Senators should be held accountable on vote

info@islandpacket.comMay 7, 2013 

Shame on the 45 U.S. senators who voted against the watered-down legislation on background checks for gun sales. (Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid joined in the no vote in a procedural move that would enable him to bring it up for a future vote. That's in the unlikely event that he could get enough votes to pass the proposed law).

The fact that nearly 90 percent of Americans favored passing it did not deter four Democrats (all from conservative states) and all but four Republican senators (including both Lindsey Graham and Tim Scott) from voting against expanding background checks for gun purchases.

New York Times columnist David Brooks recently wrote, "Sure, the Republican position will further taint the party's image ... and ... Sure, the party looks extreme when it can't accept a bill sponsored by the conservative Sen. Joe Manchin and the very conservative Sen. Pat Toomey."

Brooks concludes that the 90 percent won't penalize the senators who voted against background checks. I hope he is mistaken.

For those of you keeping score at home: Is a background check to prevent criminals or those with mental illness from purchasing guns a dastardly attack on civil liberties or a reasonable measure to reduce the more than 30,000 Americans will die in gun violence every year?

You need a license to drive a car; isn't a background check to buy a gun a reasonable measure?

Frank Flaumenhaft

Hilton Head Island

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