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Coburn calls on Obama to protect gun rights

When Senator Tom Coburn began to weigh in on the newest gun proposals by President Obama, he began with a compliment  

 

“The president is right to examine what can be done to prevent tragedies such as Sandy Hook from occurring again.  I commend his effort and look forward to working with him on areas of agreement while we continue to honestly debate areas of disagreement.  For instance, the president is right to take steps to strengthen mental health databases and reporting to the NICS system so we can ensure that guns do not end up in the hands of criminals or those who are a threat to themselves or others.  In the hands of a deranged person, a clip size of one is one too many. Still, states are primarily responsible for enacting measures to improve reporting to the NICS system,” Dr. Coburn said.

 

Coburn continued. “I also support the president’s call for Congress to vote on these measures and I will review his recommendations in detail.  Some have asked whether I will try to block or filibuster this debate because of my support of the Second Amendment.  My goal is the opposite.  I believe Congress has a responsibility to review all of our laws and make adjustments as necessary in a transparent, open and deliberative manner.  I would welcome the opportunity to debate these issues on the floor of the Senate, and would encourage Majority Leader Reid to schedule a full and open debate.  Members of Congress and the American people have a right to know where members stand on these key policies.  If members can’t defend their positions, they don’t deserve to be here.

 

“However, as we debate these measures, we first must ensure our constitutional rights and individual liberties, including the Second Amendment right to bear arms, are protected.  Instead of repeating the failed policies of the past, Congress should work on thoughtful and constitutional ways to prevent unspeakable tragedies like this from happening again.  The fact that almost every public mass shooting tragedy occurs in a place where guns are prohibited shows that restricting Second Amendment rights tends to disarm everyone but the assailant. 

 

“Secondly, we must acknowledge that with rights come responsibilities. Gun owners must exercise personal responsibility and do everything in their power to prevent firearms and ammunition from falling into the wrong hands.

 

“Finally, policymakers in Washington should remember that the legislative process is downstream from culture.  The laws we make in Washington have less impact than the movies and video games that are shaping the hearts and minds of the next generation.  Special interest groups from across the spectrum – from Hollywood to the NRA – all have a responsibility to defend a culture of life and liberty.  Still, Congress shouldn’t take our cues from these groups.  As elected officials, we should be beholden solely to the Constitution.  Our job as it relates to interest groups is not to take instructions from them, but to give direction to them through our constitutional authority to legislate,” Dr. Coburn said. 

 

 

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  • Responding to concerns about personal security for lawmakers after last week’s gun attack at a Congressional baseball practice, U.S. House leaders are moving to provide extra money to members for protection back home, as well as new funding to bolster the work of police and security officials on Capitol Hill. Under a plan approved by a House spending subcommittee on Friday, the Congress would provide an extra $7.5 million next year to the Capitol Police for an “increased security posture” around the Capitol, along with $5 million to the House Sergeant at Arms to help with security for lawmakers back in their districts. “We are taking a new fresh look at security,” said Rep. Kevin Yoder (R-KS), the Chairman of subcommittee that deals with funding for the Legislative Branch. Our FY18 Legislative Branch funding bill increases efficiency & transparency in Congress, enhances security for Members & our constituents. pic.twitter.com/FI36tF2XeH — Rep. Kevin Yoder (@RepKevinYoder) June 22, 2017 “The tragic events of June 14 weigh heavily on these deliberations,” said Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NJ), the Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, which could vote on the extra money as early as this next week. Also being put into motion is a separate plan to funnel an extra $25,000 to each member of the House – about $11 million in all – to help them increase security back in their districts. “The scariest part for us is there used to be this impression by the public that we all had security everywhere we went,” said Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH). “Now, everyone knows that isn’t the case,” Ryan added, as he lent his support to the extra funding for security as well. The money in this budget bill would not take effect until the new fiscal year – which starts October 1 – so, House leaders are ready to okay extra money immediately for members worried about security back in their districts. Roll Call newspaper reported that could be approved in coming days by the House Administration Committee. Yoder said Congressional leaders are also waiting to see if money raised in campaign contributions for House elections could be put to use for security as well. “Pending an FEC (Federal Election Commission) decision, we’re also looking at whether campaign funds could be used to continue to support security upgrades at personal residences,” Yoder added.
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