She isn’t shooting down the Toomey-Manchin Amendment but Second District Congresswoman Shelley Moore Capito isn’t a fan of the gun control measure introduced last week

The amendment calls for background checks on all firearms purchased at gunshows and online. It expands the process that’s already in place for buying a gun from a licensed dealer.

Capito says it’s important to take the pulse of her constituants on this type of issue and she’s getting an earful.

“Our phones are ringing off the hook,” according to Capito. “West Virginians are extremely concerned about whether this is affective anyway, whether this will solve the problem but also about the fundemental right to bear arms.”

Some have criticized the amendment for going too far, others for it not going far enough.

Capito is one of the former. She says there are other ways to prevent gun tragedies from occuring without changing the current gun law.

“I’d like us to see the improvement of mental health care, prosecute on violations of our existing gun laws, targeting violence in our cities. Violence in the media is something that troubles me.”

She says the perfect example is the murder of Mingo County Sheriff Eugene Crum on April 3rd. Capito says more laws aren’t the answer when the current regulations on the book often go unenforced.

“Is it effective? We just had the incident with the sheriff who was shot in Mingo County but the system failed,” stresses Capito. “That to me is a greater red flag to say ‘What good are a bunch of systems in here if we A. don’t prosecute in any of the criminal cases, which we don’t, or B. we’re not catching people.”

Tennis Maynard the man charged in Crum’s murder had been institutionalized for mental health issues but was still able to purchase a gun when he was released from treatment, even though he’s banned from possession of a weapon under current law.

Capito says it’s going to take more than background checks to prevent other tragedies from taking place.

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Comments

  • Nick Wilson

    I'm always amazed at the dribble that flows from blogger comments following news articles. For those of us that will put our name to our post, I at least respect the opinion placed as a genuine response from a person, (most of the time). Many blogs are filled with rants posted by people in the "Obama-Nation" under the guise of someone who is interested in gun rights, only to post things that make law abiding gun owners look like people who have no compassion or do not care about the realities of today's world. Shelley Moore Capito is correct in the fact that there are already laws and penalties in place for illegal activities concerning gun purchases and uses. She is also correct that the Federal and State governments are not doing a good job enforcing existing laws.

    There is a line when it comes to mental health and the release of information that doctors are required to meet. It is not illegal to report a patient who poses harm to others. The problem is the legislation that was presented had no line. If you were under any care by a mental health professional you could have lost your rights to own firearms, whether you were a risk or not. In the crush to pass any gun legislation Congress was willing and ready to take guns from anyone who had a mental health issue, whether they were depressed from having a bad hair day or if they were a veteran with post traumatic stress. The Veterans Administration set out a clear statement that they would not turn over any and all mental health records to anyone. Just because a person needs counseling or medications for mood does not make them a threat, nor does it make them mentally incompetent. The distinction is where the line is drawn. You can have a mental break down, get help and go about your life. If you have ever lost a child, spouse or parent you may understand that fact.

    In today's world, you can argue with your wife or girlfriend, she can call the police and say you threatened her, (whether you did or not), and you will be charged and convicted on the basis of the claim alone. This "domestic violence" charge has been upgraded to a federal crime upon conviction and you have lost your right to own a firearm FOREVER. I know quite a few men who this has happened to in recent years.

    Over Criminalization is a problem in our nation, just as people who commit crimes using a gun is a problem. Load any gun, set it out in a room full of thousands of people and you will realize one thing, the gun is not going to shoot anyone on it's own, nor will it go to trial or ever spend a day in jail. People have lost respect for each other, for the value of life and the consequences of illegal activities. That is a problem.

    The Senate is doing a fine job, they are passing bills left and right for the good of the Nation. The fine folks in Congress has failed to bring any of these bills to debate or to a vote, (I.E. the "democratic" congress). Instead, they are pushing the hidden agenda of disarming Americans while buying 1.4 billion of rounds of ammunition that violates the Geneva Convention, (enough to shoot each citizen four times with jacketed hollow point 5.56 NATO rounds purchased by Homeland Security for "target practice," if you want to believe that lie). I would call it government waste but I'm not stupid enough to believe they would waste rounds that cost three times the cost of true target ammunition.

    But, if they did start enforcing the laws then the government would have to throw itself in jail for gun trafficking to drug lords in Mexico. There are enough laws to enforce, and a ton of people that they can enforce them on, however, it is easier to pass more laws than to enforce existing laws. Senator Capito, you are doing a good job and you are on the right track. Keep up the good work and maybe Congress will start getting back to work.

    Nick Wilson
    Harpers Ferry, WV

  • ed stanton

    Its hard to believe with all the illegals in this country . And they are worried so much about back ground checks on the legal citizens.Do we or do we not have a ammendment with our rights and if so why are we spending so much time to protect it and going against those that try to go by the law of our land.Thanks and God Bless our country.

