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Letters | PUBLIC­-SAFETY STANCES, IN ALL THEIR COMPLEXITY

N.H. senator let our guard down with vote on background checks

Members of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America waited to enter Senator Kelly Ayotte’s office in Washington April 17. The New Hampshire Republican voted to block action on expanding background checks for gun sales.

Alex Wong/Getty Images

Members of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America waited to enter Senator Kelly Ayotte’s office in Washington April 17. The New Hampshire Republican voted to block action on expanding background checks for gun sales.

I find it ironic that US Senator Kelly Ayotte is questioning the national security ramifications of reading the suspected marathon bomber his Miranda rights (“Failure to call Tsarnaev enemy combatant hampers probe,” Op-ed, May 1), particularly when the New Hampshire Republican was the only New England senator to vote against background checks, in a vote that was a significant blow to public safety.

Between 2004 and 2010, individuals on terrorist watch lists tried to buy guns and explosives more than 1,400 times, according the Government Accountability Office. Even more disturbing is that these people were successful more than 90 percent of the time.

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When someone on a terrorist watch list can’t buy an airplane ticket but has no trouble purchasing a firearm, it’s time to undertake a serious review of our gun laws. We owe nothing less to our children and all those affected by gun violence and terrorism.

Strengthening background checks is the first, most basic step to keep firearms out of the hands of those who should not have them, namely criminals and the mentally ill. Nothing undermines national security more than voting against background checks — a fact I hope Ayotte will remember next time she speaks on this critical issue.

Dawn Tringas

Brookline

The writer is a co-leader of the Greater Boston chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America.

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