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Sen. Ayotte’s vote was a refusal to put a band-aid on a leaky boat

To the editor,
I would like to sincerely thank U.S. Senator Kelly Ayotte for holding two town halls on Tuesday, April 30th in the towns of Warren and Tilton. The time she took to explain the situation in Washington and answer the many questions from the audience truly showed her commitment to serving our state. I hope she knows how much that service means to N.H. voters.
The most controversial issue in question during both town hall meetings was Senator Ayotte's "nay" vote on the "Manchin-Toomey" amendment; a piece of legislation that ultimately expands the current, unenforced, background check system. How is it unenforced? Well, mental health verdicts where an individual is found to be a danger to themselves or others is not entered into the system, despite the fact that the large majority of recent mass murders have been committed by those who are mentally unstable.
Additionally, according to testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee in 2010, 80,000 people were denied through firearms background checks and only 44 of them were prosecuted by the DOJ. How can we expect to keep guns from being obtained illegally if there are no penalties or follow up on existing laws?
Instead of sticking a band-aid on a leaky boat, Senator Ayotte backs real solutions such as addressing mental health gaps in the criminal justice system and making sure that illegally obtaining a gun has consistent consequences.
Adeline Johnson
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