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Why Are Expanded Background Checks for Potential Gun Owners a Bad Thing?

Background check defeat
Win McNamee, Getty Images

This has been a very difficult week in light of the bombs at the Boston Marathon, the explosion at the fertilizer plant in Waco, TX. and yesterday’s defeat in the Senate of a bill that would have expanded background checks to purchase a gun and banned the sale of some semi-automatic weapons like military assault weapons. My question to the Senate is, what’s wrong with expanded background checks? Back in December, I wrote a blog about the recent mass shootings being a gun control issue or a mental health issue, which you can read here. IĀ agree with those who say gun control is not the answer and will not prevent the types of shootings that have occurred over the years.

As I said in my previous post, guns don’t kill people…people kill people and the people who have committed these crimes never should have had access to those guns in the first place. But how do you control that? Well, you have to start somewhere and the defeated bill for expanded background checks seems like a great place to start.

These background checks are designed to take a closer look at those trying to buy weapons to ensure there is nothing that might otherwise prevent them from owning a gun, and what is wrong with that? Passage of this bill was supported by 9 out of 10 Americans, including the parents whose children were slaughtered at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

Speaking about the defeat yesterday, President Obama said, “Instead of supporting this compromise, the gun lobby and its allies willfully lied about the bill.” Obama noted that polls indicated 90% support from the American people and added, “It’s a pretty shameful day for Washington…who are we here to represent?” Whether you are an Obama supporter or not, he is absolutely right.

It is astonishing that our elected officials could be so ignorant of what most of us said was a good idea. Those who voted against the compromise are clearly more worried about re-election and campaign contributions than they are about what is right and what their constituents said they wanted…unbelievable. Again, there has to be a starting point somewhere to effect change because as of yesterday, our leaders have failed to act and are doing nothing constructive.

I would only ask one thing of anyone who supports the defeat of this measure and against expanded background checks, which is your right. Get in your car and drive to Newtown, Conn. and explain to a group of more than 20 parents why you believe as you do. I’m sure they would be very interested in what you have to say, and they might want you to answer the question featured in the below PSA video sponsored by MomsDemandAction.

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