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Local News

April 2, 2013

Crowd asks Coburn about immigration

DUNCAN — Close to 150 people showed up to have their concerns heard by U.S. Senator Tom Coburn during a town hall meeting Monday evening, most of which reflect the concerns of the entire nation.

Among those concerns, the most mentioned were insurance, tax, immigration and gun control laws. Though the issues that were brought up weren’t surprising, the crowd may have found some of Coburn’s responses unexpected.

Overall, the senator had one statement he continued to come back to throughout the entire one-hour forum no matter what the issue.

“There is no problem we can’t solve in the nation but we have no leadership up in Washington on either side to do it,” Coburn said. “There is too much cowardliness in addressing these problems.”

One issue that had many of those in attendance weighing in on was gun control and the prospective ways it may be handled in the foreseeable future. In order to create a safer way for one citizen to sell a gun to another citizen, a “nix” list will be able to be checked.

Those on that list will include felons and people with mental instability. A concern that gun owners are on that list or one separate to it was discounted by the senator, a fact that has been and continues to be checked on by his staff on a regular basis.

“I’m for enhanced background checks because it’s a way for you to go online to make sure you’re not selling your gun to someone you wouldn’t want to have it,” said Coburn.

“About 80 percent of criminals get their guns from us (responsible gun owners). The responsible way is to check them against this nix list and they don’t know that you did it.”

Coburn didn’t suggest that this check would stop all gun crime, however, he was positive it will slow it down a significant degree.

On the subject of immigration, Coburn addressed the concerns of two local, legal immigrants on the front that immigration is slow going and almost at a halt. The senator labeled immigration is the glue that holds the country together and said first, the border needs to be secured.

“I don’t fault them for wanting to come here to try to get ahead; I would try it if I were them,” he said. “It’s all about upholding the rule of the law. We have to secure the border and deal with those who are here illegally first.”

When asked about tax law reform, Coburn said he is stoutly on the side of a definite need to reform. He has worked on a way to do just that, but doubts any of it will happen under President Obama.

“We need to reform tax law and get rid of all the junk, to lower and broaden the base for the American tax payer,” Coburn said to much applause. “It has been done before and it can be done again.”

With the ongoing of ObamaCare, Coburn agreed with those who inquired that the outlook is not good. He said he is helping to lead the way on reversing it because “it’s going to be a disaster.”

For the most part, Coburn laid much of the country’s problems at the feet of “career politicians” and said that until those who have real world experience are in office, these issues will continue to worsen. He tried to give some ease to those at the meeting by assuring them that he is doing all he can to undo what has brought the country down.

“There are few people in congress with real world experience and they don’t have scars from real life, so we need to get rid of these career politicians, even me, and replace them with someone like you who has experience and can make judgments,” Coburn said. “If you have questions, e-mail me because I read them and if you get a letter from me, it’s my opinion and not one of my staff’s.”

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