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Editorial: Ayotte’s misdirection isn’t working

Magicians rely on misdirection to fool audiences and pull off their tricks. So do politicians when asked tough questions, as Sen. Kelly Ayotte has been at venues like her town hall meeting in Tilton this month. At that event Ayotte relied on misdirection and a magician, former congressman and current state Sen. Jeb Bradley. The one-time professional magician screened audience questions for Ayotte and made many of the ones about her anti-gun control vote disappear. Nice trick.

Ayotte was the sole member of Congress from New England to vote against the Manchin-Toomey bill, a bipartisan effort that among other things would have required that background checks be done on people seeking to purchase a firearm at gun shows like the ones held in Concord at the Everett Arena. Ayotte’s vote triggered an avalanche of criticism, which isn’t surprising since nearly 90 percent of the state’s residents support expanded background checks. What is surprising is how inept Ayotte’s attempts at misdirection have been.

The senator repeatedly faulted the bill’s requirements for being too burdensome on gun dealers but without ever saying just what that burden would be. In most cases a background check takes just a few minutes to complete, and the bill exempts private transactions like the sale of a gun to a friend or relative. Ayotte’s explanation took an even more bizarre turn earlier when she said she was concerned that the bill could lead to the creation of a registry for gun owners, something the bill doesn’t just forbid but would make a felony.

The attempted misdirection continued with Ayotte’s attempt to explain her vote and rebut her critics in a column that appeared in the Monitor and elsewhere Tuesday. In it Ayotte explains that she voted for improved background checks before voting against them. But the Republican-backed bill Ayotte did support would do nothing to expand background checks at gun shows and it would have weakened gun laws as much as strengthened them. That’s why it had the backing of the National Rifle Association.

Ayotte began by accusing “out-of-state special interests” of running ads attacking her and lying about her work to reduce gun violence. But the organizations running ads criticizing Ayotte’s vote aren’t exactly fringe groups, nor are they secretive about who they are. One is Mayors Against Illegal Guns, a group started by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. More than 950 mayors have signed on, including Nashua’s Donnalee Lozeau and Dover Mayor Dean Trefethen. We encourage Concord Mayor Jim Bouley to join as well.

The other group running ads is Americans for Responsible Solutions. It was founded by former Arizona congresswoman and mass shooting victim Gabrielle Giffords, a hunter and gun owner, and her husband Mark Kelly, a retired Navy captain and space shuttle commander. Both groups targeted Ayotte because they believe that citizen pressure could lead her to reconsider her vote when, as its supporters guarantee, Manchin-Toomey comes up again. The downside for Ayotte of reversing her vote and angering gun rights zealots and the NRA, which is running TV ads on her behalf, is too big for that to happen. Instead, Ayotte is counting on voters to forget that though she was once the state’s former top law enforcement officer, she voted against the wishes of most in law enforcement and against improved public safety.

The bill Ayotte voted against might have made another mass shooting a bit less likely. But by keeping guns out of the wrong hands, however imperfectly, it would also have meant fewer domestic homicides, suicides and crimes involving guns. The public wants tougher background checks. Proponents of them should try again with another bill and make sure voters will know where Ayotte stands.

I guess that I would generally agree that politicians fool people like magicians. Let's look at Nancy Pelosi for instance: "we need to pass the bill so that people can see what's in it". Now which is worse, what Ayotte did with one vote supporting the Constitution OR Pelosi's comments. Obama told voters that they could keep their own doctor, premiums would not go up, that health care would not change and that it would cost less than $1B, I believe $900,000 and now we find out it will be oppressive. How is that for magic. Democrats took back the legislature and promised "Jobs, jobs, jobs" and to date have proclaimed a state vegetable and freed long dead slaves concluding their vote in song. Quite a 'magical' list of non-accomplishments. It is easy for the Monitor to criticize someone because they don't agree with their politics but it would be much more intellectually honest to carry that kind of principle across the aisle and make the false outrage universal in all things political.

