When my wife and I tried to park in the designated visitor parking area at Sen. Jeff Flake’s Phoenix office recently, we were told by security to leave or our car would be towed. When we questioned this, as we were there to join with others to hold him accountable for his vote against universal background checks for gun purchases, we were told parking there was for office tenants only. As we were pulling out of the parking lot, security people began blocking all entrances to the parking lot with pick-up trucks and chains.

Sen. Flake seems so concerned about convenience in exercising the Second Amendment, but he evidently doesn’t mind at all making it difficult for law-abiding citizens to exercise First Amendment rights to assemble peaceably and petition our government. Our tax dollars pay for the rent on his office, where Flake hides behind keypad access security doors, bullet-proof glass and now security cordons around his office parking lot. Sen. Flake does not feel a need to directly answer victims of gun violence specifically or the people of Arizona generally for voting against expanded background checks for gun purchasers. Credible, scientifically conducted polls show that between 70 and 90 percent of Arizonans support that common sense measure. Flake certainly has no problem making it harder to exercise First Amendment rights, but he won’t vote to make it harder for criminals, terrorists, and the mentally ill to purchase guns.

His plummeting approval ratings likely motivated his obstruction of our rally, a move he finds much easier than returning his $360,000 cut of gun selling profits received in campaign funding support and reversing his quid pro quo to the National Rifle Association and gun lobby by voting instead for our collective public safety interests.

Expanded background checks are fully constitutional as our much braver Sen. John McCain pointed out on the Senate floor when he voted for them. Arizonans are proud of Sen. McCain because he voted to put our collective interests ahead of gun industry profits. McCain also doesn’t hide in his office, and welcomes those of us exercising our First Amendment rights. A few weeks ago, he came out of his office spontaneously to thank rally participants without any security entourage whatsoever.

We are waiting for Sen. Flake to do the right thing. We will keep visiting him … even if he has office security put up barricades.

• Ahwatukee resident Bryan L. Brinkley is secretary of Arizona People Acting for a Safer Society (AZ PASS). For more information, visit www.azpass.org.

(3) comments

timbroweraz
timbroweraz

The law was voted on and was voted down. The law provided no solution to the current problem and therefore was useless. "Feel good legislation" is not what we need right now. Freedom wins again.

BHirsh
BHirsh

McCain is an unprincipled maverick, and a sellout to conservatism and the Constitution.

Flake is following his conscience and his oath of office to preserve and defend the Constitution of the United States.

McCain is as egregiously wrong as he is occasionally right, but ever being right is only the half of it - the REASON one is right is equally as important, and when he's right it's by mistake, not by design.

LeonardoFibonacci
LeonardoFibonacci

$360,000?!?!?!?! Actually I never knew you could buy a US Senator that cheap. I guess he's kind of a "gun sl*t". Seems like a small price to tow your car and suspend your 1st Amendment rights. Especially if you can hide behind metal detectors, bullet proof glass, and trained body guards.

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