The Battle Over Gun Control Follows Key Senators Back Home

There's no place like home for Senators Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.), Max Baucus (D-Mont.), and Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) after they voted to kill the bill expanding gun background checks.

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Douglas Graham / Getty Images and Mark Wilson / Getty Images

From Left: Senator Kelly Ayotte and Senator Jeff Flake.

The battle over the future of gun control in America fled Washington, D.C., this week for home states of Senators who voted against requiring background checks for firearm purchases at gun shows and over the Internet.

New Hampshire Republican Kelly Ayotte, Arizona Republican Jeff Flake, and Montana Democrat Max Baucus have been fending off town hall participants and broadcast ads knocking them for their vote. The National Rifle Association and other gun-rights groups have been propping them up. With no resolution in sight, such home-state politicking is likely to grow over the coming year. “In 2014, our ever-expanding coalition of supporters will work to make sure that voters don’t forget,” warned New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who is in charge of the anti-gun violence group, Mayors Against Illegal Guns.

At a town hall Tuesday in Tilton, New Hampshire, Sen. Ayotte fielded a question on gun safety, saying she wants “criminals to be fully prosecuted,” before trying to move the conversation to one about 1st Amendment rights and the media. Zandra Rice Hawkins, a member of the group Granite State Progress, interrupted and asked, “So why do you let them [criminals] get the guns in the first place?” Unsatisfied with Ayotte’s response, Erica Lafferty, the daughter of the elementary school principal who died during the Sandy Hook shooting, walked out to the crowd’s cheers. The man taking questions then attempted to move the conversation to one related to the Benghazi embassy attack. You can see the video here:

That was the second time Tuesday Lafferty confronted Ayotte. In Warren, Lafferty asked the Senator, “You had mentioned that the burden to owners of gun stores that these expanded background checks would cause. I’m just wondering why the burden of my mother being gunned down in the hall of her elementary school isn’t as important as that?” In response, Ayotte said, “I’m obviously so sorry…for what you have been though…The issue wasn’t a background check system issue in Sandy Hook. Mental health is I hope the one thing I hope we can agree on going forward and getting done.” After Ayotte was finished, Lafferty stormed out. In February, Obama gave Lafferty the 2012 Presidential Citizens Medal, the nation’s second-highest civilian honor, on behalf of her mother Dawn Hochsprung.

The New Hampshire Republican has a 44 percent approval rating, according to a left-leaning Public Policy Polling poll released last week, a 15 percentage point drop since October. Part of the drop may be attributed to a TV ad from Mayors Against Illegal Guns, and a radio ad from Americans for Responsible Solutions, the group run by former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and her husband, Mark Kelly. These groups have public opinion on their side; a February WMUR Granite State poll reported that 84% of New Hampshire residents approve of expanding background checks to gun shows. The NRA and National Shooting Sports Association each responded with their own radio ad.

Meanwhile in Arizona, Sen. Jeff Flake has had to respond to a new PPP poll that shows him to be the least popular Senator. After just three months in office, only 32% of Arizona voters approve of Flake. On Facebook, Flake wrote, “Nothing like waking up to a poll saying you’re the nation’s least popular senator. Given the public’s dim view of Congress in general, that probably puts me somewhere just below pond scum.” He assumes his numbers took a “southerly turn since my vote against the background check proposal.” “It was a popular amendment, and I voted against it,” he said.

And Mayors Against Illegal Guns hasn’t let him forget it. The group has released a TV spot in addition to full-page ads in publications of The HillNational Journal, POLITICO, and Roll Call using Flake against himself. In February Flake bluntly stated, “We need more effective and broader background checks.” According to the group, 90% of Arizonans favor mandatory background checks for all gun buyers. Flake told Slate that the proposal’s “definition of commercial transaction as basically anything touching the Internet…is far too broad.”

