If You Can’t Beat ‘Em, Spin ‘Em: After Opposing Manchin-Toomey, Ayotte 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 have 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.


Jeremy Funk, Communications Director, Americans United for Change, www.americansunitedforchange.org


SEE: https://filemanager.capwiz.com/filemanager/file-mgr/maig/Grassley_Cruz_Amendment__4_17_1130AM_.pdf

The Grassley-Cruz Bill Undermines Public Safety

Bottom Line: The Grassley-Cruz Bill does nothing to close the gaping loophole that allows  criminals to buy guns without background checks. Meanwhile, the bill makes it easier for the seriously mentally ill to get guns and harder for the federal government to stop gun trafficking.  A vote for Grassley-Cruz is not an acceptable substitute for a vote for Manchin-Toomey.

Grassley-Cruz would leave the private sale loophole wide open, while the Manchin-Toomey Amendment would narrow this deadly gap and keep guns out of the hands of criminals and the seriously mentally ill.

  • Each year, 6.6 million guns are sold without a background check. The Manchin-Toomey Amendment extends the existing background check system to cover all sales in commercial settings, including at gun shows, online and in classified ads.
  • Background checks impose little burden on lawful private sellers and they save lives. States that have gone beyond federal law and closed the private sale loophole have had dramatic results: In states that require background checks for all handgun sales, there are 38 percent fewer women shot to death by intimate partners and there is 48 percent less gun trafficking.
  • Grassley-Cruz would do nothing to address this problem.

Grassley-Cruz would actually make it legal for seriously mentally ill people to buy guns and would weaken the gun background check database.

  • Make it legal for the seriously mentally ill to buy guns: Grassley-Cruz would undermine public safety by effectively eliminating longstanding prohibitions on gun possession by the seriously mentally ill, including those who have been involuntarily committed to psychiatric hospitals and those who have been found to lack the mental capacity to manage their affairs.
  • Weaken the gun background check system (NICS): By eliminating certain categories gun prohibitors and significantly narrowing others, this bill would invalidate millions of mental health records currently in the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS).

Grassley-Cruz would make it harder for the federal government to stop gun traffickers. Grassley-Cruz strips the federal government’s authority to require dealers in border states to report multiple sales of assault rifles, halting a successful ongoing program that curbs gun trafficking along the border. Grassley-Cruz also fails to give law enforcement a useful tool to go after straw purchasers and gun traffickers.

  • Rather than creating an enforceable straw purchasing crime, Grassley-Cruz simply reiterates existing law and places an exacting burden of proof of law enforcement officers trying to punish and deter straw purchasers.
  • And rather than giving law enforcement the critical tools it needs to break up trafficking rings and stem the tide of illegal guns, Grassley-Cruz requires proof that the trafficker knew that the recipient was prohibited or would use the gun to commit a violent crime. Requiring knowledge makes this provision nearly indistinguishable from current law which already penalizes the knowing transfer of a gun to a recipient that is prohibited or would use the gun to commit a violent crime.
  • By contrast, the Stop Illegal Trafficking in Firearms Act of 2013 would create new and enforceable federal crimes for both straw purchasing and illegal gun trafficking.
essay May 08, 2013 at 02:07 PM
"I" am not incorrect. That was clearly a quote from a piece in the New Yorker. Frankly, I trust their interpretation over someone named, "Apljak". I also trust Joe Manchin's interpretation of whether a gun registry was banned in the legislation over my own Senator, Kelly Ayotte. If I am interpreting your last paragraph correctly, are you under the impression that there is currently a national gun registry? If so, could you please direct me as to where I can find this? Thanks!
Jim U Lacrum May 08, 2013 at 02:19 PM
FTP: Please clarify for me, how exactly do firearm sales happen at gun shows and over the internet?
Apljak May 08, 2013 at 02:52 PM
Nice, the pot "essay" calling the kettle "Apljak" black, because essay is far more credible of a moniker! How foolish you sound. So that's an effective response? really? How about "I am rubber and you're glue..."? It's equally suitable. My side says that we're right and you're wrong so nah nah nah boo boo! If you aren't willing to actually try to bring an original thought, why even respond?? Did you actually think JFP36 was really just fishing for someone to Google an opinion piece without at least trying to provide some sort of thoughtful opinion on the issue? Regardless, yes there ws plenty wrong with Manchin-Toomey and Reid rolled the dice instead of discussing it...his choice. And all the promises made about accidental criminalization, reinstatement, etc... were broken. And while there isn't currently a National Gun Registry, nearly everything is in place and there are plenty of States that have already begun. This is the incremental approach of anti-gun progressives like yourself! You're welcome.
L'EMPEREUR du POLE NORD May 08, 2013 at 02:56 PM
Jim U Lacrum 10:19 am on Wednesday, May 8, 2013 FTP: Please clarify for me, how exactly do firearm sales happen at gun shows and over the internet? Can you possibly be more ignorant ? Or are you just trolling ?
Apljak May 08, 2013 at 03:10 PM
Satan (I just can't bring myself to call you Santa anymore as it is just too insulting to him), I think Jim U Lacrum (not an Ayotte supporter by self admission) is just trying to expose FTP's ignorance (and yours as well I would gather) of gun show and internet gun sales... But nice try in attempting to be so dismissive of a fairly well thought-out poster...
Jim U Lacrum May 08, 2013 at 04:14 PM
L'EMPEREUR: I troll not, nor am I ignorant. I only wish to acquire a sense of ForThePeople's impression on the topic. (N'est-ce pas que le pôle nord a un président plutôt qu'un empereur? Je vous appelle un imposteur.)
essay May 08, 2013 at 04:23 PM
See, though, I am not an expert on this. I am not claiming to be credible in and of myself; I quoted a more knowledeable person's reporting, and I clearly sourced that material. It is duly noted that, after you demean the idea of arguing, "My side says that we're right and you're wrong...", you proceed to make the exact same argument.
Apljak May 08, 2013 at 09:04 PM
essay, I understand your position and I see that you sourced it. I just happen to disagree with it. And while there is no factual statement from Harry Reid what his strategy was, it is subject to interpretation, which is what I did. It doesn't do thoughtful people any good to just rant and insult, so honestly, I am not just trying to be argumentative. I don't think this is going away anytime soon.People are attacking Senator Ayotte and I don't believe that she deserves the many lies and insults being sent her way. Falsehoods that are truly false and politically motivated. Fine, she's a big girl. She can handle herself. I am just curious how informed the locals are who make these insults with the actual facts and proposed legislation. What I have seen is that these people, for the most part, are just parroting party line talking points. If it appears that somewhere above I said that we are right and you are wrong just because, then I failed to make my point. I believe the bill failed because Harry Reid did not have faith that the democratic process would prevail in making Manchin-Toomey better, and as a result, he set an unrealistic and insurmountable hurdle when he proposed a 60 vote limit.
Proud Conservative May 08, 2013 at 11:29 PM
Enough with the liberal bashing the right stories and blogs. Where's the Benghazi testimony story??? Obama lied; Clinton lied; Rice lied. Why no mention of that here? All I see here is a left wing rag.
Apljak May 08, 2013 at 11:33 PM
Not one hard-hitting, responsible piece by Patch on anything Benghazi...that would be Obama-bashing. We will probably see a Watergate story before we see anything on Benghazi.
Cheryl May 09, 2013 at 12:00 AM
@Apl- Why not? Republicans are trying to make a Watergate out of Benghazi. It's purely political on the Republican side. It has been since day one and we all know it. But what the hell...it will give you old long winded white guys more to yap about. Hillary 2016 ...bet on it !
Carol Robidoux (Editor) May 09, 2013 at 12:09 AM
Apljak, our mission here is hyperlocal news, and we try to keep it within the boundaries of NH with very few exceptions (regional news like the Newtown shooting or Boston Marathon among them) but ideally, you will find local news or news involving local newsmakers here.
Apljak May 09, 2013 at 12:19 AM
