Voters should remember GOP inaction on guns
To the editor:
Tuesday's Eagle featured a lengthy front-page article noting that the Orlando gunman identified himself as an "Islamic soldier." The Eagle also included a prominently placed commentary suggesting that those who wish to own and use an assault weapon enlist in the National Guard. Of course, Tuesday's edition included yet another lengthy article about Donald Trump, this time concerning Mr. Trump's firing his campaign manager.
Unfortunately, Tuesday's Eagle did not mention Monday's special session of the U.S. Senate, during which senators once again voted down several potential gun safety bills. [Editor's note: Since Wednesday, The Eagle has provided coverage of the week's events in Washington regarding gun laws.]
The proposals would have allowed the Justice Department to block, for up to 72 hours, the sale of a gun to any person who had been on the federal terrorist watch list within the last five years. During that time, the attorney general would investigate the sale and, after 72 hours, would have to show probable cause that the buyer is indeed a known or suspected terrorist in order to prevent the sale. The proposals also included a background check for any gun buyer, thus closing the gun show/background check loophole.
Sen. Mark Kirk, a Republican from Illinois, was the only Republican senator to vote in favor of Democratic gun-safety bills.
Perhaps this special session wasn't deemed newsworthy. After all, the 113th Congress voted down the assault weapons ban of 2013 less than five months after the horrific slaughter of 20 6- and 7-year-olds at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Why would The Eagle, or the American people, expect the painfully partisan 114th Congress to do anything differently?
During the next congressional elections, please bear in mind that despite the precious fragility of human life, despite the continuing rise of destructive mass shootings in America, despite Aurora, Sandy Hook, San Bernadino, and now Orlando, as recently as June 20, only a single Republican senator could bring himself to vote in favor of Democratic-sponsored gun safety bills.
Please remember these sentiments and, most importantly, please remember them at the polls.
Michael R. Hinkley, Dalton