Max Baucus returned to Montana to find a full ad attack waged against him by the Progressive Change Campaign Committee (PCCC). The group is running a new TV ad, shown below, and bought full-page ads in 20 Montana newspapers grilling him on his gun vote. PCCC must be hoping that Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) isn’t bluffing when he says that his proposal will be resurrected in the Senate because Baucus is retiring in 2014. Despite the fact that 79% of Montanans support background checks, Baucus explained why his vote with one word: “Montana.”

Two weeks ago, Obama stood in the Rose Garden surrounded by victims of the Sand Hook shooting and said, “This effort is not over. I want to make it clear to the American people we can still bring about meaningful changes that reduce gun violence, so long as the American people don’t give up on it.”

And they haven’t yet.

130 comments
JashiahDBlackmon
JashiahDBlackmon

I think things are fine just the way they are. I doesn't matter what we do criminals will still find a way to get guns

gysgt213
gysgt213

I missed troll Thursday.

GaryRMcCray
GaryRMcCray

They stated in the previous article that the overwhelming majority of Americans support gun control.

They made no mention of where that particular piece of data came from.

If you are going to make a claim like that it's probably a reasonable idea to say what support you have for it.

Of course if you are simply a muck raking member of the media trying to foment dissent in the general public so you can sell more copies of your magazine I guess you don't actually feel obligated to substantiate your statements.

Of course in that article he didn't leave a comment section at the bottom so you could say anything about it: - - Joe Klein!

fitty_three
fitty_three

More crazy from the right, and then they want to set the rules for discussion!

How hilarious!

jenjen330
jenjen330

We've been hearing a lot lately about how much heat the 'no' voters are getting back home. Not true. Left-wing groups have run some ads and done some shouting at townhall meetings, but the idea that they're suffering a backlash is a false impression that the media in this country are trying to gin up.

This latest round of pointless, politically-driven gun control legislation died with a whimper, and only a small band of anti-Second Amendment zealots mourn it.

TyPollard
TyPollard

@gysgt213 

No problemo.

If you pour lemon juice into you eyes while hitting your toe with a hammer, you can recreate the sensation.

bobcn
bobcn

@curt3rd

"Those evil greedy rich people....  wait a minute, thats Obamas friends."

It always makes me laugh when I see a right winger squealing with outrage because he thinks he's found a Dem who's acting like his beloved gopers.  It's not the behavior that bothers him.  It's that its a Dem who is doing it.

jmac
jmac

@jenjen330   ". . . they're suffering a backlash is a false impression . . . 

Who's Ayotte going to trust - the Daily Caller,  the MSM, or her plunging poll numbers?    Number three just might be at the top of her list.  

fitty_three
fitty_three

@jenjen330  

I think what you are seeing is a paradigm shift.

We're not Mexico.  I don't think that the American people are willing to see gun rights preserved unregulated at any cost.

Maybe to you: It's 50,000 borken eggs a year - an acceptable price for your own personal penchant to want to substitute iron for manhood.

{NO SALE}

curt3rd
curt3rd

None but 53 was calling me greedy earlier.

curt3rd
curt3rd

Because poll numbers are never wrong especially when it comes from a left-leaning Public Policy Polling.

fitty_three
fitty_three

FYI, you constantly characterize other peole that don't agree with you negatively, so why con't you take your medicne and like it.

And FOX?

What a load of shirt.  Propaganda.

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

@curt3rd As opposed to GWB getting memos of impending attacks on the Mainland months before 9/11 and ignoring them? Was the GOP pissed then?

curt3rd
curt3rd

Obama lying about Benghazi being because of a YouTube video for 2 weeks  is why the GOP was pissed.

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

@curt3rd Brainwashed to think Benghazi was a bigger disaster than 9/11? I mean if you listen to the GOP and the time and money wasted on hearings it must be.

curt3rd
curt3rd

No,  you always seem to interpret things different than me.  I do not thinks its your fault, you probably have been brainwashed.

