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Dwight Lenhart, Jamestown, N.D., Published May 10 2013

Letter: Critic of ND senators’ gun vote doesn’t have a clue about guns

In response to the misleading letter from Cynthia Spaeth, of Kansas City, Mo. (April 28, “ND senators show utter cowardice on gun vote”):

Anti-gun groups have vowed vengeance upon our senators for taking the will of North Dakotans to Washington, and this is simply one of their avenues of assault.

I would like to remind Spaeth that Sens. John Hoeven, R-N.D., and Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., represent North Dakota and not Missouri. She has no business trying to influence the people who work for us to further her agenda.

The guns her family owns must have been purchased many, many years ago because she has no clue of the modern requirements for buying a gun. You cannot buy a gun over the Internet without shipping to a Federal Firearms Licensed-dealer who will conduct a background check. You cannot buy a gun at a gun show from an FFL dealer without a background check. Identification is required and verified by the dealers, and in addition it is called or sent into a federal database to be cleared before the purchase can take place. It is the current law! Every firearm I’ve purchased required me to go through these checks. Anti-gun advocates conveniently forget to mention this in their ads and other propaganda.

I personally urged our senators to reject this bill for several reasons, the first and foremost being that it is the most clearly written amendment to our Constitution. Unfortunately, Washington has become nothing more than a pool of lawyers attempting to twist and misconstrue every syllable of a document that was never meant to be “open to interpretation.” Special-interest groups on both sides now use our judicial system as means of furthering their ideology rather than doing it through the legislative branch as was intended. It’s much easier to get a single judge to agree with you than it is to convince the majority of voters.

Who knows where this defeated legislation would have led us? Who would have decided what constitutes a mental illness? Would social anxiety be grounds for denial of purchasing a gun? The rules could have been laid out and engraved in stone, but endless “interpretations” would whittle away our core, our Constitution. I have no doubt that our Founding Fathers would themselves have been denied the right to own a gun.