Begich Praises Moments of Heroism and Kindness
This past week, in the midst of national tragedies, we were reminded of the strength of American heroism and kindness. From the Sitka man who gave his medal to a distraught runner during the Boston Marathon to our first responders who ran into the face of danger to help others, I cannot say enough about these men and women who serve in communities all across the country and save lives every day. My thoughts continue to be with the families who lost loves ones in the tragic incidents of last week.
Here in the Senate, I remain as frustrated as most over Washington's inability to deal with our nation's pressing problems. After the House and Senate passed dramatically different budget bills, the House continues to resist our efforts to resolve the differences so we can reduce overall federal spending. Meanwhile, automatic across-the-board budget cuts have kicked in, causing unnecessary inconvenience to Alaskans from air travelers to civilian workers at our military bases.
Last week, the Senate failed to address common sense solutions to keep our communities safe. When it comes to guns, my bottom line has always been consistent: the best way to keep our communities safe is by keeping guns from those who are dangerous, not restricting the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding Americans.
That is why I supported several amendments to crack down on illegal activity and increase penalties on criminals illegally obtaining guns through a third party. I also believe that enforcing laws currently on the books must be a key component of any strategy to reduce gun violence. I worked with Republican Senator Lindsey Graham on bipartisan legislation to clarify the conditions under which those with mental illness can possess a firearm. Supported by both mental health groups and the NRA, this common sense measure would keep guns away from dangerous people without taking away fundamental rights.
I am looking forward to coming home next week to greet spring and catch up with Alaskans.
Senator Mark Begich
Posted: April 23, 2013