SoxPats, Come on, I thought you and I were beyond the name calling? No problem if we have regressed, I just want it clear for the record. I thought we were trying to elevate the discussion where possible I don't think that trying to uncover a cover up, if that is what we find out from these whistle blowers, is a political move. Someone should be held responsible for the loss of trust in this administration. I am not concluding that it goes to Obama or even reaches to Hillary, but someone is responsible for the actions of that day. If you can't see that then I think your own politics are clouding your ability to see right and wrong. I am not saying the intentions of some of the politicians aren't to try and link this as high as possible, but their actions are mutually exclusive finding the truth for the families of those four dead Americans!!
Apljak May 09, 2013 at 12:20 AM
Carol, Fair enough, I withdraw the critical rant!
Carol Robidoux (Editor) May 09, 2013 at 12:32 AM
Thanks, Apljak.
Tony Schinella (Editor) May 09, 2013 at 02:41 AM
@Apljak: Our sister site in Winchester, where one of the heroes grew up, have done a number of stories on his death, including how the community honored his life: http://winchester.patch.com/search?keywords=Benghazi Had he lived in Concord, we'd be covering it too.
Apljak May 09, 2013 at 02:53 AM
Thanks Tony, I will check it out!
Proud Conservative May 09, 2013 at 09:13 AM
You have to keep in mind that Patch is owned by AOL who also owns the Huffington Post. And Ariana Huffington ran Patch for a while until she gave up on it.
Cheryl May 09, 2013 at 09:45 AM
@apl- that is BS! You know if the situation were reversed you would be singing a different tune. This has much more to do with the political agenda of the Republicans than with the sad unfortunate death of those four Americans.
Apljak May 09, 2013 at 11:43 AM
No SoxPats, It isn't. You are mistaken as to your claim about my desires for justice. My heart breaks for those four Americans and their families. And my blood boils every time I hear Susan Rice, Hillary Clinton, or Obama attribute that night to a damn video. Someone is responsible for those two very different accounts and they should be held accountable it, whoever they are! It is sad that many people feel exactly as you do because this is about the truth. I only wish more people cared about the truth instead of instinctively putting politics first or just being to jaded to care any longer!
Proud Conservative May 09, 2013 at 04:09 PM
It has to do with the coverup by the Obama administration to avoid any threat to his reelection. The whole damn world knows that - and so do you! Spin it as you wish, but all you're doing with your spin is going on circles.
JPF36 May 09, 2013 at 04:28 PM
Proud Conservative. You are 100% correct. Barry wanted to be re-elected and nothing was going to get in the way So they concocted a story and sent Susan Rice to her demise. She was used as a scapegoat so Hillary and Barry could get away with this LIE
Apljak May 09, 2013 at 04:29 PM
Hill, These are pertinent statistics that are easily ignored by the gun-grabbing crowd!
Jim U Lacrum May 09, 2013 at 04:34 PM
I can't speak from the Republican angle, as I have no party affiliation, but I am disgusted by the Benghazi cover-up, even if it was motivated by something as "innocent" as reelection concerns. I was just as disgusted when Mr. Bush deceived us about other serious matters during his tenure. It is good that Republicans are pursuing this issue, because that's the reasonable response I would hope for from anyone. What is sad is that Democrats seem too willing to ignore it, instead opting to paint it as some kind of Republican plot to undermine the president. All I want to know is the truth, no different from when I wanted to know the truth about any of Mr. Bush's prevarications, and it would be nice if, for once, a sense of honesty and justice would prevail over party-line politics. I also want to know more about Mr. Obama's unilateral decision, announced without an iota of meaningful public debate, to invade Libya, overthrow its government, and have its leader murdered. Democrats practically crucified Mr. Bush when he did the same in Iraq, so what about Libya? You can have allegiance to whatever party you like, as far as I'm concerned, but if you're a citizen of this country, your first allegiance should be to the United States of America. That's what matters here. Every president who gets away with another atrocity based on party support (or whatever basis) brings our country down another notch and exposes us to blowback and other consequences. It needs to stop.
Apljak May 09, 2013 at 04:35 PM
Jim U Lacrum, Et j'appelle Obama un monarque
Jim U Lacrum May 09, 2013 at 04:38 PM
Apljak: "What difference, at this point, does it make?"
Apljak May 09, 2013 at 05:18 PM
I would like to believe that I have and will always put country before politics! Whether it is an election, a scandal, or a policy. The Patch partisans will probably scoff at that claim because I just don't happen to agree with them on many issues. But my idea of what's good for the country may just be very different than theirs. That's politics. This is different. When a Republic screws up (scandalous behavior), proposes bad law, or is a bad fit for a position, I have been and will be quick to complain or demand answers. There are many ancillary or mundane issues that get voted on by party line by default because it may not be germane to one's life; but, hopefully when people support a stance they have at least invested themselves enough to support their opinion. "Politics" may be "politics" but there have to be defining moments when people must put their politics aside and demand to know what's right. We shouln't just blindly accept what is handed to us when it doesn't appear the least bit plausible. This is one of those times! Nixon resigned for far less. This isn't a Republican witch hunt. It's not about trying to hurt Obama. It's about rebuilding trust in our government by holding those guilty of their "dereliction of duty" and post-terrorism "cover up" accountable.
Apljak May 09, 2013 at 06:08 PM
Jim, Well it did happen "a long time ago", maybe we should just move on.
Hilltopper May 09, 2013 at 08:31 PM
Mr Apljak, We are told that Begahzi was "a long time ago", but when it comes to placing blame on the previous administration, its still January 20, 2009---
Apljak May 09, 2013 at 08:38 PM
Hill, I guess election cover-ups of terrorist activity have very short (if not downright non-existent) press cycles when they are left-based; but these liberal rags and media outlets will shine Obama's Teflon with any distracting news, whether it's true or not, until his last day in office!


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