Dear Editor:

I am a responsible gun owner who firmly supports the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution that protects the right of citizens to keep and bear arms. I also believe that with that right comes a responsibility for us to do our best to ensure that guns are only allowed in the hands of responsible citizens.

Therefore, I have never had a problem with undergoing a background check before I was allowed to purchase a firearm.

Are background checks foolproof?

Will they insure that mass shootings like Sandy Hook never occur?

Certainly not.

But just like sobriety checkpoints won’t eliminate all drunken driving tragedies, they are valuable tools in helping us reduce the risk. While universal background checks won’t eliminate all gun violence, they would be an additional tool to help us reduce risk.

This is why I was most disturbed by comments from Congresswoman Martha Roby during an interview she gave on WAKA-TV Friday morning (April 5). When asked if she supported new legislation for universal background checks, her response was straight out of the NRA playbook.

She stated that she did not support new legislation and that we should instead look to simply enforce existing laws. She went on to hit the usual talking points about supporting Second Amendment rights as if background checks somehow threaten those rights.

Her response was downright naïve at best and ignorant at worst. Simply enforcing existing laws regarding background checks only serves to reinforce the existing gaps in the process. At present there are no laws requiring background checks at gun shows or involving private sales.

Plugging these holes would prevent folks from exploiting the gaps and slipping through the cracks. It also has nothing to do with the Second Amendment rights of responsible gun owners.

Michael E. Waters