Gun issues dominate Sen. Tom Coburn discussion at Oklahoma City town hall

Oklahoma's junior U.S. senator tells an Oklahoma City audience he is working on developing a background check system that won't infringe on a person's right to own a gun while ensuring guns won't fall in the hands of criminals or the mentally impaired.
BY MICHAEL MCNUTT mmcnutt@opubco.com Published: April 4, 2013
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Health care debate

Coburn also predicted Congress eventually repeal the Affordable Care Act, called Obamacare by its critics. He said news reports indicate that insurance rates will at least double next year for individuals and small businesses.

“The Affordable Care Act is a tragedy that we will repeal very soon after it is fully implemented because Americans won't be able to afford the cost of it and seniors won't take the rationing that's going to come with it,” he said. “So what we have is an absolute mess on our hands that's going to get worse.”

After taking questions on illegal immigration and why the U.S. Homeland Security Department is buying large amounts of weapons and ammunition (Coburn said he is looking into that but so far it's unfounded), Coburn encouraged the crowd to focus on the country's economic condition.

“Why are we talking about guns and immigration when our country's going broke?” Coburn asked.

A man who said he is a federal worker complained about wasteful spending at his agency. The man, who declined afterward to give his name or the agency where he worked for fear of being fired, said the agency spent $1.1 million on flagpoles and $800,000 on playground equipment in the past year.

Coburn, who has looked into wasteful spending practices at federal agencies, encouraged the man to go to his website and provide the information.

“I need ammo,” Coburn said.