Concord - In case you missed it, Kelly Ayotte's vote against the bipartisan legislation to implement universal background checks has her at odds with the overwhelming majority of Granite State residents. Echoing a report of widespread resentment directed at Ayotte in this morning's Eagle Tribune, was a gun violence victim confronting Senator Ayotte, and a tidal wave of letters to the editor taking Ayotte to task for her irresponsible vote.
Across the state New Hampshire residents are promising to hold her accountable for voting against their values.
Eagle Tribune: Ayotte's vote puts her in the crossfire
"A wide majority of Granite Staters, in polling by New England College this winter, supported an assault weapons ban (72 percent) and universal background checks for gun buyers (88 percent). Ayotte also broke with her New Hampshire colleague, Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, a Democrat who backed the gun control plan. Actress Mia Farrow and baseball writer Peter Gammons were among those criticizing Ayotte's decision yesterday on Twitter. So was New Hampshire's Episcopal bishop, the Rt. Rev. Rob Hirshfeld. 'Kelly Ayotte continues to be the voice and face of the right-wing Tea Party fringe,' New Hampshire Democratic Party spokesman Harrell Kirstein said."
"While there, Simon confronted Ayotte for voting down the popular measure and asked her to defend her position. In video obtained exclusively by ThinkProgress, the first-term senator didn't address the need to keep criminals or mentally ill people from obtaining firearms and instead explained that she wanted to protect gun shop owners from the burden of running additional background checks for sales conducted at gun shows or online."
Below is a sampling of letters to the editor written by Granite Staters upset with Senator Ayotte and his reckless vote again bipartisan legislation to implement universal background checks.
Sen. Ayotte's vote against the gun control amendment in the Senate on Wednesday is a sad commentary on moral values. She justified her vote against the amendment, according to the Washington Post, because it would place "unnecessary burdens" on gun owners. The unnecessary burden she refers to would be that someone purchasing a gun over the Internet would have to visit a licensed gun shop to complete the transaction. How can the "burden" of a trip to a gun shop be compared to the potential loss of human life?
Laconia Daily Sun
Here is a letter sent to Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH). When you chose to vote so independently opposite of the 90 percent of people in the U.S. - not just N.H. - you did not represent women, you did not represent children, you did not represent the law or police, you did represent hunters or even many NRA members. You did not even represent yourself; you represented 10 percent of the people, gun manufacturers and the NRA - for their money.
This is an open letter to Sen. Kelly Ayotte: As part of a senate minority, you voted "no" on common-sense gun legislation that would have required background checks on all firearm purchases made both at gun shows and online, and that would have ensured that intrastate as well as interstate sales were covered. Ninety percent of the nation, as well as 74 percent of National Rifle Association members, favored this type of legislation. In spite of this overwhelming support (I don't think apple pie rates as high), you felt it was in your best political interest to keep these loopholes open.
James T. Lalos
This Wednesday, Sen. Kelly Ayotte and 40 other Republicans voted to guarantee criminals have continued access to firearms and against the victims of Sandy Hook in Connecticut, Aurora, Colo., and the 3,000 individuals who have died since the school massacre in December. If you are a criminal who wants to continue committing crimes with guns, including shooting police officers, you should vote for Sen. Ayotte. If you have been given a restraining order and want to get a gun, you should vote for Sen.Ayotte.
Sen. Ayotte's vote against the gun control amendment in the Senate on Wednesday is a sad commentary on moral values. She justified her vote against the amendment, according to the Washington Post, because it would place "unnecessary burdens" on gun owners. The unnecessary burden she refers to would be that someone purchasing a gun over the Internet would have to visit a licensed gun shop to complete the transaction. How can the "burden" of a trip to a gun shop be compared to the potential loss of human life? What is the point of existing background checks if a felon can purchase a gun online without hindrance? Sen. Ayotte's vote is indicative of a complete lack of moral fortitude.
Open letter to Senator Kelly Ayotte: Words cannot express my horror of your voting against the bi-partisan Manchin-Toomey proposal to require background checks to purchase a gun. You are the only senator from New England to vote against this. Like many people I called your office and pleaded with you to vote for this. What will it take for this country to have more common sense gun laws?
Democracy is a joke when 90 percent of Americans want the background bill passed and Sen. Ayotte votes against it. Kelly Ayotte is a disgrace to the voters of New Hampshire.
Today, in a disgusting display of cowardice and the total disregard for the will of the American people, the U.S. Senate failed to get the necessary 60 votes to end a filibuster on legislation to expand background checks for gun purchases. The vote was 54 in favor of ending the filibuster, with three Republicans joining 53 Democrats, and 46 opposed, with four Democrats joining with 42 Republicans.To the shame of all New Hampshire, Sen. Kelly Ayotte voted with those who feared an up or down vote on the legislation and to, in effect, kill the legislation.
