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hso
February 2, 2011, 12:24 PM
Links to resources threads below -

DOJ/FBI Uniform Crime Report (http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr)

DOJ/FBI Reports and Publications (http://www.fbi.gov/stats-services/publications/)

UK Home Office crime report (like our UCR) (http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/publications/science-research-statistics/research-statistics/crime-research/hosb0212/hosb0212-tabs?view=Binary)

http://ojjdp.gov/ojstatbb/ezashr/asp/off_display.asp

ATF firearms statistics (http://www.atf.gov/statistics/)

Gunfacts Website (http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=372386)

CDC 2005 study on effectiveness of firearms laws
(http://www.thecommunityguide.org/violence/viol-AJPM-evrev-firearms-law.pdf)
Defensive use of firearms (http://www.gunsandcrime.org/dgufreq.html)

2A groups (http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=292484)

Politicians' Voting Records (http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=387671)

2A videos (http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=517293)

How to contact politicians
(http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=370422)

How to communicate with Congress (http://www.congress.org/news/communicating-with-congress/)

Sample Letters (http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=279431)

RKBA News Sources (http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=407835)

National Media Contact Info (http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=270691)

Great anti AWB article (http://kontradictions.wordpress.com/2012/08/09/why-not-renew-the-assault-weapons-ban-well-ill-tell-you/)

Repeater before the Revolution. (http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=692843)


NY Ban Opposition sites. (http://cuomoswar.com/2013/01/16/petitions-to-help-save-ny/)

If you enjoyed reading about "Resources" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
GeeJ
December 15, 2012, 01:06 AM
=== SUMMERY ===
I'm an avid letter writer to my state's lawmakers in the House of Representatives and U.S. Senate. Normally I would write each letter from scratch; however, I decided a couple of weeks ago that I would put together a pdf template that would streamline and partially automate the process. So far, I haven't found any threads/posts in the forum where members post their letters or templates, if there is and I've overlooked it, then perhaps we can add this to it. As it is now, all this is really only focused on the federal level and not the state level, though it still may be of use. Also, I have no idea how one would write a compelling letter to a legislator who is an Anti. If you don't either, then just send them this one. Any letter is better than no letter, regardless if they will listen or not.

Ultimately, I am hoping this might make the truly important task of ensuring our lawmakers protect our rights a little more efficient, convenient, and less time consuming. This template is for everyone but my main focus is to help facilitate activism from those who DO care about the 2A but don't know how to write lawmakers or those who genuinely struggle to find the time to sit down and flesh out a well worded and compelling letter (not that I claiming mine is any better); then have to find a lawmaker's addresses, print out clean looking envelops, etc.... I'm hoping to get them active and to add even more voices to our collective identity. The template is at the bottom.

=== OBJECTIVE ===
Just to simply get it out there and get more people active as well as to make it all easier for everybody.

=== THE TEMPLATE ===
I've never used Adobe Acrobat Pro nor have I ever designed a proper pdf document so I was learning on the fly. We've all seen some slick looking pdf forms....this will not be one of those. I know it doesn't look as pretty as other PDFs but the end result is all that matters. The result will look simple but will also be proper. Admittedly, I pushed the limit of proper line spacing so that the body would fit on one page, but I'm already aware of it. Almost every text field can be edited so that you are free to rewrite or omit fields as you see fit.

Several fields are linked to others. Doing this allows the envelop to be automatically generated as you begin filling out the first few text fields. If you change one of those fields then the linked field will be changed also. Lastly, the buttons at the top and blue text "Zipcode" will not print. They are visible but not printable, so you will need to choose which on and type it in. The links at the top are for quickly finding info on who your legislator is, their mailing address, and their position on firearms.

=== CONCLUSION ===
Ummmm....well shucks, I can't think of anything else. I'm sure I forgot or overlooked something. If so, just let me know. Also, I'm out of work at the moment and in the middle of an aggressive job search campaign so if I'm a day or two slow in responding that's why. Sorry but I have a thing for bacon and need to start bringing some home.

