*Editor’s Note* – Below is what I was told is a copy of a letter of response from Senator Susan Collins of Maine to a constituent who evidently wrote to Ms. Collins about her vote in support of the Manchin-Toomey, so-called “compromise” gun control bill, that got defeated in the Senate. If you read the letter you should notice that Senator Collins, like most progressives, believes that compromising our Second Amendment rights is being a supporter of gun ownership heritage and the right to keep and bear arms. I took the liberty to embolden a few of Senator Collin’s comments and add a bit of my own commentary at the end.
Thank you for contacting me in opposition to gun legislation recently considered by the Senate. I appreciate your comments in defense of our constitutional right to bear arms. Unfortunately, Mainers have recently been flooded by advertisements and mailings from out-of-state special interest groups that not only include distortions, but also blatant misrepresentations about my position. In an effort to set the record straight, I have attached a fact sheet that I hope will be helpful.
I grew up in northern Maine, where responsible gun ownership is part of the heritage of many families. Throughout my Senate service, I have worked to uphold this heritage, and have opposed legislation that would infringe upon the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens. I am strongly opposed to a national gun registry and national buyback programs. As you are no doubt aware, Maine has one of the highest rates of gun ownership, yet the lowest rate of violent crime in the country.
I supported a bipartisan agreement between Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Pat Toomey (R-PA) that would have improved the background check system to help prevent convicted criminals and those with dangerous mental illnesses from purchasing guns without infringing on law-abiding gun owners’ Second Amendment rights. The Manchin-Toomey proposal represented a vast improvement over the provisions authored by Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) currently in the bill. Senator Schumer’s language, which I opposed, would have required a father giving a gun to his daughter, or a brother selling a hunting rifle to his brother, to undergo a background check, which I found to be onerous and completely unnecessary. The Manchin-Toomey compromise took a much more common sense approach by requiring background checks only for commercial transactions and exempts family gifts and transfers. To improve the quality and completeness of the data in the NICS, their bill would have mandated improvements that would require states and the federal government to send all relevant records on criminals and the people who are dangerously mentally ill through state plans developed in conjunction with the Department of Justice. It was critical to my support that the Manchin-Toomey bill explicitly banned the federal government from creating a national firearms registry and imposed serious criminal penalties on any person who misused or illegally retained firearms records.
The Manchin-Toomey amendment would have created a National Commission on Mass Violence, a proposal I have long endorsed, that would convene experts to study all aspects of these violent attacks, including the exposure to excessive violence in the media and the lack of mental health services.
As a nation, we must examine the fact that serious mental illness is a factor in many violent crimes. As was the case in the Connecticut, Colorado, and Arizona shootings, mental illness is a common factor in many of these tragedies. We should evaluate how we as a society can better identify and care for troubled individuals who pose a threat to themselves and others. That is why I am an original cosponsor of the Excellence in Mental Health Act, a bipartisan bill that would expand access to mental health care for individuals through our nation’s Community Mental Health Centers. It would also improve the quality of mental health care by holding these centers accountable to higher standards.
I am also the coauthor of anti-crime legislation that would strengthen current laws that prohibit an individual from deliberately purchasing a firearm on behalf of another who is already barred from buying a gun. This bill would help keep guns out of the hands of criminals. This conduct, called “straw purchasing,” is already a felony. Yet, under current law, it amounts to little more than a paperwork violation. The Stop Illegal Trafficking in Firearms Act would give law enforcement the tools they need to investigate and prosecute these crimes more effectively, while protecting legitimate sales. The bill does not in any way change who is prohibited from owning a gun. Straw purchasing and trafficking serve one purpose: to put guns in the hands of a criminal. We worked with law enforcement officials, the NRA, and licensed gun dealers in drafting this bill.
I also believe that Congress should examine school safety. I am the lead cosponsor of the School and Campus Safety Enhancements Act, which would provide matching grants to help cover the cost of stronger security measures in schools .
Thank you again for taking time to contact me. As Congress continues to address violence in our schools and communities, I will continue to work to ensure that the Second Amendment rights of our nation’s law-abiding citizens are protected.
Susan M. Collins United States Senator
*Note* I am not including the attachment that came with the email of Senator Collins’ “Fact Check” document as it appears to be an in-house-generated document and it is doubtful any of the so-called fact checking was done by an independent sources. It’s a farce to “fact check” yourself.
First, I want to thank Senator Collins for showing, at least in this document, her support in addressing the issue of mental illness as it is the only common link between events of mass killings. She also dabbles some in school security. Like with anything, it is difficult to pass judgement on that support without real specific information on how to achieve it. The talking points sound good but what about the meat and potatoes of the issue?
What I want to point out here is something that once I thought people understood or at least suspected. In far too many instances in politics, at every level, a bill or proposal arises, often from some brainwashed, totalitarian who feels it is their right to infringe on other people’s rights. And, all too often, people like real supporters of the Second Amendment are always playing defense, seldom on the offense.
When anti-rights bills, like the Manchin-Toomey anti-rights bill, come up for debate, people like Senator Collins, instead of being a true supporter of the things she claims to be in support of, go into “compromise mode.” In compromise mode, this means someone like Senator Collins is willing to give up some of our rights in order to fulfill the demands of a brainwashed constituency demanding, “Something must get done!” This action might make her look good to those who have no understanding of compromise, but ultimately it results in a net loss of freedom. Why can’t people understand that?
I tire so from the relentless drivel I hear from family, friends, neighbors, media, politicians, etc. when they repeat, like little robots, that we need to compromise, reach across the aisle, meet in the middle someplace, all so that we can, GET SOMETHING DONE!
As a result, what has happened to the rights of Americans? Most people don’t know because they don’t read history and study facts and find truth. They have had their minds manipulated so badly through terrible, controlled education institutions and media of all kinds, they don’t realize what has become of their rights. This makes it easier for the brainwashed totalitarian to encroach on our liberties.
It has gotten so bad in this country that with every event, cries go up that we need to cede more rights all for the greater good, for national security, to catch those terrorists, to stop the gun violence, etc.
You must see that on the surface Senator Collins appears to be on the side of the Second Amendment, but she is really a typical compromiser; one who is eager and willing to give up your rights but protect her own.
We need to educate the masses that “getting something done” can be placed on an act to where an anti-rights bill is proposed and defeated, without compromise. That IS getting something done.