Hot Topic: On Kelly Ayotte, the Senate and the fight over gun laws
The Monitor continues to get letters about U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte’s vote against gun control legislation last week. Here’s a sampling:
I am so saddened the U.S. Senate is incapable of passing the compromise legislation for a universal gun background check. Every day we hear of a child or other family member being slaughtered with a gun. How could Sen. Kelly Ayotte, a mother and someone who served as New Hampshire attorney general and saw the toll of gun violence on our families and communities, have failed to support this bill?
All I can imagine is she falls prey to thinking simplistically, rather than exploring the complexities of what our Constitution intends. Isn’t our children’s right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness as compelling as the right to bear arms?
Yes, gun control absolutely works
There have been many great letters recently about our infamous senator, Kelly Ayotte, and her irresponsible vote to support the gun lobby, so I don’t have to say any more on that. But I do want to respond to the line that “gun control just doesn’t work” that I keep seeing. It is so overused and ridiculous.
Of course it works – not 100 percent, but it saves lives and that is the point. No law is 100 percent effective.
We have speed limits. Does that mean no one speeds? Does it mean that since some people do, we should get rid of all speed limits? With the logic they are using, we should eliminate all laws and rules and just resort to the survival of the fittest. Just be well-armed and take your chances every day.
Australia is a great example of a country that had a gun problem and passed tough laws to solve it. Since it passed new laws, there have been no mass shootings and there has been a 59 percent drop in gun-related homicides. Those are huge numbers. We could do the same if we had a Senate with some guts. Gun control absolutely works.
We’re governed by elections, not polls
I could not believe the letter from Laurie Green in the April 21 Sunday Monitor, “Math lesson for Ayotte.” Green wrote: “I think Sen. Kelly Ayotte forgot how democracy works. . . . In a democracy, the majority wins.”
First and foremost, we are not a “democracy”; we are a constitutional republic, as the founders understood that in a pure democracy, a simple majority could absolutely dictate to the minority even if the difference was one person.
Green then tells us about a “poll” which may or may not be accurate that found 88 percent of New Hampshire residents support “expanded gun registration” – which is untrue because the polls I have read imply that a “majority” of Americans support “expanded background checks” to make sure that folks with mental illness and ex-criminals do not have access to guns.
Employing Green’s logic, Obamacare should never have passed, as 60-65 percent of those polled when it was being crafted were against it. We are governed through elections, not polls or populist ideology.
Former congressman Paul Hodes did not carry out the will of New Hampshire residents, and the decision was made at the voting booth that Ayotte was the better choice and she voted in the spirit of our republic, our Constitution.
Progressives are chagrined that they were not able to change the Second Amendment by fiat, rather than get two-thirds of the Congress and three-quarters of the states to go along. If their polls are accurate, they should have no hesitation or fear of following that process as prescribed by the Constitution. Pure democracy leads to anarchy.
Ayotte’s ambition trumps her duties
How can Sen. Kelly Ayotte possibly say that she represents the interests of the citizens of New Hampshire when it was clear that the vast majority of those citizens (close to 90 percent) wanted her to support the expansion of background checks for gun purchases and she said “No”?
Close to 90 percent of the American public wanted that bill to pass but, in spite of that, it was defeated. There can be no clearer message to the American people that the U.S. Senate will fail us when interests vital to our security and well-being conflict with powerful vested interests such as the NRA and gun manufacturers. This is not only pathetic but truly frightening. It means our democratic system is failing.
I find it so interesting that the Republican Party that so loudly and consistently touts the wisdom of our forefathers totally fails to comprehend the danger of votes like these. Our forefathers fully understood the importance of compromise in preserving our democracy, a concept more and more foreign to this dysfunctional party.
Ayotte, as a young and new Republican member of the Senate, had a chance to help reinvigorate a party that has so clearly lost its way but, instead, consistently shows signs that her personal political ambition and desire for national attention trumps her duties to the citizens of this state.
Ayotte takes the lead
Despite the outcries of most on the left, Sen. Kelly Ayotte has taken a true leadership position on the issue of mass violence in our country. Rather than infringing on the rights of responsible gun owners, Ayotte has recognized the real problem: our inadequate mental health system.