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

@curt3rd So you admit that I am not a liar like you that will use partial truths or less to try and defend the actions of a party destined for the scrap heap of history?

curt3rd
curt3rd

Sure but that would only be partial truth.  And we know how you hate that.

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

@curt3rd So then can I post a link of how the GOP Benghazi report was based on a complete lack of knowledge of how the State Department works?

curt3rd
curt3rd

Maybe but its to late now

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

@curt3rd Then its shouldn't be here. There are other sections of Swampland where it is much more appropriate.

fitty_three
fitty_three

@curt3rd

Those too.

And at least you've implicitly admitted that taxes are the lowest in 40 years.

fitty_three
fitty_three

Do either of you know how to recognize propaganda?

fitty_three
fitty_three

@adderworks

Do i have to believe in idiotic teabagger stuff to own a gun?  The NRA is nuts.

fitty_three
fitty_three

@adderworks

I don't feed from the white house, either.

I don't use FOX at all.  Tehre's other news sources.  I grew up during the cold war and know what propaganda looks like, and both of you have no ability to filter it out.

curt3rd
curt3rd

Dont confuse me with yourself

adderworks
adderworks

@fitty_three @adderworks If you mean, I do not gratefully take the spoon fed news from the White House, I freely admit to using multiple sources of information.

curt3rd
curt3rd

Lowest in 40 yrs is corporate taxes not my personel taxes

fitty_three
fitty_three

@curt3rd

Joke or not, it's what you do.  You cherry pick and your excuse about the media is the justification for it.

fitty_three
fitty_three

@adderworks

I doubt it.  You don't have any ability to do critical thinking.  You cherry pick your info.

fitty_three
fitty_three

@curt3rd

I've already heard your commentary, you pay the lowest taxes in 40 years, and Obama has actually given you more, but hey, it's conventient for you.

I pay my taxes.  I've fine with it.

curt3rd
curt3rd

That was a joke idiot

adderworks
adderworks

@fitty_three @adderworks Not really a follower of Fox News, I try to get multiple sources which is why I am not a fan of your made up poll data from Democrats. :) You ask a few people in San Fran and try to convince the nation that it represents the entire US.

curt3rd
curt3rd

Who likes taxes?  My point is I pay to much in taxes already.  The govt gets plenty in taxes from half the country that pays and they squander it.  Im not rich,  Im barely middle class and I work about 70 hrs a week.

fitty_three
fitty_three

@curt3rd 

 "Just when I like them.  Duhhh"

Can't cherry pick curt3rd.  That's why you and reality don't speak anymore.

fitty_three
fitty_three

@curt3rd

Egypt is that-a-way, curt3rd.  You don't like taxes simply because you want the money for yourself, and be damned others.  That's your only schtick.

curt3rd
curt3rd

What lying, what greed?  You are a nut case.

fitty_three
fitty_three

@curt3rd

Your lying and your blatant greed?

Hows that for starters.  None of your claims are supported by history.

Unless, of course, you try to rewrite it, which is what you do on a regular basis.

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

@curt3rd I don't need a crystal ball to know your party is dying out, and that the nation will be a better place for it.

curt3rd
curt3rd

I didnt know you could see into the future.  Whats next weeks lotto numbers?

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

@curt3rd Then you may want to avoid looking at them for the next few generations. They won't be kind to the GOP.

curt3rd
curt3rd

Just when I like them.  Duhhh

bobcn
bobcn

@curt3rd

"Because poll numbers are never wrong..."

"Here are Obamas numbers..."

Ok, so which is it?  Poll numbers don't count or they do (or they only count when you like them)?  Or are you just trying to be contrary?.

