Senator Ayotte’s broader betrayal

What really is at issue here is the role of money and lobbyist control in Washington

In 1977, I served in the New Hampshire legislature and sponsored legislation that said anyone wishing to be a first-time hunter had to pass a hunter safety course. The legislation also disallowed being inebriated while hunting with a gun. The bill had the wide support of hunters in the state as well as conservatives, like William Loeb. It was just plain common sense to pass such legislation.

In April, U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte voted “no,” on the wrong side of the Senate’s rejection requiring background checks for guns purchased at gun shows and online.

Polls show the overwhelming majority of New Hampshire citizens favor this necessary step to promote sound gun safety. The essence of the legislation is to have the same disclosure standard as is now the case for the retail sale of guns. And the legislation exempted the sale of guns between family members.

What’s the real issue here? And why is Senator Ayotte now scrambling to defend her vote by telling us the current system is not working —meaning, in her words, we should not be implementing new laws when current ones, supposedly, are deficient?

How’s that again? She voted to let anyone — criminals, the mentally ill — buy guns at a tradeshow or over the Internet because the current system may not be working 100 percent of the time. Something is missing in that line of reasoning.

What really is at issue here is the role of money and lobbyist control in Washington. During the past several months, Senator Ayotte has been playing to a wider national audience, and her political gun sights are now clearly looking beyond what she once labeled, “New Hampshire Common Sense,” when she campaigned for the U.S. Senate in 2010. Senator Ayotte has betrayed her campaign – and us.

It is clear New Hampshire stands for the responsible use of guns, and we should not be beholden to a national agenda that attempts to use false arguments to justify a political game about money and power and national ambitions. It’s time for Senator Ayotte to stop the scrambling game and start paying attention to the common sense of what is in the best interest of New Hampshire.

Mark Connolly, a former deputy secretary of state and head of the state Bureau of Securities Regulation, owns New Castle Investment Advisors LLC and is the author of “Cover-Up,” a book about the Financial Resources Management Ponzi scheme.

Categories: Opinion