Question how many negative editorials have the Monitor written about Shaheen? Answer Zero. Because the Monitor thinks Shaheen is the perfect liberal puppet for Obama but a huge disaster as a senator. The Monitor is shameless.

Expanding background checks at gun shows like the shows at the Everett Arena is a red herring. Once again, for the 1000th time: all gun purchases through a dealer require a background check. Period. There is no exemption at a gun show. Period. What DOES happen at gun shows, though not in Concord that I've ever witnessed, is that sometimes peope set up tables with a lot of guns on them, sometimes more than the nearby licensed dealers have, and they claim they are merely selling a collection. Which is nonsense. There are a lot of double standards at work, within our legislative and regulatory processes, and a lot of other ways to address these issues. But first, you have to listen. One way would be to pass legislation requiring anyone selling more than a few guns at a time, to be a licensed dealer. Or on a State level, laws could be passed requiring those setting up tables at gun shows to be Federally licensed gun dealers. No more "just selling my collection" excuse when there is 400 guns on the tables. End of the fabled "gun show loophole" that is mostly fiction anyway.

Your right about background checks at gun shows as far as liscensed dealers. However you don't need to be a liscenseddealer to sell at a gun show. That's where the hole is in background checks. Anyone can avoid the check by buying from a non dealer. Thats' the loophole that was trying to be closed that Kelly voted against.

Reality check! How many those guns have been used in the crimes so recently cited? is this a theoretic or real concern?

Reality check. No one knows because ther are no records of sale. It's easy to lie and say oh! That gun must have been stolen from me. So yes it's a real concern. anyone who sells a gun to someone should be able to know that that person is legally allowed to own a gun. Criminals, the mentally ill, and domestic violence individuals often use private sales to obtain a weapon they couldn't otherwise obtain if a background check was performed. How well do you really know your neighbor, friend, or aquaintence ?

To say what below. The DOJ knows. They reported it in their recent report. I believe its less than 1% of total gun crimes.

To GWTW below Thats 1% more unescessary deaths/crimes that can easily be prevented.

To say what below...I thought nobody knew?

TO GWTW Your the one who claimed 1% where did you get your information?

To Say What below: I said less than one percent. And its in the DOJ report you have not read, but claimed no one knew.

The bottom line is that neither party trusts the other. The media has enforced this by making sure that we are not informed, but instead have been lead like sheep into a battle of words, missinformation and dividing us by gender, the size of our wallet, and nasty rhetoric to create pitting us against each other. So we are here. And along the way we jump to the extreme case scenerio with every issue. A 5% cut is now drastic, people will starve in the streets, cutting funding to PP will see women getting back alley abortions, and gun control will lead to a national registry. Common sense solutions no longer exist. Politics, pit bull rhetoric, and pitting each person against each other will accomplish nothing. In the meantime the two sides ruin any chance for anything to get fixed. Everything is based on emotion and politics.

Bravo Rabbit

Rabbit, All you say is true. That said, those that would do such things, never label a bill, act or book as such, when there is a sinister downside within. Of, course, they label "edge-of-the-wedge" movements toward take over or confiscation as, "nothing to worry about" or "no problem here". History is repleat with example of confiscation-- societal control-- total over.Although "they" say there never is, sometimes such legislation is a wolf in sheep's clothing.

Attacking a New Hampshire Mother on Mother’s Day, what a crass and shameless thing to do. Happy Mother’s Day Senator Ayotte we are proud of you. The Concord Monitor should be ashamed of themselves but they too busy being partisan political hacks. While Senator Ayotte is having Town Meetings and listening to the people of New Hampshire the master of misdirection the Concord Monitor is providing cover for Obama and his rubber stamp Jeanne Shaheen. Has Shaheen had town meetings? Did Shaheen listen to the voters of NH when she voted for unpopular bills like Obamacare and the Sequester? The Answer was a big no. We all know this recent attack on Ayotte is just Astro-turf, phony outrage all staged by the democrat party and orchestrated by liberal extremists from outside NH and inside NH like the partisans at the Monitor. This week when we found out that Obama and his administration purposely lied to the American people when Islamic Extremists murdered four Americans including an American ambassador. The talking points from that attack were revised 12 times changing from the truth from our intelligence agency to the lies from the Obama Administration. How much coverage did the Monitor give to that news, an article the size of about 3 postage stamps hidden in the interior pages. Shame on the Monitor for such a partisan attack to a NH Mother on Mother’s Day. PS the Monitor's misdirection isn't working.

