I was saddened over the recent vote in the U.S. Senate on the universal background check bill. Regardless of what those who voted against the legislation claim, the NRA is directly responsible for the defeat of a measure that almost 90 percent of the American people favor. Not surprisingly, the NRA also lied continuously about what the bill would do if passed. For example, there was nothing in the bill that would have prohibited a family member from selling a gun to another family member. Neither did the bill authorize a national gun registry. Instead, the legislation specifically made it a felony for anyone to try to do that with a 15 year prison sentence. There were other deliberate NRA lies about the bill and apparently some of our Senators believed them to be true. Others just were plain scared to oppose the NRA on anything, even legislation that the NRA once supported, and that’s a sad commentary on how Congress operates.
I am convinced that the NRA does not represent the interests of gun owners. I am equally convinced that it does work for gun manufacturers and their economic interests. I have owned pistols, shotguns and rifles since I was a teenager. I have used those shotguns and rifles as a hunter for years. Having said this, I have no problem with universal background checks. Neither can I see a valid reason for any person to own an assault rifle that is designed for one purpose and that is to kill folks. Assault rifles aren’t used for hunting animals and should not be available for sale in the U.S. But that ban was not even in the bill that was defeated in the Senate. Neither was there a ban in the bill on the sale of high volume magazines that would hold 30, 50, 100 rounds.
My prayers go out to the Newtown, Conn., families who fought so hard to get the Senators to resist the threats of the NRA lobbyists and to do the right thing on the Senate bill. Hopefully those families won’t quit this fight, and I don’t believe they will. It’s one that I believe can still be won. We have too much to lose as a nation to let this battle end now. If you agree that common sense gun safety legislation is needed, contact your members of Congress and let them know. You should start with your Senators.
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