Something to keep in mind:
Letter writing from only the individual may have no impact by itself, but the collective voice of a great number DOES HAVE AN SIGNIFICANT IMPACT and does influence the laws that govern our lives and of those we love. Don't EVER feel discouraged, belittled, insignificant, or think that you are a letter writing nobody. You ARE important! YOU ARE IMPORTANT to you, YOU ARE IMPORTANT to your friends and family, YOU ARE IMPORTANT to all of us, and YOUR LETTERS ARE IMPORTANT to the rights and liberties that are worth what it cost to attain them and are certainly worth what it will cost to retain them.

I hope this template helps everyone out. I look forward to any input you all may have. Take care everyone, be safe, have fun, and make it a good day.

- GeeJ

Also, as I am not a member of EVERY firearms related forum on the internet, please feel free to pass this along to whomever you feel would benefit from it. I am not copywriting any of it nor to I care about recognition. I only care about more people getting involved, more letters being written to legislators and more people standing up to fight for the protection of our rights. If you wish to share it with another forum, I simply ask that you FIRST check with the Mods, Staff, or Admins of that particular forum.....it's a common courtesy that surely goes a long way. Take care and BE PROACTIVE!

leadcounsel
December 17, 2012, 01:28 PM
http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm

It takes only a couple minutes to find your Senator and write an email.

Feel free to use my email copy and paste below or write your own. Make it short and sweet.

Dear Senator,
I am writing to urge you to continue to uphold your oath of office, and protect the 2nd Amendment from more gun control:
" I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic..."
I am sure you are under considerable pressure at this time to pass legislation, in the name of public safety, to prohibit, regulate, or otherwise control firearms. I understand the point of view of those that support "gun control". I believe, however, that the rights protected by the Constitution should be held above, and protected from, the temporary whim of public opinion.
A careful examination of statistical data shows that Armed Response, from security professionals, police, or armed citizens, is an effective deterrent and defense against violent criminals. My right and responsibility as an armed citizen makes me an asset to my family, and to the community. Armed Citizens can and do prevent mass shootings from occurring and escalating:
• A 1997 high school shooting in Pearl, Miss., was halted by the school's vice principal after he retrieved the Colt .45 he kept in his truck.
• A 1998 middle school shooting ended when a man living next door heard gunfire and apprehended the shooter with his shotgun.
• A 2002 terrorist attack at an Israeli school was quickly stopped by an armed teacher and a school guard.
• A 2002 law school shooting in Grundy, Va., came to an abrupt conclusion when students carrying firearms confronted the shooter.
• A 2007 mall shooting in Ogden, Utah, ended when an armed off-duty police officer intervened.
• A 2009 workplace shooting in Houston, Texas, was halted by two coworkers who carried concealed handguns.
• A 2012 church shooting in Aurora, Colo., was stopped by a member of the congregation carrying a gun.
• At the recent mall shooting in Portland, Ore., the gunman took his own life minutes after being confronted by a shopper carrying a concealed weapon.
Knee jerk calls for gun control are never the answer. The 2nd Amendment is too important to be whimsically castrated.
I appreciate your time, and hope that you will continue to support and defend the Constitution that you have sworn to uphold.
Thank you for your service,

rem44m
December 17, 2012, 02:37 PM
leadcounsel,

The 2007 mall shooting was at Trolley Square (mall) in Salt Lake City, Utah. The off duty police officer who intervened was from Ogden, Utah.

I also have another story-

Link below, a guy armed with a knife he just bought at the grocery store started stabbing customers as they walked out to their cars in the parking lot. An armed citizen thwarted any progress after this guy stabbed 2 people.

http://www.ksl.com/?nid=148&sid=20161608

Billy Shears
December 17, 2012, 04:34 PM
It might not hurt to point out either that a madman doesn't need a gun to go on a rampage.

http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2012/12/22-kids-slashed-in-china-elementary-school-knife-attack/

The focus should be on finding and stopping the deranged people before they explode, not banning the tools they use. You can ban one potential weapon. They'll just select another one.

kalel33
December 17, 2012, 11:15 PM
t might not hurt to point out either that a madman doesn't need a gun to go on a rampage.

http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headline...-knife-attack/

The focus should be on finding and stopping the deranged people before they explode, not banning the tools they use. You can ban one potential weapon. They'll just select another one.