Van, you have to understand, progressives are hypocrites. They are all for championing women, unless of course, the woman is a conservative. It is the same principle that they employ with African-Americans, they champion them in power so long as they are not conservatives, then they are Uncle Tom. It is never about gender or race, it is always about politics. It is obvious that the Monitor is taking the same bully pulpit approach with Ayotte that they took with O'Brien. Let's face it, the Monitor team is populated by Leftists and ideologues, they are a newspaper in name only, overall they are conniving partisans with no conscience, only ideological agenda. They pose as neutral in the news but look at the placement of stories, missing stories on several controversial subjects like the Philadelphia abortion trial, etc. All we see from them is more of the same shameful politics. Assertions that there is a political litmus test to work there might be true....inquiring minds want to know. They would never reveal that, however.

Tsk, tsk attacking a NH mother on Mother's Day. Sen Shaheen is a mother too as were the mothers killed at Sandy Hook and the mothers left without childern on this Mother's Day.

Right, Shaheen is a woman and mother but she is ideologically aligned with the Monitor politics so she is untouchable.

Sorry Van . . . but you really opened the door for yourself and walked right in to that one LOL!!!

Dan, I didn't see you criticize the Monitor only attacked me and you complain you are moderated.

I didn't write the Editorial. The crass Monitor Editorial Board did.

If 90% of the citizens of this state were polled and wanted expanded background checks and if the Monitor editors want to use polls to determine how our representatives vote, let's take a vote to repeal Obamacare after January. And let's take a bunch of polls to repeal gay marriage. What about abortion? For decades the majority was against it and progressives did nothing. I heard no calls from the Monitor for any Democrat to vote differently on any of the above issues I mentioned based on polls. Moreover, it banned weapons and had hidden agenda within the pages of the bill. Like Obamacare, it was a dirty bill. Like the current immigration reform bill is was a dirty bill. This is not about background checks or guns, it is a political witch hunt and I see that the folks in their Mao suits at the Monitor are once again, showing their true colors.

And like the Benghazi cover up, the Concord Monitor will be doing the shilling for the democrat party. The bold face lies of the Obama administration has gotten some reasonable media personalities uneasy but the Monitor is holding down the fort with attacks on Kelly Ayotte (By far the best senator of the two).

Dont forget Obama used the IRS to go after people....now that is news that you wont read here

If Obama used the IRS to go after newspapers, which are, in essence the same thing as political activist groups in this day and age, the Monitor and other newspapers would be all over it. For newspapers to not cover this and be outraged proves that they could care less about free speech and peoples rights, they care only about ideology. I guess we could ask the Monitor editors when that editorial is coming out but don't hold your breath. The mainstream media is not covering Benghazi, the Gosnell conviction to any degree or the IRS scandal. Then they deny bias. Stunning.

Well, I think I would like to be a fly on the wall as they discuss the news at the Monitor. I am sure that they are giddy over being able to practice the politics of personal destruction. For years, liberals (now progressives) have talked about demeanor, being inclusive, fair, honest, tolerant, etc. yet they have abandoned all of that to win with their agenda at any cost. That is why the founders established this REPUBLIC and not a Democracy which is majority rule by one vote. What the Monitor and Democrats and progressives fail to realize is that there are almost as many people with another vision as the progressive vision. They could care less about the minority, unless of course you are a woman or a certain race and then they slobber all over "fairness". Don't expect the Monitor to be balanced anytime soon. Maybe the Koch Brothers will purchase NNE and then we will get some real journalists at the helm of the CM.

