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Background Gun Checks and Public Safety

February 14, 2018

To the Editor:

In "Making Background Checks Work" (Op-Ed, Feb. 13), John R. Lott Jr. desperately tries to push one of the gun lobby's favorite narratives: that background checks are bad for public safety.

The main pillar of Mr. Lott's argument is that our underfunded, underresourced and broken background check system prevents "good guys" from getting guns.

In reality, the system fails the other way too often and allows too many "bad guys" to get guns. In December, the Federal Bureau of Investigation issued more than 4,000 requests to retrieve guns from prohibited buyers.

Once again, Mr. Lott and others ignore reality to push a dangerous narrative that prevents any action to save American lives.

Right now, 90 percent of Americans and 70 percent of members of the National Rifle Association support a stronger, more robust background check system. Let's listen to the American people and enact common-sense safety laws that save lives.


The writer, an Illinois Democrat, is vice chairwoman of the House Gun Violence Prevention Task Force.

Read the original in the New York Times.

Issues:Gun Violence