Imagine that your house is on fire. In seconds, the flames will engulf all your worldly possessions. You only have time to take one thing with you and get out. Would you choose your child, or your gun? Sen. Kelly Ayotte chose the gun. By voting down bipartisan legislation to require criminal and mental health background checks for private gun sales - a measure supported by 9 in 10 N.H. voters - Sen. Ayotte turned her back on the victims and families of Sandy Hook. She turned her back on Greenland Police Chief Michael Maloney, who was shot and killed by a criminal offender who got his guns through private transfers.
Sen. Ayotte won't expand background checks to include gun shows and online sales. She doesn't care that over the last three months, there were 160,000 gun ads on Armslist.com alone. Buy a gun, no questions asked! Just one example of this kind of gun free-for-all bazaar: Mr. R. Haughton, though a restraining order barred him from having guns, bought a gun through Armslist.com and shot and killed his wife and two other women. While he could not have bought a gun from a licensed dealer, background check rules don't apply on the Internet.
To Sen. Kelly Ayotte: You are out of touch with your constituents. On April 17 you voted against legislation that would have expanded background checks on people purchasing guns. Ninety-one percent of New Hampshire residents in a recent poll disagree with you. So, the question becomes, who do you really represent: the National Rifle Association or the state of New Hampshire? Your vote on Wednesday told us your answer. You have lost my vote come time for your re-election.
On Wednesday Sen. Kelly Ayotte voted to defeat legislation that would have required criminal and mental health background checks for online and private gun sales. I would like to ask the senator how many more innocent people need to die before she is willing to consider taking even modest steps to make our country safer?
Sen. Kelly Ayotte's votes on Wednesday against common-sense gun safety measures supported by up to 90 percent of the American public were despicable and craven. But somehow not surprising. Ayotte and her colleagues have qualified themselves as enablers of the next deranged young man who commits a mass shooting with a semi-automatic military-style rifle with a conveniently large magazine.
I did not vote for Kelly Ayotte when she was running for the U.S. Senate, but I thought she did a good job as state attorney general. And I thought her opponent, Paul Hodes, whom I had supported, did not run a very effective campaign. So I expected Sen. Ayotte to follow in the moderate Republican tradition of, let's say, former senator Warren Rudman and former congressman Charlie Bass.
To Sen. Kelly Ayotte: When you chose to vote so independently opposite of the 90 percent of people in the United States - not just New Hampshire - you did not represent women, you did not represent children, you did not represent the law or the police, you did not represent hunters or even many NRA members. You did not even represent yourself; you represented 10 percent of the people, gun manufacturers and the NRA for their money. New Hampshire is ashamed of you!
Reading Thursday's front-page story, "Ayotte helps kill guns bill," made me disgusted not only with her spineless vote but especially with the spineless U.S. Congress. Are they not supposed to represent the will of the American people? The Senate rejected a basic, common-sense background check law for gun sales despite the fact that 90 percent of Americans and 91 percent of New Hampshire adults support it. Even 74 percent of NRA members support it!
Shame on you, Kelly Ayotte, a New Hampshire coward who proved you have has no business trying to make a career as a U.S. senator. I thought you were tough on crime, but apparently only if it suits your personal goals. Eighty-six percent of New Hampshire residents wanted you to listen to us. Instead, Sen. Ted Cruz and the Tea Party are your new best friends, at least until they run a Republican primary candidate against you.
The gun control bill put before the U.S. Senate was a minimalist bill, but Sen. Kelly Ayotte voted against it anyway! To my mind, she has behaved appallingly. How shall I apologize to our children? She has misrepresented me in a manner that perpetrates a dangerous and violent environment in our society. I am ashamed of her action.
Sen. Kelly Ayotte voted against the gun legislation - such a disappointment. She appeared for a moment as though she was going to actually consider taking a step away from her party, but no. Voting against the filibuster gained her national attention. But voting against the bill was consistent with the party, which is very important to Ayotte.
To Sen. Kelly Ayotte: You should be ashamed for choosing to represent the radical wing of the NRA rather than the moderate populace of the state that elected you. In voting against the Manchin-Toomey compromise for universal background checks, you turned your back on the overwhelming majority of New Hampshire residents.
Sen. Kelly Ayotte has sided with the gun manufacturers' lobby by voting "nay" for reasonable and sensible firearm background checks. She shows a lack of understanding and no compassion whatsoever for the victims in Newtown, Conn., and the 30-plus murders that occur in the United States every day. She'll claim Second Amendment rights as her justification but ignore the rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for all, especially for the 20 children in Newtown who lost their rights to live a life to their fullest.