That's not really a good example and not one I'd send to prove a point to not eliminate firearms. It'd just prove their point that not having guns is better. Out of those 22 kids that were attacked with a knife, not one of them died. So by showing that if guns weren't around that people would use knives, then that story would illustrate that not having a firearm means that there's much less likely of a chance of someone dying.

I'd look for stories to send of CC individuals stopped a slaughter instead.

Billy Shears
December 18, 2012, 12:21 PM
I am planning on writing both my senators, and my congressman. Here is the initial draft of the letter I have written. I want to trim it a bit for length (congressmen are busy, and too long a letter may not get read), but keep the force of the argument.

Dear Sir,

I have refrained from writing to you on this matter before now, as it seemed only decent to wait a few days, unlike those who immediately leapt to politicize this horror in Connecticut. But having heard the increasing calls for gun control, and statements from prominent politicians that this represents “a tipping point,” I am impelled to write to you and express my vehement opposition to a renewal of the so-called “assault weapons ban,” or any other similar legislation. Why anyone imagines such legislation will be effective is a mystery I have yet to solve. As William Ralph Inge said, “It is useless for the sheep to pass resolutions in favor of vegetarianism, while wolves remain of a different opinion.” Gun control laws, which will only be observed by the law abiding, amount to sheep passing a resolution in favor of vegetarianism. Yet criminals, who are prepared to break other laws, against murder, robbery, rape, and other offenses – laws which carry far greater penalties for breaking them than any gun control ordinance – are to be expected to balk at laws carrying or using guns because they have been outlawed? This makes no kind of sense.

Every year in this country, guns are used by law abiding people to defend themselves; even the lowest estimates put such uses in the hundreds of thousands per year. In 1994, the Department of Justice commissioned a survey which put the number at one and half million. Now, anti-gun zealots would put the ability of decent, law-abiding people at risk because of a single incident, horrific though it was, that cost a score of lives. I don’t say this to be callous or to make light of the lives lost at the Sandy Hook Elementary School. But these events are rather like plane crashes: both spectacular, headline-grabbing events, but both are rare, and the loss of life from other causes actually far outstrips them. Many people are afraid of flying, and news of an airliner crashing will feed that fear. Yet the fact remains that if you want to travel from New York to Los Angeles, you are far more likely to arrive safely if you get on an airliner than if you climb into the family car to do it. However, if the family sedan is hit by a drunk driver, no one outside your family and friends will probably ever hear of it. If the airliner crashes, on the other hand, the whole nation will. So, such spectacular events as plane crashes make the news, and feed people’s fears of flying. Yet all the while, vastly greater numbers of lives are lost in automobile accidents.

It is much the same with firearms. One spectacular, news-making tragedy like Sandy Hook feeds people’s fears of guns, and stokes the demand for gun control. But none of those laws will be obeyed by criminals or madmen, and may cost far more lives than they save when law-abiding people, who will comply with the new laws, are thereby disarmed. None of the proposals I am hearing would have stopped Adam Lanza.

But I realize that you and your colleagues in Congress are under tremendous pressure to do something. But I implore you to resist the knee-jerk calls for action that will not have the slightest positive impact, and instead focus your efforts on achieving something that will help. The real problem that needs to be addressed is with the deranged individuals who commit these crimes. Two things need to be done in this area. The first is to overcome the resistance that the medical community still has to reporting people who have been found to be a risk to the appropriate agencies, so that these people will show up as ineligible should they attempt to purchase a firearm. Many medical professionals still resist such reporting on grounds of privacy or confidentiality. But this is the one measure that touches on gun control that might be of benefit, and it doesn’t touch the rights of law-abiding citizens, who had nothing to do with Sandy Hook, and shouldn’t have to pay for it. The other thing that should be done is to undertake a reexamination of the criteria by which people with mental health issues are involuntarily committed. One thread that runs through all these mass shootings, is that the shooters were all found to have displayed numerous warning signs beforehand. It is not only unjust, but nonsensical and ineffectual to enact laws that will only target law-abiding individuals who, I say again, had nothing to do with this latest incident or any other, when steps can be taken to target individuals who do represent a real risk to those around them. I urge you, sir, to show the strength of character and the moral courage to resist the knee-jerk reactions of those who have put far too much emotion and not nearly enough rational consideration into their cries, and to instead direct your efforts, and lead those of your colleagues, in directions that may be productive. If Congress can pass laws that will mandate reporting of those with mental health issues that are judged a high risk, so that their names will show up along with those of convicted felons, and other ineligible individuals, when background checks are run, you will have a solid achievement to point to when asked what steps have been taken to prevent another such tragedy as the one at Sandy Hook, and such a measure as this will not infringe the 2nd amendment rights of ordinary Americans, and will have the support of the NRA and other gun rights organizations. It’s a better idea, it’s politically feasible, and it’s more just. This is an opportunity to enact laws that may actually work, instead of being kabuki theater, held up to the public as a partial solution, but which actually accomplishes nothing toward that end. I hope you will not let this opportunity pass you by.

