Richard Burt re-states the popular myth that 90 percent want a background check and 40 percent of all gun buyers are not subject to them ("We the people?" April 21). The 90 percent figure is a red herring. Background checks are currently required when purchasing a gun from a dealer, including at gun shows. The 40 percent figure comes from a 1997 survey of only 250 people, who were asked if they purchased from a dealer. But they weren't asked if the gun was a gift or obtained in some other non-criminal manner. A 250-person survey is not a good sample of gun purchases. Burt goes on to say that there is no law against straw purchases, which is untrue. It is a federal felony, although seldom prosecuted.
Burt attempts to portray Republicans who voted against background checks as not supporting "we the people." He forgets that this is not a democracy where the people get to rule by majority. The rest of the Constitution and the 2nd Amendment are more important. Those that voted against the bill were supporting the Constitution and the freedom for "we the people" that is guaranteed in that document.
Richard M. LaFontaine
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