Published in the Iola Register on Apr. 19, 2013.

Shame on Roberts and Moran

Editorial
A well dressed man walks into a gun show in Wichita and buys an assault rifle with a high capacity magazine.
The seller is not suspicious and makes the sale. The next day the well dressed man walks onto the campus at Wichita State University and opens fire.
Come to find out the man is a felon with several convictions for assault and battery. The seller of the gun is a decent and honorable man and would never sell a gun to someone with a criminal record.
Requiring background checks at gun shows and for online sales would make it a little more difficult for criminals or mentally disturbed individuals to obtain weapons. A better solution might be for Congress to pass a gun measure similar to Australia's law which states no license, no gun.
We are not so naïve as to believe that even stiff gun laws will stop the mass shootings in this nation; but if enhanced background checks will prevent even one child from having to stare up the barrel of a gun that will quickly blow away that child's hopes, dreams and fantasies, then it is worth it.
It might be helpful to glance at the scoreboard below:
    1.    Virginia Tech - Killed 32, Wounded 17
    2.    Aurora, Colorado-Killed 12, Wounded 58
    3.    Tuscon - Killed 6, Wounded 13
    4.    Shady Hook – Killed 20 children and 6 adults
    5.    Senate bill to expand background checks-Yes 54, No 45
So, to Senators Pat Roberts and Jerry Moran shame, shame on you for not voting for “Common Sense.” Sixty votes were needed to avoid a filibuster and your Nay votes helped block the legislation, while Sen. Mary Landrieu's (D-La) demonstrated real courage by voting in favor of the bill which certainly will lead to a serious primary challenge for her.
The people of Kansas deserve to know why you both voted against the legislation. I seriously hope that your reasons are not because of pressures received from the NRA, gun manufacturers or the desire to avoid a challenge in the upcoming primary election.
And please don't give us any rhetoric about this legislation being the first step to a national gun registry or that it infringes on anyone's Second Amendment rights. Those of us Kansans who favor enhanced background checks cry to be heard. We have opinions too.
Perhaps next time there is a vote on enhanced background checks, the two of you should follow Mary Landrieu's brave example and stand up and be counted.

Brad Lowell
Editor and Publisher