Tipro
December 19, 2012, 08:24 AM
Following along with others here, I decided to write a letter to my Democrat Senator, Kay Hagan of North Carolina. Anyone here is free copy, modify, or use this letter in any way to send to their Senator. Do not bother flaming me for the position I take in the letter, it's not worth your time. You can find your Senator by going to "www.senate.gov" and clicking "find your senator" in the top right.

I took a different approach than most, and rather than arguing how an AWB limits 2A rights, something most anti's would not understand, much less agree with, I took the approach of arguing how useless an AWB would be. This seems to me to be the more effective approach.

Senator Hagan, I want to write to you in the hopes that you will oppose any future assault weapons ban, such as that being discussed by Senator Feinstein. Although I am not aware of any specific proposals yet, it is likely that any new assault weapons ban (AWB) will be similar to the last, implemented under President Clinton.

Assuming the goal is to actually reduce the number of homicides and mass murders in this country, a new AWB will be nothing more than a wasted opportunity. The last ban had restrictions on the capacity of new magazines, restricting them to no more than ten rounds, and any new proposal will likely contain this as well. The tragic shooting at Columbine Highschool took place while the previous AWB was in effect. The shooters, instead of modifying their magazines to carry additional rounds (something remarkably easy to do, especially considering the shooters were able to illegally shorten their shotgun below the legal length), decided to bring with them thirteen, ten-round magazines. Clearly, magazine restrictions did not stop crime, nor will they in the future.

The second, main prong of the previous AWB was a restriction on various cosmetic features of rifles, for instance, flash suppressors and bayonet mounts. I understand that many deem these to be military accouterments with little to no civilian purpose, but that does not make these features inherently dangerous, nor does it make a rifle sporting such features any more lethal. In fact, the Department of Justice concluded, in a study of the previous assault weapons ban (accessible here http://www.sas.upenn.edu/jerrylee/research/aw_exec2004.pdf), that these provisions “target…a relatively small number of weapons based on features that have little to do with the weapons’ operation, and removing those features is sufficient to make the weapon legal.” What’s more, the Justice Department concluded that, viewed as a whole, a reinstatement of the AWB would have such a miniscule effect on crime as to be “too small for measurement.”

I implore you to please show vigorous opposition to any new AWB. It is a wasted opportunity to take real action in reducing gun violence. Strengthen the background check system by requiring stronger reporting from universities (which may have caught the V-Tech killer, as he was diagnosed by his school with mental illness and charged by the school with harassment and stalking) and mental health institutions; require background checks on private gun sales, or allow private individuals to perform checks on the buyer without having to transfer the firearm through a licensed dealer; most importantly, strengthen the mental health system to provide better care upfront to those members of society who fall through the cracks of our understaffed and overworked mental health system. I know that reasonable measures can be reached; reasonable in that the second amendment and the individual right to own and carry a gun is protected (something extremely important to me and many other North Carolinians), and yet reasonable in that steps to reduce unnecessary and preventable gun violence are taken. I hope that you will pray over this issue, and carefully consider an appropriate response to these continuing tragedies. I would love to hear back from you about this issue, whether through a public statement on gun control or a private message to me. Thank you for your service Senator.

Spats McGee
December 19, 2012, 03:25 PM
Tipro, good letter, and thanks for offering it up for use. The gun community is going to have to do a lot of calling and writing in the near future. Accordingly, I am going to (slightly) hijack your thread and offer up my own letter. I figure it's easier if we put all of these in one spot.

