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Senator confronted over vote against gun background checks

By The Associated Press
May 1, 2013

Senator Kelly Ayotte (REUTERS/Mike Segar)

Senator Kelly Ayotte (REUTERS/Mike Segar)

A woman whose mother was killed in last year’s school shooting in Newtown, Conn., confronted Sen. Kelly Ayotte Tuesday during the senator’s first public appearance in New Hampshire since voting against gun control legislation.

About 150 people attended the town hall meeting, where Ayotte defended her vote against a bill that would have required criminal and mental health background checks for people buying guns online or at gun shows.

After the vote two weeks ago, the New Hampshire Republican, a former prosecutor, expressed concern that expanded background checks could harm the rights of gun owners.

“I’m just wondering why the burden of my mother being gunned down in the halls of her elementary school isn’t as important,” WMUR-TV reported Erica Lafferty asking.

Lafferty’s mother, Dawn Hochsprung, was the principal of Sandy Hook Elementary School, where 20 pupils and six educators were slain in December. She died after lunging at the gunman to try to stop him from firing.

Ayotte said she was sorry for what Lafferty has been through.

“And I think that ultimately when we look at what happened in Sandy Hook we should have a fuller discussion to make sure that doesn’t happen again,” she said.

Ayotte said she hoped to find some common ground but that she didn’t think the enhanced background checks that she voted against would have changed the outcome in the Newtown shootings.

“Mental health is the one area that I hope we can agree on going forward to work on because that seems to be the overriding issue on the list and that is why I have been trying to work across the aisle on that issue,” she said.

Local and out-of-state groups who opposed Ayotte’s vote held up signs that read “Shame on You.” Ayotte supporters countered with signs reading “I support Kelly.”

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Copyright  © 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

Copyright  © 2013 Capitol Hill Blue

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One Response to Senator confronted over vote against gun background checks

  1. Keith

    May 1, 2013 at 2:19 pm

    This issue has gone WAY past the point of absurdity.

    Clearly, with over 270 Million (with an “M”) firearms in private hands in the USA, ANY further attempts at “control” are quixotic.

    Indeed, additional background checks would do absolutely NOTHING to control or track the millions of firearms that are routinely bought and sold privately on the “gray market”.

    What’s more, while the firearms used in the Connecticut school massacre were all obtained legally, it was a stupid PARENT who didn’t have sense enough to keep them out of the hands of her “nut-case” child. So, how do you now legislate against THAT parental stupidity?

    Clearly, with so many hundreds of millions of firearms now in private hands in the USA, adding yet MORE unenforceable laws to the pile won’t stop the onslaught. This becomes particularly true as the accumulation of firearms in the USA has been going on now for almost 250 years.

    Unfortunately, the so-called “rule of law” in the United States today increasingly comes at the point of a gun, much like the “Wild West” of yesteryear.

    As a result, ordinary, law-abiding citizens must ALSO now arm themselves to the teeth (and barricade themselves in their homes and put iron bars over their windows and doors) for “protection”.

    So much for the “Land of the Free”.