One year after Newtown: Kelly Ayotte voted to block legislation ‘many Newtown families were pleading for’

A year after Newtown, little has changed,” writes Alec MacGillis. “[T]he massacre has not led to any broad national policy response to the problem of gun violence.”

Last April, Sen. Kelly Ayotte voted to block “sensible gun-law reforms that many Newtown families were pleading for,” the New Republic senior editor reminds us. Her vote was one that “stood out in particular:”

The first-term Republican from New Hampshire is a former prosecutor and state attorney general and thus well acquainted with the porousness of gun laws, which require background checks at licensed dealerships to screen for past felonies or dangerous mental illness, but not at the gun shows or private sales where an estimated 40 percent of transactions occur.

Voting for background checks would hardly hurt Ayotte’s general election chances in New Hampshire, a state Obama won by six points against a part-time New Hampshire resident, which has prompted speculation that her vote was cast to protect her prospects for a national GOP ticket.

Confronted after the vote by Erica Lafferty, the daughter of the slain Sandy Hook principal, Ayotte gave a dissembling explanation that sent Lafferty striding from the room.