As Tipro put it, don't bother flaming me for the position I took in this. It's not worth your effort. If you don't like something that I said, don't use it.

Like millions of Americans, I was horrified and saddened to hear the news about the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary school in Connecticut. As the father of a school-age child, I cannot begin to imagine the grief that the famillies of the children who were killed must be feeling. I grieve with them. Our nation grieves with them.

In addition to being a father, I am a husband, an attorney, a hunter and gun owner. I have watched, for the past five days, as the mainstream media and gun-control advocates have cried out for harsher restrictions on gun ownwership. Truth be told, such entities have seemed positively gleeful at the tragedy. The Sandy Hook shooting offers the gun-control groups a chance at garnering more political capital than they have had in years.

Emotions on the gun-control front run very high right now, but I would urge you to exercise caution. Please use reason and logic in casting your votes on gun-control bills, which, I feel certain, will cross your desk in the near future. No amount of gun control, no amount of feel-good legislation would have prevented this tragedy. Please remember that the shooting at Columbine, which has become the archetype for school shootings in this country, took place in 1999, when the federal assault weapons had been in place for five years. Remember that Timothy McVeigh killed 168 people, including 19 children still in day care, using a box van, fertilizer and fuel. He used no firearms, to the best of my recollection. There were no calls for bans on box vans. The 9/11 terrorists used box cutters and airplanes to kill thousands. Not one firearm was used. There was no call for a ban on box cutters.

Please remember that restrictions on firearms only restricts those who will abide by the laws. Millions of gun owners killed no one. Millions of gun owners had no part in the Sandy Hook shooting. Millions of gun owners are just as horrified as the rest of the nation at the senseless butchery committed by a madman. Further restrictions on the law-abiding, gun-owning public only punishes those of us who will obey the law. Violent felons and the mentally ill will remain unaffected.

Further the creation of Gun-Free Zones has only served to ensure that killers can always find defenseless targets. At every public shooting, Sandy Hook, Columbine, Jonesboro, Appalachia Law School, Virginia Tech, as well as post offices, and many other public locations, killers have been able to trap their victims, sure in the knowledge that not one person in the target area would have the means to defend themselves. While the idea of a gun-free zone may seem nice at first blush, it has become apparent that a person who is willing to gun down dozens of others is unconcerned about the prohibition on firearms possession in a given area. Rarely, it seems, does such a killer plan on coming out alive. When I think of these Gun Free Zones, I cannot help but think about a phrase we used in the small town in which I grew up: "like shootin' fish in a barrel." The time has come to repeal the gun-free zones laws and allow all Americans the right to effectively defend themselves, their children, and those in their care, whenever and whereever they may be found.

Thank you for your time and attention in this matter.

Cordially,

beatledog7
December 19, 2012, 03:40 PM
Two good letters. Not that I think the "your vote for more gun control will be your undoing next election" letters are in all ways bad, but these rational and well-written pleas for reason are better.

ReloaderEd
December 19, 2012, 03:49 PM
You guys have puts a lot of good effort and thought into the letters you have offered us to use and or modify to do the same.
My wife and I are retired and survive on a reasonable income of Social Secutrity, Medicare and retirenment income from a company we worked for some 46 years.
With all the aides our Representatives have who actually read your letters it is very possible that your well intentioned letters will never be seen by the Representative who was lucky enough to receive the letter from you in the first place. Our elected officals are sheltered from most incoming comments that are positive or negative. Maybe Im being negative but I dont think so.
I have found comments on MSN NBC articles such as the one this morning about Obama appointing Biden to champian more Gun Laws is the best way to have your voice heard and perhaps use this method in addition to your letters would help get your points across.
I would appreciate further comments on this reply. We must as a group find the best way of continueing to get our messages across to our elected Representatives ,again and again and again. Stay Safe :)

AnonymousReef
December 19, 2012, 06:33 PM
So I emailed my Senator and this is his response:


Dear Mr. AnonymousReef,

Thank you for your letter regarding the tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut. I appreciate your taking the time to write, and I value your opinion.

The horrific tragedy and the innocent loss of life that occurred on December 14, in Newtown, Connecticut is heartbreaking. As a father and grandfather, my thoughts and prayers go out to the families and friends who are mourning the loss of their loved ones. Our nation grieves with them.

