Published DateTo the editor,
I have heard the mantra, "Guns don't kill people, people kill people" ad nauseam from the staunch defenders of the Second Amendment.
Accepting that premise, how could there possibly be an objection to background checks? Let's see, the staunch defenders believe it would be taking away the rights of felons and the mentally ill to deny them the opportunity to buy a gun?
Their next objection — All the safeguards already in place should be enough, we don't need anything more.
The bottom line is that if one child is saved, the safeguards are worth it.
Imagine it was your child put in harm's way by a convicted felon who had been allowed to purchase a gun at a N.H. gun show. It puts a different outlook on it when it is our own child. Sadly, that is why the parents of those children killed in Newtown have now become activists — to put safeguards in place to prevent another child from being killed.
"New Hampshire is one of 39 states that have a gun show 'loophole', which means there is no federally mandated background check requirement for any weapon sold by an unlicensed dealer. The only identification required must show the purchaser is a state resident and over age 21. If federal firearms licensed dealers sell at gun shows, they... must conduct a background check." (Seacoast Online, August 27, 2012)
Individuals not "engaged in the business" of selling firearms can sell guns without a license — and without processing any paperwork. These "private sales" include guns sold at gun shows, through classified newspaper ads, the Internet, and between individuals virtually anywhere.
There is no one magic fix that will prevent death by firearms in our country, but we really need to be logical about common sense gun reforms. Background checks are common sense.
Senator Kelly Ayotte, who represents our state in Washington, has failed her constituents by voting against this common sense bill.