By co-sponsoring multiple pieces of legislation that seek to improve our country’s broken mental health system, Ayotte is addressing the issues raised by senseless tragedies like Newtown and Aurora.
To prevent something terrible like this from happening again, we need to make sure we help the mentally ill get the treatment they need. We are fortunate that Ayotte is taking a lead on this important issue.
Step down, Senator
Republican Sen. Kelly Ayotte should consider stepping down instead of killing any more bills the people (90 percent) are demanding. The good people of the great state of New Hampshire need to elect a U.S. senator who isn’t controlled by GOP zealots the likes of the National Rifle Association and Sens. Lindsey Graham and John McCain.
MALCOLM GRAHAM ROGERS
Aligned with extremists
Once again, Sen. Kelly Ayotte has aligned herself with the extremists.
Following her earlier attempt to assassinate the character of United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice, she has now bowed before the gun lobby and voted against extended background checks for gun buyers.
This is the same Kelly Ayotte whose main claim to fame as New Hampshire attorney general was the successful prosecution of and death penalty sentence for Michael Addison. Addison, a felon, murdered a Manchester police officer using a firearm. I wonder if Officer Michael Briggs’s fellow officers and survivors approve of the senator’s vote.
This is the same Kelly Ayotte who stood shoulder to shoulder with mourners of Chief Michael Maloney of Greenland. Maloney was allegedly killed by another felon, with a firearm. How do Maloney’s fellow officers and survivors feel about the senator’s vote?
The flimsy argument against extended background checks is that criminals do not submit to background checks. Well, with all of the loopholes in the current law, we make it easy for criminals to avoid these checks. While it is arguably true that most criminals will illegally purchase their weapons, is the possibility that expanded checks might just keep a firearm out of the hands of some criminals, some batterers, and some of the mentally ill not sufficient cause to enact them? Isn’t one life saved sufficient justification? If not, this is a shameful statement about our country.
Senator, it is time that you vote to reflect the wishes of a majority of our citizens, and not those of the NRA. I hope it does not take another tragedy to change your view.
JOHN F. ECKERT
Good job, Kelly!
It seems that the Monitor has gleefully followed the dumbocrat line by publishing an inordinate number of letters condemning Sen. Kelly Ayotte for her vote against more useless, troublesome laws that would only serve to pester law-abiding citizens and merchants and do nothing at all to end violence – even to the point of adding an unflattering caricature of the senator to the letters column. (Do I detect an editorial bent?)
I am not one of those knuckle-dragging NRA members, but the voting members of this household support Ayotte’s vote, and the fight to dramatically shrink the federal government. There are laws aplenty, already infringing on citizen rights, with a nearly insignificant number of prosecutions of the criminals who regularly violate said laws.
Those condemning her vote seem to believe their views are the only views she should voice in the U.S. Senate, already controlled by dumbocrats and the Desert Rat, Harry Reid. Using imaginary polls, they invent statistics like, “90 percent of New Hampshire citizens” favor more government control of guns, blah, blah, blah, ad nauseam.
Speaking for that measly 10 percent who want less federal government interference in our lives, good job, Kelly!
GEORGE A. KEIPER
check on Ayotte
This nation was founded on the principals set forth in our Bill of Rights, and all of our elected officials have sworn an oath to uphold that sacred script and do what is best for the citizens that elected them. That includes the right of the people to keep and bear arms. Luckily though, in this country, many people who are mentally unstable and those who are felons are not allowed to possess weapons, and for good reason. With her most recent vote against universal background checks, Sen. Kelly Ayotte should be made to join both of those groups.
Criminals have lost their right to keep and bear arms because they have infringed on someone else’s right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Since Ayotte is so dead-set against keeping guns out of the hands of people who shouldn’t have them, she is no less culpable than someone committing a “straw purchase” (which is a crime). And the fact that she voted against not just 74 percent of the NRA or 90 percent of the country, but 91 percent of New Hampshirites, makes me question her sanity.
April 17 was a shameful day for New Hampshire and our great nation.