While in Japan to discuss export opportunities for Alaska's natural gas, Senator Lisa Murkowski today reacted to President Barack Obama's announcement of proposals and executive orders regarding federal gun control policy:
"Alaskans have mourned with all Americans at the tragic, senseless deaths in recent years but we do not believe those emotions should cloud our resolve to protect our Constitutional right to bear arms. I have spoken with gun owners, shopkeepers and hunters in Alaska in recent weeks and share their concerns that the rights and opinions of responsible citizens are not being fully respected in this conversation. Today's announcement from the President, and his directions to Congress, further feed those concerns.
"Alaska has shared the pain experienced by people of Newtown, Columbine, and other communities around the country. We suffered a tragic school shooting in Bethel in 1997. So while I appreciate the President's input in the name of school safety, I want Alaskans to know this needs to be a far wider discussion, and Congress is the rightful place for laws to be debated fully and crafted. Where there are improvements to make or safeguards to add to our laws -- including safety in public places, mental health care improvements and addressing violent entertainment -- I am ready to work with my Congressional colleagues to protect both Alaskans and our Constitution."