If You Can’t Beat ‘Em, Spin ‘Em : After Opposing Manchin-Toomey and Sinking in Polls, Senator Ayotte now says ‘I Voted to Improve Background Checks’
Actually, Ayotte voted to worsen background check system, make it easier for the dangerously mentally ill to get a gun
Pop Quiz: You’re a party-line-toeing politician on the ropes for defying the wishes of 89% of the people you were elected to represent. You just voted to keep the gun show loophole wide open for criminals and the dangerously mentally ill to exploit and the gun makers to profit from. You’re now down 15 points in the polls and finding yourself confronted at town halls by incensed citizens whose families were shattered by gun violence. What do you do now? What – do – you – do?
If you’re Senator Kelly Ayotte, the answer is simple: just start disingenuously telling people you voted to improve background checks and hope they buy it. See Ayotte’s May 6 op-ed: ‘I Voted to Improve Background Checks.’
There’s just one problem: not only did she NOT vote to ‘improve’ the background check system, she actually voted to make it easier for the dangerously mentally ill to get a gun and to make it harder to stop gun traffickers. SEE MAIG FACT SHEET below on the Grassley-Cruz bill Ayotte refers to when she claims she “voted recently to improve the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS).”
Ayotte goes on in her op-ed to trash Manchin-Toomey, the bipartisan bill that would actually be effective at keeping more guns out of dangerous hands: “We shouldn’t be expanding a flawed system.” Ayotte neglects to mention that -- under the current system she deems flawed -- “since 1998 the F.B.I. has rejected more than a million would-be sales, and when state-level rejections are factored in the number of denials is closer to two million — usually because the would-be buyers are convicted felons, or fugitives from justice, or mentally ill, among other reasons,” according to the New York Times.
That’s nearly 2 million guns that were kept out of the wrong hands under the current system. Lives were been saved under Ayotte’s ‘flawed system’. In fact: In states that require a background check for private handgun sales, 38 percent fewer women are shot to death by their intimate partners; in states that require background checks for all handgun sales, there are 17% fewer firearm aggravated assaults.
Given the facts, it’s obvious that closing the gun show/internet loophole and subjecting more of the millions of guns sold anonymously each year to background checks would keep more guns out of the hands of criminals and save more lives. That’s common sense and logical. But Senator Ayotte glosses over the clear reduction in gun violence that would result from expanded background checks and says we should instead ask the law enforcement community to spend an enormous resources and time they will never have chasing after everyone that was stopped from getting a gun by the background check. It’s a classic example of not seeing the forest for the trees.