Sen. Kelly Ayotte was once again asked by her constituents at a town hall meeting about her vote against the Manchin-Toomey background check legislation and her response this time around was to make stuff up:
Before saying anything about New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte, let's establish one thing: Although the Manchin-Toomey background check proposal would have expanded background checks for gun purchases, it wouldn't have created a national firearms registry. In fact, it would have strengthened existing law barring the creation of any such registry and stiffened penalties against any official who violated or tried to violate the prohibition.
With that said, check out Ayotte's explanation on Thursday afternoon for why she voted against expanded background checks:
I will tell you in terms of a universal background check, as it's been framed, I have a lot of concerns about that leading to a registry that will lead to a privacy situation for lawful firearms owners.
That's total bull. The text of the legislation would have explicitly prohibited the creation of a national gun registry in not one, not two, but three separate places. Read on...
What bothers me about the senator's response is how wrong it is. The "undue burden" Ayotte is worried about adds a few minutes to gun purchases, and it already applies to existing firearm sales in gun stores. If it helps prevents gun violence, why is it "undue"?
More importantly, the fears of a possible federal gun registry are ridiculous. As we talked about a couple of weeks ago, there is no federal registry. The proposed measure explicitly prohibits a federal registry. Under the bill, anyone even trying to create a federal registry would be a felon, subject to 15 years behind bars. No one has even proposed the possibility of a federal registry.
The irony is, if Ayotte was worried about a possible registry, she should have loved the compromise plan -- it strengthened the prohibition on the very registry she's so worried about.
And best of all, Ayotte surely knows this. The U.S. senator has had two weeks to think of an excuse and the best she can come up with are talking points she knows aren't true.
Have I mentioned lately how difficult it is to have a serious policy debate when those engaged in the discussion are willing to say things that aren't true?
When have Republicans been willing to have an honest policy debate about anything?
Texas Sen. John Cornyn (R) on Sunday said that he opposed a bill to close the so-called gun show loophole and expand background checks to Internet gun sales because only better mental health laws will ensure that the Newtown mass shooting victims "did not die in vain."