Letter: Republicans Resistance to Universal Background Checks Doesn’t Reconcile with Rejection of Syrian Refugees

To the Editor, Greenwich Free Press:

When it comes to protecting Americans from violence, Republicans are hypocrites.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell called for a halt to admitting Syrian refugees to the U.S., saying “the ability to vet people coming from that part of the world is really quite limited.” House Speaker Paul Ryan declared, “This is a moment where it is better to be safe than sorry.” They are joined by GOP governors across the country who say they will not resettle Syrian refugees within their borders.

Yet these same Republicans oppose universal background checks on firearm purchases. Worse, Rep. Peter King (R-NY) believes there is little chance the Republican-controlled Congress will pass legislation he co-sponsored prohibiting suspected terrorists from legally purchasing firearms.  Over the past 11 years, more than 2,000 suspects on the FBI terrorist watch list have bought weapons, according to the Government Accountability Office. The Bush administration proposed closing the loophole in 2007, but Congress has not acted.

It’s time for the GOP to combat real, rather than imagined, threats by passing comprehensive federal gun safety legislation.

Jonathan Perloe

Greenwich Council Against Gun Violence, leader

Brady Campaign Southwestern CT Chapter, president