  • thornton

    I wonder if Capito is wise enough to allow for a greater agenda being afoot than innocuous background checks when taking the pulse of her constituents.

    Fear-mongering to all with ears and, especially, to the NRA-blinded sheeple that the government is only using this amendment as yet another step toward final confiscation is clear.
    Granted, the amendment will do little to prevent tragedies but neither is it any burden on gun buyers or a step toward Uncle Sam having the Sweet 16 Auto 5 in it's crosshairs.

    I expect that Capito is indeed wise enough but I also expect that appearance and votes matter much more to her than arriving at a wise decision.
    Politics learned at the knee.

    It is a shame that the politicians do not have the wisdom or guts to address the real problems behind gun violence in America.......and an equal shame that gun-owning voters so easily buy into a created and continually hyped fear by those seeking to fill coffers or simply seek to find a way to break the boredom found deep in Mom and 'ems basement..

    • Shadow

      Us "sheepies" always have to concern ourselves with those that don't read and understand History and who are trying to repeat the mistakes of the past in spite of our warnings. Despite that, it is always nice to hear from someone who understand why we have gun violence in the US of A. My understanding of that is that we have too many sheep who are easy prey for the wolves. Therefore, sheep should grow teeth. However, I don't think that is what you meant.

      • thornton

        I meant I'm not worried about visiting the dentist for a day of extraction....at all.
        My teeth will remain with me.

        As to the reasons for gun violence, I think many understand but few in a position to affect choose to address them.
        Old story, that.

        As to history, it is a shame when folks spin incidents in the the Past to support an agenda in the Present.
        One can indeed learn from history, if one is wise enough to place all involved in context and add a dose of honesty to the outcome.
        Honesty though, sadly has taken a backseat to agenda and profiteering on both sides of the gun rights issue.

        Bye-bye, Baa-Baa.

        • Shadow

          Just as I thought, no understanding and no ideas on how to solve our problems.

          • thornton

            Nope...you are not thinking and yep, I neither wear a nose ring nor hold a lead rope.
            That allows me to recognize fear-mongering and understand the fallacy of comparing apples and oranges.
            More gun owners, like I, should resist the selfish tug on their nose by the sky-fallers and the 1"=1 mile folks and consider past their own front sight.

  • JOHN.W

    How can we fix mental health when most of the records are private and not allowed to be opened( it is called the right of privacy of an individual) by the public or by officials??

    • j

      Simple john, add a line to the form used to apply for buying a weapon. One that states something like this; "I consent to a search for mental health records" Failure to consent, means no gun......simple, effective, and not a privacy concern....you either do it or you do not buy.

      • Dk

        I think you are forgetting how easy it is to make a gun from scratch in your garage. Registrations and bans will create an underground market for guns and ammo. Thats why all of the bans and registrations won't make a difference. If a dude can make meth he gunpowder and primers for ammo. And if he can weld and drill holes he can make a simple sub-machine gun.

      • JOHN.W

        Is there some kind of center for mental health records they would go to if you said that you would agree to the background check? Or do we have to create a center to.

      • JOHN.W

        Is there some kind of center for mental health records they would go to if you said that you would agree to the background check?

      • bulldog95

        Amazing, thats all we have to do, put a consent and if we dont agree then we dont get a gun?
        I recall the uproar over random drug screens for welfare. That went no where, and the same argument that Shadow posted was used.

      • Shadow

        Isn't there a rule against self-incrimination? I think it is called the 5th Amendment. By your statement, Mental Health Records are an undefined area open to an infinity amount of definitions. The current form works within the system and is definable. Who of us is Sane? I guess I would like to see a Mental Health Box on the form that Pols submit when they run for office, then, I might agree with your suggestion.

  • proudlyconservative

    Two misspellings remain, including the first occurrence of what should be "effective."

  • Keefe

    To many laws to much of a burden on the American people. More Government regulation and less freedom. Capito seems to play both sides of the fence like most politicians but in the end will vote to strangle us all even further from our freedom. More mental health bureaucracy now that will solve the problem? Please! You ever notice their solution is the shot gun effect. One person goes buzz-irk and the Government makes the rest of us pay for it by stealing our rights. Or gives them an idea for a new tax.

  • j

    Mental Health issue's unfortunately are the ultimate cause of most of the trajedys' that we have seen in the last several months. But what I find disturbing, is that stated in an article I read the past week, is the fact that our court systems (supreme court of WV) was not hooked/synched into the NICS system until 2011.

    Back ground checks had been being done for several years before that. So, the question comes into play....Does that mean that the State of WV dropped the ball (so to speak) and was ultimately responsible for the death of Sheriff Crum?

    In other states, the past few years there have been several cases where individuals have filed wrongful death suits against gun manufacturers over many deaths. So the question in my mind.....is there a liability on the state of WV for failing to comply with the regulations put forth by the federal govt. to report those adjudicated mentally incompetent?