I believe both of our senators voted against the firearm background legislation because they were listening to the wrong constituency — the very vocal fringe element of our society. I also believe, that like the rest of America, the vast majority of Alaskans are in favor of not only background checks for everyone buying a weapon, but also a ban on weapons of war (assault weapons) and a limit on the size of ammunition clips. Unfortunately, they don’t make their opinions known to our elected officials.
I called both Senators Begich and Murkowski to express the opinions of my husband (a gun owner) and me. I felt the written responses I received were not only insensitive but condescending. They touted their commitment to protecting second amendment rights. The legislation had absolutely nothing to do with the second amendment. Individuals buying guns at stores and from other licensed dealers already have to submit to the checks. It is only reasonable that those buying at gun shows and on the Internet should also.
It has taken the horrible tragedy at an elementary school to shake the conscience of the country. As parents, the vote must have been very difficult for our senators. Sadly, thinking only of the continuation of their political careers, they voted the wrong way.