Letter: Ayotte critics haven’t done their homework
Many recent letters in the Monitor regarding Sen. Kelly Ayotte’s vote on “gun control” contain emotion-packed comments but an appalling lack of hard data. Apparently many letter writers did not personally read the proposed Manchin-Toomey bill, which was presented to the Senate on March 22 as the “Safe Schools, Safe Communities Act of 2013, S649.” Somehow, it has been mis-
translated as “The Firearms Sales Background Check Bill.”
Despite assurances in the compromise negotiations that the bill would not require national registration of firearms, in amongst all the legalese, Section 122, Paragraph (t)(4)(A) states that “Notwithstanding any other provisions of this chapter, the Attorney General may implement this section with regulations.” Paragraph (t)(4)(B) states that “Regulations promulgated under this paragraph . . . (ii) shall include a provision requiring a record of transaction of any transfer . . .”
Not much imagination is required to determine how the attorney general would “implement this regulation” in the near future. Ayotte was quoted as saying that, as proposed, S649 would be ineffective because it emphasized gun show transactions over solutions to the problems of mental health treatment and strengthening the existing system. Monitor letter writers state that Ayotte “opposes background checks”; that is not what she said.
Undoubtedly, effective firearms regulation at the federal level could be improved; this requires much careful thought and deliberation. Those who would have us immediately “do something” have not completed their homework.