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.