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Letter: Ayotte’s vote took maturity, courage

Sen. Kelly Ayotte did the right thing by voting against the Toomey-Manchin bill extending criminal background checks.

The vote was not about Second Amendment rights or even the merits of criminal background checks. Instead, the vote was about resisting the impulse to “do something” in response to the horror in Newtown, Conn. Particularly in the political arena that takes maturity and courage.

The question that should have dominated the media since Dec. 14, 2012, is: Why did Adam Lanza decide to go to an elementary school and kill 26 people? Lanza’s is only the latest in a series of spree killings by young men who, we are told, are “troubled.” What is it about our families and our culture that is producing so many sociopaths capable of mass murder?

Anyone who is serious about stopping this trend must do the hard work of determining what caused it. It is a disservice to the victims of these crimes to pass legislation that would have done absolutely nothing to stop Lanza. Still worse, extending criminal background checks would have created the perception that we “did something” and we could move on.

Ayotte showed wisdom and a true commitment to the victims of mass shootings by refusing to take the easy way out. For that, she deserves our respect and admiration.

BRYAN GOULD

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