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

@curt3rd Free enterprise? You mean deregulating everything in site and letting the inevitable car crash unfold unimpeded?

curt3rd
curt3rd

Because you know me so well. What evidence do you have for that assumption?

fitty_three
fitty_three

@curt3rd

I think you're more driven by what's good for you, curt3rd.  The horse you ride is merely convenient transportation.

curt3rd
curt3rd

They do in some cases such as lowering taxes, free enterprise, but unfortunely not in the case of smaller govt.  Thats why I consider  myself a conservative and dont claim a party

fitty_three
fitty_three

@mantisdragon91

Mantis, give the GOP a break!  

They are continually holding the government hostage over tax perks for the rich at the expense of the middle class and the poor!

fitty_three
fitty_three

And history doesn't support any of your contentions about any of the GOP stands.

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

@curt3rd So how come the GOP never actually exercises those core beliefs when they are in power?

fitty_three
fitty_three

@curt3rd 

I think rather you should classify yourself as a nutcase, curt3rd.

You don't have any critical thinking abilities.

And your convictions, as shown in past "predictions" are simply not enough equipment in today's' world. ..

curt3rd
curt3rd

Thats not true.  The GOP core beliefs such as free enterprise, smaller govt., lower taxes, which are what made our country great has plenty to offer if we could get back to that but unfortunately even in the GOP its hard to do that.  Thats why I dont consider myself a Republican, Im a conservative.

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

@curt3rd Ahh so its the liberal media's fault now. Of course the fact that the GOP has nothing of value to offer the average American has nothing to do with it.

curt3rd
curt3rd

Mostly what the liberal media tells them.

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

@curt3rd So then out of curiosity what do you think is the national perception of the GOP brand and their ability to help the average American?

curt3rd
curt3rd

I dont seeing how its going to be a costly failure any how.

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

@curt3rd Ah I see. So how much of the negative perception do you think has to do with the fact that Congress is wasting everyone's time and money with 33 plus attempts to appeal ObamaCare and has done nothing of substance at all?

curt3rd
curt3rd

Even worse but that includes Dems and Repubs.

curt3rd
curt3rd

Since we are talking about stuff that had nothing to do with the article.  Here are Obamas numbers. He remains under water on handling of the economy (41 percent approve, 52 percent disapprove), the budget deficit (33-57), and gun policy (41-52, a six point swing from February when he was at 44-49). And while voters approved his handling of immigration in February, 46-41, he's now at 44-45.

fitty_three
fitty_three

@curt3rd 

Actually, go ahead and paint your crystal ball with 85 white.

That way, no one will notice the cracks in it.

fitty_three
fitty_three

@curt3rd

I think you will eventually have to contend with reality, curt3rd.  We're seeing new developments and a change in paradigm. It's in it's infancy, so it would be a mistake to try to paint your crystal ball with 85 white.

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

@curt3rd How did the Poll number work in 2012? It seems the Rightwing was convinced that they were skewed and Romney was on his way to 300 electoral votes or more.

curt3rd
curt3rd

If 90% of the U.S. wanted background checks then either they would have gotten it or a lot of people are about to lose their jobs  in the Senate.  I think that pole was BS and we will find out if it was come election time.

curt3rd
curt3rd

Im just saying.  You keep repeating the narative  that the Republicans are doomed and it seems that you need to get your own house in order.  The Prez was pretty mad when the bill got shot down.

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

@curt3rd And how many Republicans voted against it? I believe it was 90% of Dems voting for and 90% of Republicans voting against.

curt3rd
curt3rd

There were a couple of Dems that voted against it and there were a couple of Republicans that voted for it.

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

@curt3rd So how many Democrats in the Senate opposed the bill versus how many Republicans?

curt3rd
curt3rd

Im not sure you know the difference berween fact and opion.  Also, it was the Democratic controlled Senate that couldnt pass the bill on background checks

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

@curt3rd The fact is they don't need to be on the street, and even bigger fact is why does your party oppose background checks when the majority of Americans favor them?

curt3rd
curt3rd

Im the only one that gave facts on assault rifles.  Give me some facts on how they are worse than any other legal gun right now.

