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Seattle Times letters to the editor

April 19, 2013 at 9:02 AM

Senate rejects bill on gun-background checks

Gun control won’t compromise Second Amendment

President Barack Obama delivers a statement after the Senate defeated the compromise strengthening background checks for gun buyers on Wednesday, April 17, 2013, in Washington, D.C. (Drew Angerer / Sipa Press via Abaca Press / MCT)

President Barack Obama delivers a statement after the Senate defeated the compromise strengthening background checks for gun buyers on Wednesday, April 17, 2013, in Washington, D.C. (Drew Angerer / Sipa Press via Abaca Press / MCT)

Since the “sacred” Second Amendment includes the phrase “well-regulated,” it’s absurd to pretend that Constitutional protections would be compromised by background checks or even a gun registry [“Senators refuse to tighten gun laws,” page one, April 18].Personally, I want gun buyers to be treated exactly like voters: Before you get to exercise your rights, you need to be properly registered with an appropriate government agency. You need to furnish mandatory photo ID to prove your eligibility. And if you have to stand in line for hours to complete your transaction, hey, deal with it; it’s necessary to prevent fraud.

After all, conservatives love to observe about government surveillance to combat terrorism, so if you’re not doing anything illegal, what are you worried about?

Dan Murphy, Everett

Even one life saved makes legislation worthwhile

I am thoroughly disgusted with every senator that voted against the background-check measure [“Senators refuse to tighten gun laws,” page one, April 18]. Their excuses for not voting for the measure run the gamut from claiming that it would infringe on law-abiding citizens to background checks not helping anyway. I beg to differ.

First, these law-abiding citizens that wrap themselves in the Second Amendment should know that the Second Amendment also includes the language that citizens have the right to bear arms as part of a “well-regulated militia.” Isn’t a background check part of that regulation?

Second is the claim that background checks would not have prevented Newtown. Maybe not. Would it have prevented the shooting in Aurora, Colo.? Who knows? No legislation is perfect.

Taking steps to close loopholes that allow those who should not possess a firearm is a step in the right direction. If you can prevent some gun tragedies, is it worth it? Yes!

I find it remarkable that the government has no problem regulating other dangers to our health. For example, we have child-safety caps on prescription medication, seat belts and a minimum age for purchasing and drinking alcohol and tobacco.

Yet, in light of these other regulations to protect us from our own poor judgment, and ourselves, our lawmakers are completely intimidated by the gun lobby’s bluster about background checks being a betrayal of freedom.

I ask, what about my right to feel safe? What about the 80 percent of Americans that want background checks and want to feel a little safer? Make your voice heard.

Cynthia Samuel-Zulch, Clyde Hill

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