Following Wednesday's Senate vote, I wrote both of my Senators, one of which voted in favor of the amendment, one against. You can read the letters below.
To Dan Coats, voted against the amendment Dear Senator Coats, I am writing to express my deep disappointment in your vote on the Manchin-Toomey amendement defeated in the Senate Wednesday evening. A law requiring background checks on any gun sale is common sense, and the failure of the Senate to break the status quo of voting against difficult choices is deplorable.
In addition, looking through public records, it is hard for me to separate political contributions from pro-gun organizations from representatives voting patterns. Accepting $1,000 from Safari Club International (3/29/2013, transaction # A48564D256394D1CA74) gives the appearance of agreeing with the lobby, rather than with the desires of the people you represent.
Hiding behind the "slippery slope" argument is weak, shortsighted, and a failure to stand up to major concerns in the country. I hope you will reconsider your decision if the legislation is introduced again.
Regretfully, Brian E. Bennett South Bend, IN
To Joe Donnelly, in favor of the amendments Dear Senator Donnelly, I want to thank you for voting in favor the Manchin-Toomey background check amendment in the Senate on Wednesday.
I am disappointed that the Senate did not take up the amendment, but I appreciate that you are standing up for compromise between parties and willing to take a stand on common sense legislation when it comes to gun regulations.
I want to encourage you to work with your counterpart, Senator Coats, in the continuation of the bill in the Senate.
Sincerely, Brian E. Bennett South Bend, IN
Please, take a moment to send a letter to your Senator. It is time we begin voicing our opinions strongly and consistently.
UPDATE 4/19/2013 12:05 PM I wanted to post my sources for the donations received by Dan Coats. You can see his quarterly donation report here, the referenced donation is page 34 of 64. Joe Donnelly's report is here, and he did not file a receipt for pro-gun groups during Q1.