In his opening statement Wednesday at the Senate Judiciary Committee's hearing on gun policy, Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT), the chairman of the panel, made a strong appeal for shoring up the system of background checks on gun purchases, calling the effort to close purchasing loopholes "a simple matter of common sense."
I know gun store owners in Vermont. They follow the law and conduct background checks to block the conveyance of guns to those who should not have them. They wonder why others who sell guns do not have to follow these same protective rules. I agree with these responsible business owners. If we can all agree that criminals and those adjudicated as mentally ill should not buy firearms, why should we not try to plug the loopholes in the law that allow them to buy guns without background checks? It is a simple matter of common sense. And if we agree that the background check system is worthwhile, should we not try to improve its content and use so it can be more effective? What responsible gun owner objects to improving the background check system?