According to a Mayors Against Illegal Guns poll, 89 percent of Indiana residents support universal background checks for gun purchases. But this means nothing to Sen. Dan Coats. On April 11, he voted against even allowing Senate discussion of gun laws.
A Coats statement said, “I welcome an open and fair debate on sensible ways” to “keep firearms out of the hands of criminals and those with mental illness.” If he really meant that, why did he vote to filibuster?
In a letter stating their intention to filibuster, Coats and other Republican senators said, “The Second Amendment to the Constitution protects citizens’ right to self-defense.” So how would background checks to keep guns from felons, spouse abusers, or the mentally ill diminish citizens’ ability to defend themselves? This is a phony argument.
But it’s par for the course for Coats. Last year, he also voted to filibuster the Disclose Act, which requires identification of those giving $10,000 or more to political campaigns. This bill is supported by 156 good government organizations and 87 percent of citizens. But Coats voted to keep secret the huge amounts billionaires contribute. Nearly two-thirds of Americans supported the American Jobs Act, which would fund jobs in infrastructure and rehiring teachers. Again Coats voted to filibuster.
Credit Republican Sen. Pat Toomey and Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin for their bipartisan bill on background checks. Manchin said, “We came here to make a difference.” Apparently Dan Coats went to the Senate to obstruct.
Hoosiers deserve better representation than this.