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We, the people, should

decide when we go to war

Thanks to Sen. Roy Blunt’s Kansas City staff for meeting with the Friends Committee for National Legislation, Independence, Missouri, advocacy team this August.

We shared appreciation for his affirmation that even persons who have not yet been born are already people with potential, not just potential people, and introducing a resolution supporting peace and stability in Colombia, which peacefully ended its 50-year conflict with the FARC.

They graciously acknowledged our request that he extend those recognitions of the sanctity of humanity and peaceful ending of conflicts by supporting legislation (SJ 13, and current House-approved NDAA amendments) to repeal the 2002 Authorization for Use of Military Force, which leaves open to interpretation the authority of the executive branch to wage war without further congressional approval.

While in previous visits the staff affirmed that Blunt does not want to tie the president’s hands in defending the nation, we shared that repeal of the AUMF does not prevent the president from defending the nation; it only requires that Congress authorize extended warfare.

It is time for we, the people, through Congress, decide when warfare will be used as an instrument of foreign policy.

Steve Kellogg

Independence, Missouri

Graves is not for

the common people

Our local representative, Sam Graves, is among the 97% of Republicans in the U.S. House who voted last week to steal the $2.9 trillion balance from Social Security recipients through a so-called balanced budget proposal that would make it impossible for those funds to ever be used in future payouts for Social Security.

Only current annual Social Security receipts could be used, thus greatly reducing the amount of monthly benefits. The bill failed to get the two-thirds majority needed for passage, but the vote shows the future intent of Republicans.

Shame that residents of District 6 believe Graves is for the common people who keep re-electing him term after term.

Jerry Anderson

St. Joseph

Background check legislation

needs to be brought to a vote

The numbers are clear: 85% of Americans support background checks on gun sales, according to recent polling by the Pew Research Center.

Under current federal law, background checks are required only for gun sales by licensed firearm dealers, meaning that anyone can sell a gun to a stranger they meet at a gun show or even online. These sales occur with no background check and no way to know whether the buyer is prohibited from having guns.

Such loopholes in the existing system enable domestic abusers and convicted felons to legally purchase guns without a background check. With the rise of the internet, where hundreds of thousands of gun sales now take place with no background checks, our laws must evolve to fit the times.

H.R. 8, the Bipartisan Background Checks Act, which would require a background check for every firearm sale, passed in the House in February 2019. This bill has now sat on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s desk for more than 160 days. Any further delay to pass common-sense gun safety legislation only increases the innocent lives lost to gun violence. This inaction must stop.

Tara Duckworth

Moms Demand Action

St. Joseph