Law enforcement is working aggressively to determine what exactly led this obviously mentally ill person to commit such an act. Despite the death of the alleged murderer, I understand the Newtown Police and the FBI are thoroughly investigating this case as if it would go to court so that we may learn from this tragedy. As a society, we must be willing to move beyond the obvious question to really take a hard look at why these senseless acts of violence continue to play out in towns across America. It’s time to have an honest discussion about the culture of violence in America and more specifically, the root cause of this and other types of violence: mental illness. We will have a debate over gun control, however, law enforcement must do its work so that the public is informed, and we can determine appropriate and implementable solutions to prevent future acts of violence by disturbed individuals.

Again thank you for taking the time to contact me.
With every best wish,

Sincerely,
Pat Roberts

So THR what do you make of this response?

ZeSpectre
December 20, 2012, 10:10 AM
My first suggestion (and how I've contacted my Federal officials).

Dear <name here>

Fact - When the original "assault weapons" ban expired in 2004, crime across the country DECLINED.

Fact - New gun control legislation is an attack on the rights of the more than 80 million gun owners who are not criminals.

Fact - Enacting new gun control will cost taxpayers MILLIONS, and will still be ignored by the mentally ill and the evil just like they ignore current "gun free zones" and laws against things like Murder.

The tragedy in Connecticut was horrible, but that does not justify giving in to the emotions of the moment and throwing the baby out with the bath water.

Laws should always be made using logic and NEVER emotion. For that reason, I urge you to calmly and rationally reconsider your recent statement that you would support a future "assault weapon" ban.

A vote for any further gun control means you consider me (and millions like me) to be the same as the crazies and criminals this is both wrong and defamatory and that will cost you my future support.

Sharps-shooter
December 20, 2012, 11:12 PM
"John Lott, economist and gun-rights advocate, has extensively studied mass shootings and reports that, with just one exception, the attack on U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in Tucson, Arizona, in 2011, every public shooting since 1950 in the U.S. in which more than three people have been killed has taken place where citizens are not allowed to carry guns. The massacres at Sandy Hook Elementary, Columbine, Virginia Tech and the Century 16 movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, all took place in gun-free zones.

Sharps-shooter
December 20, 2012, 11:18 PM
Here is another article with some good verbage and facts:

http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/335739/facts-about-mass-shootings-john-fund#

leadcounsel
December 21, 2012, 05:34 AM
http://www.house.gov/representatives/find/

You should also contact your House Representatives. Again, just takes a couple minutes.

jgh4445
December 21, 2012, 10:38 PM
My verbiage to my Senators and Representative was simply " I fully expect you to continue to support our right to keep and bear arms. In order to keep the 2A whole, as the founding fathers intended, you must vote no on any bill threatening its existence or changing its intent." Wrote them today.

GeeJ
December 22, 2012, 12:15 AM
I hope this helps facilitate additional activism and makes the whole letter-writing process easier for all of us. If you have any suggestions, or especially if you know anything about professional PDF development. I'd be interested to hear from you and how I might be able to improve the functionality of this PDF template.

58limited
December 22, 2012, 01:59 PM
To add to the comments about the Gun-Free Zone Act of 1990: This was reposted on another forum that I belong to and is a well thought argument against that particular law. The worst school massacre that I'm aware of was back in 1927; 38 were killed, the killer used dynamite (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bath_School_disaster).

Folks I stole this off the Ohio Concealed Carry Forum, from a post by 747tech, all credit to him

I would have to say politicians are responsible for all the school shootings and not assault weapons or any other kind of firearm.

As stated in a recent email I received and stated by Dr. David Kopel.

Before 1990 there was pretty much nothing to prevent legally permitted firearms owners from carrying on school property. Many of us had weapons in our trucks because we went on an early morning hunt or planned an after school hunt. By college (before 1990) if you had a CCW (or CHL; over 21 y/o in most states) you might have even carried concealed at an institute of higher learning. It was no big deal.

-Prior to 1990 there had only been 7 mass* murders at schools in the 214 year history of the United states. After 1990, (through 2007) there were 78 mass shootings.

