To the Editor:
Oklahoma’s U.S. Sens. Tom Coburn and Jim Inhofe were among 45 senators who recently helped block a sensible measure to reduce gun violence. Specifically, they voted down a measure to expand background checks for gun buyers — a step favored by 86 percent of Americans, according to recent polls. Our senators were not even asked to vote for tougher measures like bans on military-type assault weapons or high-capacity magazines, also favored by 56 percent of Americans, according to a Quinnipiac University poll.
By opposing background checks for gun buyers, Sens. Coburn and Inhofe voted in favor of allowing the mentally ill and criminals to buy guns! They call it “Second Amendment” rights. I call it cash for their campaigns from the gun lobby.
Statistics from the National Rifle Association indicate that $8.16 million of gun lobby money went to 45 U.S. senators. Of that amount, Sen. Coburn got $21,184 and Sen. Inhofe got $52,617. They sold cheap; Sens. Roy Blunt (Missouri), Ron Johnson (Wisconsin), and Rob Portman (Ohio) got more than $1 million each.
The saying goes that “Washington is broken.” Failure of the U.S. Senate to pass gun-background-check legislation makes me believe that Washington is, indeed, broken — and “for sale” to boot.
Wanda Jo Stapleton
WANDA JO STAPLETON is a former state representative from 1986-1996.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Sen. Inhofe co-sponsored a substitute amendment introduced by U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, that would improve the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, increase federal prosecutions of gun violence, criminalize straw purchasing of firearms and gun trafficking and protect veteran’s Second Amendment rights. The amendment failed to pass by a vote of 52-48, according to Inhofe’s press office. Sen. Coburn offered amendment #727 to replace the Manchin-Toomey amendment. His amendment sought to allow gun owners to use a smart hone app or printing a boarding a pass from their home computer in order to ensure the potential buyer was not on the NICS list of prohibited buyers. More information about Coburn’s amendment may be found at http://tinyurl.com/ctowd89.