To the editor:
In late February the U.S. House passed two pieces of gun safety legislation. Rep. Walden voted NO on both bills.
HR 8—which is regarded by some as the most significant piece of gun legislation voted on in the House in two decades—expands background checks to include private sales such as on the Internet, thereby increasing the probability that guns will stay out of the hands of people who should not have them.
No one’s guns would be taken away and anyone legally deserving to purchase a gun could still do so. Yet Rep. Walden failed to support gun safety, even though evidence shows that Oregon and other states that have already passed comprehensive background checks have 35 percent fewer gun deaths and 47 percent fewer women shot by a domestic partner.
And when polls consistently show that 80 to 90 percent of people support expanded background checks and even 75 percent of gun owners do so —Rep. Walden still voted NO.
If we keep doing what we have been doing, we are going to keep getting what we’ve got: An epidemic of gun violence. On the day this vote was taken, 8,041 people had already died from gun injuries in 2019.
What will it take for Walden to vote YES for gun safety? For one thing, he will have to be ready to let go of his “A rating” from the NRA.