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

@curt3rd My point is that military style assault weapons don't belong on our streets. But by all means keep dancing. Its all you have left when reality leaves you and your party behind.

curt3rd
curt3rd

Are you comparing tanks and jets to rifles?  Who is the one being dumb?

By the way, I do remember jets killing over 3000 Americans that you like to point out so much and  I know it wasnt a military jet.

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

@curt3rd There have been even less death caused by tanks and military jets in the US. Why not allow the public to have those as well?

curt3rd
curt3rd

The stats dont support that this gun is more dangerous than any other gun.  Look up the definition of assualt rifle, the differece in it and a regular rifle is minimal.

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

@curt3rd Getting Military grade weapons of the streets make no sense? You are dumber than I thought.

curt3rd
curt3rd

My point exactly.  Start with assault for reasons that make no sense and move on to the next gun.

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

@jenjen330 @fitty_three @adderworks Gun Grabbers? The second Amendment does not guarantee you the right to own whatever gun you want with no background checks. The faster you realize that the smarter you will sound.

jenjen330
jenjen330

@fitty_three @adderworks Ah, and that's another thing we're seeing more and more of.  Gun grabbers claiming that they own guns. They think it gives their argument more validity.

You know, for people who are convinced that they're on the side of the angels, the anti-Second Amendment crowd sure seems to lie a lot.

curt3rd
curt3rd

Out of the 12,664 murders by a gun in 2011 only 323 were from rifles.  Thats all rifles including assault.  The FBI dosnt seperate them because the difference in them is minimal.  Why the attack on assault rifles when far more people have died from handguns(6,220).

fitty_three
fitty_three

If you don't like Wikipedia, then read the damned citations!

fitty_three
fitty_three

@adderworks

What's wrong with Wikipedia.  They have a great advantage in that they cite sources, further reading, external links, etc.

Something that ie essential when evaluating whether something is true or not.

You've just admitted you will cut your mental nose off to spite your face.  Good move.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Civil_War

244 citations, 15 recommendations, 12 external links

fitty_three
fitty_three

@adderworks

It actually was, because the rights was conflated, making it a hot button issue. No one would go to war over regulating crops.

fitty_three
fitty_three

@adderworks

Actually, US History 101:

The Founding fothers tabled the issue of slavery hence the Mason Dixon line.  The slavery issue was turned into an economic issue after that, and kicked down the road.  There was a stronger desire to unify the 13 coonoies under something they could agree on.

The civil war was a war over secession due to "economic" (read slave) issues.

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

@adderworks @fitty_three So how do you feel about kids shooting each other because parents buy a 5 year old a gun? Did the 2 year old have a right not to get shot?

adderworks
adderworks

@fitty_three @adderworks I do not buy it. You might claim to be a gun owner, but a bb gun as a kid does not count.  :/ This is like those fake gun clubs claiming to support gun control - it is a flat out lie.

fitty_three
fitty_three

@adderworks

Who said anything about destroying a Right?

I own guns.  I support background checks, I support the assault rifle ban.  I support the large clip limit.

 You're label "destroy" is misleading.

adderworks
adderworks

@fitty_three @adderworks I am thinking about the future of our etire nation - all of our Rights are important even the ones you dislike, 53. There is no room for compromise with somebody that wants to destroy a Right for any reason.

fitty_three
fitty_three

@adderworks

No, you don't.  You want what you want when you want it.  Never mind the lives of 50,000 per year.

For you, it's a price.

fitty_three
fitty_three

@jenjen330

Nice dodge.  Who said I had a problem with Mexico.

I done tole you to avoid Teh Stupid, and you keep serving it up. 

You're not on a FOX blag, jenjen30.  We like facts here.

fitty_three
fitty_three

@jenjen330

I was referring to the new president's statements to not focus so much on the violence.

And fyi, they have widespread corruption, which might explain that.

Try to avoid stupidity.  This is, after all, the US, not Mexico!