“To further address the need to improve the nation’s mental health system, I also am co-sponsoring the Mental Health Awareness and Improvement Act. This bipartisan measure includes provisions of legislation I helped introduce that seek to improve mental health first aid training and increase the effectiveness of mental health care across the nation.
“I believe that restricting the rights of law-abiding gun owners will not prevent a deranged individual or criminal from obtaining and misusing firearms to commit violence. While steps must be taken to improve the existing background check system, I will not support the Manchin-Toomey legislation, which I believe would place unnecessary burdens on law-abiding gun owners and allow for potential overreach by the federal government into private gun sales.”
Given the connections between mass violence and mental illness, Senator Ayotte has cosponsored two bipartisan mental health bills – the Begich-Ayotte-Blumenthal Mental Health First Aid Act (S. 153) and the Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Act (S. 162) – focused on providing training and resources for law enforcement and other community partners to help them identify individuals with mental health issues and make sure they receive proper treatment.
Time to go read more stuff, I guess.