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Frontiersman: Begich knows issues facing state fisheries

He was spot on in his understanding of the problems and concerns expressed by others at this meeting regarding the federal management of fisheries around Alaska. He also showed a good understanding of many state concerns, but stayed clear of any impression of possible interference with state authority or management control. Overall, I was impressed with his knowledge of the fisheries issues and his questions indicated he had a firm grasp of how to approach correcting many of those problems.

As the meeting was wrapping up, I thanked Sen. Begich for his stand in the Senate regarding Second Amendment voting issues this past spring. As you may recall, Sen. Begich was one of only a few Democratic senators who refused to vote for anti-gun actions being demanded by President Obama. All the pending legislation failed to pass. As a result of his stand, Begich has now been targeted by the anti-gun crowd in the upcoming 2014 national election.

Sen. Begich acknowledged my comments and immediately, as with the fisheries issues, went to the heart of the matter. He said that major improvements in the mandatory reporting of mentally impaired individuals to the national database for firearms background checks needs to happen, along with a major effort on improving treatment for these impaired individuals. He also stated that strict enforcement of existing firearms laws should be implemented before any new firearms legislation is introduced. I couldn’t agree more.