other than Obama's failure to prosecute there is NO CRISIS....this is made up democrat phoney baloney just like their war on women baloney......“Are Mass killings are becoming an epidemic? No they’re extraordinarily rare. 513 people have been killed in mass killings since 1983. That’s far too many. But 3,696 people have been killed by lightning in the same 30 years.” from the Bureau of Justice Statistics: Firearm-related homicides declined 39 percent and nonfatal firearm crimes declined 69 percent from 1993 to 2011, the Justice Department’s Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) announced today "in 2010, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms screened 76,142 NICS denials. Of those, charges were brought in only 44 cases - and resulted in just 13 successful prosecutions.

Sen Ayotte did vote as the majority of her constituents wanted. She wisely looked inside the bill and not just at the title on the cover. She saw that even the Pres’s expert have written their gun laws will not work without confiscating the weapons of law abiding citizens; they euphemistically call , “mandatory gun buy-back programs”. She saw the devil in the details like criminalizing a citizen for lending a hunting rifle to neighbor w/o a background check. Would you rather have legislators like Pelosi who says, “You can see what’s in the health care bill after you pass it”. Is this what you want in a legislator? Is that responsible gov’t on any level? Would you want that kind of legislative process going on when a more rational government comes back into power? Really – is that the system you want? We need more like Sen. Ayotte who look beyond the outer label on the package to the details inside. ”. I don’t see this vitriol thrown at the Democratic legislators who voted like Sen. Ayotte. Proof positive this has nothing to do with public safety - this is pure partisan politics!

It sure is pure partisan politics and NH voters know it and the Monitor's little Astro-turfing misdirect isn't working. Great Comments TCB!!!

You post is inaccurate on several points. The Manchin-Toomey bill tightened the gun-show loophole. That's all it did. It was not written by Obama, but by a conservative Democrat and a Tea Party Republican. It contained nothing that the NRA itself, once upon a time, would have supported. And your use of the Pelosi quote distorts its context--as does every such reference. Pelosi was referring to a Senate health care bill still being amended and prepared for passage--in short, undergoing the legislative process. Until final passage of any bill, no one can say for certain what a particular bill contains, or what is left out. Understood in context, that's all Pelosi said, or meant.

Correction: I meant to write "contained nothing the NRA would NOT have supported."

"The Manchin-Toomey bill tightened the gun-show loophole. That's all it did."....I'm not certain thats "all it did", but for sake of argument, lets assume thats true. What then, would this bill accomplish in terms of preventing gun violence? NADA. ZIP. ZERO.

Bruce, Re: Pelosi - your theoretic explanation of the legislative process, is my understanding also. However (leaving theory and going to where the rubber meets the road) - few to none of our legislators knew the details of that historic over-reaching legislation and even today, experts in health care policy and practice are saying, "Gads - we had no idea that was in there" I am very disappointed in legislators (of any flavor) who passed that black box bill.

The ACA is a perfect example of broad sweeping reform that delibertly left out what was in it. Except of course, for the things that would look good. What was pushed was kids stay on till they are 26, you will not have to change your doctor, cost will be afforable. The massive pile of paper was designed to put in many things that folks have no clue about. Now folks are saying, I had no clue that was in there. Correct,. The left put things in there to have the govt control health care. They also put in there huge taxes that will prevent our health care system from getting better and cost jobs. New medical machines are taxed, so many facilities will not buy them. So we will have outdated medical machines. The cost for private insurance is filled with taxes, rules, coverage you do not need etc. Resulting in huge costs for private insurance which will lead to business not buying it, and putting everybody on parttime hours. A huge mess that is costly, and will end with more medical facilities dumping folks with medicare and medicaid.

Bruce; Are you saying the NRA would supporting criminalizing a citizen for lending a hunting rifle to friend w/o a background check? (just one example) - I do not think so? is that like Obama's "90% support" phrase - I could say the moon is made of green cheese with the strength of evidence.

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