It's no secret that I have always believed that law abiding citizens should be able to own firearms for both sport and self-defense. Like many New Mexicans, I own guns for those very purposes.
However, as a parent, I couldn't watch the events at Sandy Hook last year and not be deeply affected. Too many of us have had friends or family touched by senseless shootings. We owe it to the American people to take real action to reduce the violence in our communities.
The Senate voted today to begin debate on and consideration of the Safe Communities, Safe Schools Act of 2013. This bill includes pragmatic public safety measures that the vast majority of Americans-including gun owners-can embrace. I've said that I'll base my support for any legislation on whether it can realistically reduce the violence while still protecting the constitutional right to bear arms. This proposal meets that standard.
Keeping guns out of the hands of people legally prohibited from having them is a common-sense way to prevent violence without punishing law abiding gun owners. That's what background checks do, and having been through the background check process myself on numerous occasions, I know it is not an unreasonable burden on responsible gun owners. There is no reason that firearm sales made on the internet or at a gun show shouldn't meet that same common-sense standard.
I also support cracking down on illegal gun trafficking. If you buy a firearm in order to pass that firearm on to a criminal, you should face federal prosecution.
Prioritizing mental health services is another key component to keeping our families safe. I'll continue working to ensure that our schools, families, and communities have the tools they need to support the mental health of our kids.
AND MY RESPONSE, WHICH IS SLIGHTLY EDITED FROM THE ONE TO UDALL:
I asked you a very specific question: how do you propose to make “universal background checks” work without utterly repudiating the Bill of Rights. You responded by invoking the recent mass murders, especially of children, clearly in the belief that it gives you absolute free rein to do anything you wish, as long as it “…saves even one child.” Then you went into the familiar litany about commercial sales at gun shows and undocumented internet sales.
Here’s a newsflash for you, Senator: all commercial sales, at gun shows and otherwise, have been subject to background checks for years. I have purchased guns at shows, and I assure you, I went through the background check. As for internet sales, they have been illegal for decades, along with mail order sales, thanks to the Democrat frenzy over Lee Harvey Oswald’s mail order purchase of a rifle he could have had at any hardware store for $30.00. That was in 1968, I believe, and we all know how effective it was in combating crime.
At every opportunity, you equate crime control to gun control, with phrases like, “common sense,” and “bipartisan” thrown in, evidently under the impression that such phrases grant absolution to your misbegotten ideas. Well, Sir, they do not. Common sense is getting more rare by the day, and I guarantee you the common sense of murdering gang-banger on the border is not the common sense of a homeowner who might be facing him in a gunfight. As for bi-partisan, don’t make me puke. Today’s Republican party is as filled with traitors and quislings as is the Democratic party. Bipartisan just means you got a bunch of other snakes to go along with you.
Will you answer my question, Senator? How will you implement universal background checks without eliminating most of the Bill of Rights?
By the way, Sir, I noticed that you did not vote for the UN arms control treath, and for that, I most sincerely thank you! I believe a vote for that treaty would have been an act of treason.