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December 15. 2013 3:29PM

Preventing Newtown: Background checks won’t

To mark last week’s one-year anniversary of the horrifying mass shooting in Newtown, Conn., the left did what it does best: attack its opponents by speaking untruthful things. One of the targets was Sen. Kelly Ayotte, whose responsible gun-control vote last year still has gun-banners fuming.

The Manchin-Toomey legislation Ayotte wisely voted against would have required background checks for every gun sale. Gun-banners say this would prevent more Newtowns. But connecting Newtown to the Manchin-Toomey legislation is a deliberate attempt to mislead the public.

Expanded background checks won’t stop mass shootings. They would not have stopped Newtown, Aurora, Tucson, Virginia Tech, or the Navy Yard shooting, to name the highest-profile recent cases gun-control proponents love to bring up. All of the guns used in those shootings were purchased legally from licensed gun dealers.

What might actually reduce mass killings? Let’s see. All of the mass shootings listed above involved legally purchased firearms, so expanded background checks would have done nothing to prevent them. They also shared another connection: Each of the shooters had a documented history of mental illness. Hmmm.

If we are serious about reducing these horrifying atrocities, we would be taking a hard look at our mental health policies, not at background checks for gun purchases. Tellingly, Ayotte is championing mental health reform while those who claim she does not care about solving this problem are ranting childishly about ineffective background checks.


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