The Student News Site of Appalachian State University

The Appalachian

The Student News Site of Appalachian State University

The Appalachian

The Student News Site of Appalachian State University

The Appalachian

Newsletter Signup

Get our news delivered straight to your inbox every week.

* indicates required

Opinion: Senate’s failure to pass background check bill is a disgrace

Kent Vashaw

Kent VashawCNN reported this week that the Manchin-Toomey amendment to extend background checks to gun shows and Internet sales failed to pass in Congress.

This decision comes after most of Congress and the American people said they supported the amendment, according to polls.

Other gun-control amendments, such as one that would ban assault weapons, failed by an even greater margin.

CNN polls report that 86 percent of Americans favor these kinds of background checks, so how can Congress deny something that 86 percent of Americans want? There’s absolutely no reason why blocking this amendment, which could potentially prevent guns from falling into the hands of criminals, could be a good thing.

According to CNN, President Barack Obama said, “All in in all, this was a pretty shameful day in Washington,” and went on to add that the bill had been defeated by “the gun lobby and its allies.”

And indeed, the gun lobby, especially the NRA, campaigned heavily against the bill. In an advertisement, they claimed “80 percent of police say background checks will have no effect on violent crime.”

However, FactCheck reports that the survey that they cite was unscientific, self-selected and did not say anything of the sort.

The NRA reiterated its position in an official statement, stating that “as we have noted previously, expanding background checks, at gun shows or elsewhere, will not reduce violent crime or keep our kids safe in their schools.”

But according to U.S. News, 1.8 million dangerous people have been prevented from buying guns by permanent background check laws. Expanding background checks would prevent these same people from just buying their guns at a gun show or off the Internet.

Fox News reports the statement of one senator who opposed the bill. Republican Sen. Dean Heller of Nevada said he believes the background check system needs strengthening, but that he does not want to infringe on the Second Amendment.

This amendment would not restrict anyone’s right to bear arms. The only people it can keep from buying guns are “felons and the mentally ill.”

Ultimately, this vote shows that the NRA and its allies have more clout in Congress than many Americans. Expanding background checks is the right thing to do, and we, the American people, need to make it clear that Congress serves us, not gun interests.

Vashaw, a sophomore mathematics major from Apex, is an opinion writer.

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Appalachian
$1500
$5000
Contributed
Our Goal

We hope you appreciate this article! Before you move on, our student staff wanted to ask if you would consider supporting The Appalachian's award-winning journalism. We are celebrating our 90th anniversary of The Appalachian in 2024!

We receive funding from the university, which helps us to compensate our students for the work they do for The Appalachian. However, the bulk of our operational expenses — from printing and website hosting to training and entering our work into competitions — is dependent upon advertising revenue and donations. We cannot exist without the financial and educational support of our fellow departments on campus, our local and regional businesses, and donations of money and time from alumni, parents, subscribers and friends.

Our journalism is produced to serve the public interest, both on campus and within the community. From anywhere in the world, readers can access our paywall-free journalism, through our website, through our email newsletter, and through our social media channels. Our supporters help to keep us editorially independent, user-friendly, and accessible to everyone.

If you can, please consider supporting us with a financial gift from $10. We appreciate your consideration and support of student journalism at Appalachian State University. If you prefer to make a tax-deductible donation, or if you would prefer to make a recurring monthly gift, please give to The Appalachian Student News Fund through the university here: https://securelb.imodules.com/s/1727/cg20/form.aspx?sid=1727&gid=2&pgid=392&cid=1011&dids=418.15&bledit=1&sort=1.

Donate to The Appalachian
$1500
$5000
Contributed
Our Goal

Comments (0)

All The Appalachian Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *