This is a maddening before and after story. Here's the before—a letter from Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona to Caren Teves, whose son was one of the Aurora theater shooting victims, in which Flake told Teves that "strengthening background checks is something we agree on."
Senate Roll Call Vote #97. April 17, 2013. S.Amdt. 715 to S. 649: To protect Second Amendment rights, ensure that all individuals who should be prohibited from buying a firearm are listed in the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, and provide a responsible and consistent background check process.So in between telling Teves that he supported stronger background checks and voting on legislation to do exactly that, something caused Flake to flip-flop. He's offering a mumbo jumbo word salad about how he thought the bill strengthened background checks too much, but that's political B.S—the background check legislation he voted against was a watered down compromise proposal from conservative Democrat Joe Manchin and conservative Republican Pat Toomey. If Flake couldn't vote for that, there's nothing he can vote for. And given that he said he supported stronger background checks just days earlier, there's only one explanation: Jeff Flake would rather be a tool of the NRA and gun lobby than vote for what he believes in.
Flake (R-AZ): Nay