*mass murder meaning randomly targeted multiple victims.

Question: What happened in 1990 to make it 153% more likely that a mass shooting would occur in any given year???

Answer: The Gun Free School Zone Act (GFSZA) was passed.

How are we sure it was the GFSZA that was responsible for the dramatic increase in mass murders at our schools?

Utah, the only state to totally ignore the GFSZA Act after it was partially repealed and re-written in 1992. Utah has (and still do) allow all permit holders to carry on school property (all schools state wide)with no restrictions How many of the 78 incidents have happened in Utah? ZERO. There have also been ZERO instances of a person legally carrying committing a crime on school property.

Other worldwide examples of how armed security (contracted or otherwise) working can be found in Israel, Thailand, Norway.

All of this information (and reference material) can be verified/found here:
http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id...

Its a thoroughly in depth (70 pages) informative and eye opening review of the 1990 GFSZA.

I do think culture, TV and Video game violence and other things have attributed to the increase in Violence in America, but it is hard to overlook what happened before and after the 1990 Gun Free School Zone Act....

The link above doesn't work, here it is: http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1369783

Ryanxia
December 22, 2012, 08:26 PM
Hear Hear! I wrote my senators, rep and governor and told several others to do the same.

It's so sad that many people will complain on gun forums but not take a few minutes to write to their senators.

MrTwigg
December 23, 2012, 11:32 PM
Did this last week. Sent an old fashioned letter hand written on paper. No e-mails, no print-out off the computer because when somebody has something dear to their heart to say they will take the time to sit down and put pen to paper. Followed it up with a phone call.

Try it sometime, it tends to get results.

michaelbsc
December 24, 2012, 11:24 AM
My Senators are Mark Warner and Tim Kaine...both Obama Sheep...I am so horribly disappointed in Virginia for voting them into office and voting for Obama twice. I am probably still going to write them....but I want to compile some facts first about how badly the AWB passing in 1994 hurt the democrats.

I don't think they will care though...again, they are just sheep of Obama

Luckily my congressman is Eric Cantor...he is very pro gun

Here is a very good compilation of facts you can use.


http://kontradictions.wordpress.com/2012/08/09/why-not-renew-the-assault-weapons-ban-well-ill-tell-you/

Everyone ought to read this. And I mean everyone here. There's a very good point about why the NRA rhetoric doesn't play as well as these reasoned facts.

michaelbsc
December 24, 2012, 11:26 AM
Double post

vulcandeathbuny
December 24, 2012, 01:33 PM
Sent in.

hey.moe
December 24, 2012, 06:29 PM
Sent the following to President Obama, my Senators, and Congressman today:

Dear President Obama/Senator/Congressman XXX,

I'm writing today to convey my apprehension regarding the possibility of ill-conceived legislation currently being discussed in the wake of several recent tragedies.

I consider myself a responsible gun owner, having educated myself in both the operation of my guns and the laws which govern them.

I strongly oppose any legislation which would further restrict my right, guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, to keep and bear arms.

Sincerely,

hey.moe

larry starling
December 24, 2012, 06:42 PM
Sent to both Senators!

reggie_love
December 25, 2012, 01:46 AM
Even if your reps are obviously anti-gun, write 'em anyway. Let them know it's costing them your vote. This way they'll know how politically expensive the legislation they're pushing is to them and their party.

Wrote all my reps, split my christmas bonus between JPFO, NRA, and GOA. Civic engagement feels good.

GWARGHOUL
December 25, 2012, 11:49 AM
I borrowed a bit from Billy Shears, but improved upon some areas that I though were lacking some concept of the mental health field, and having uneducated folks make "lists" and such.

Here is my version..

"
I have refrained from writing to you on this matter before now, as it seemed only decent to wait a few days, unlike those who immediately leaped to politicize this horror in Connecticut. But having heard the increasing calls for gun control, and statements from prominent politicians that this represents “a tipping point,” I am compelled to write to you and express my vehement opposition to a renewal of the so-called “assault weapons ban,” or any other similar legislation. Why anyone imagines such legislation will be effective is a mystery I have yet to solve. As William Ralph Inge said, “It is useless for the sheep to pass resolutions in favor of vegetarianism, while wolves remain of a different opinion.” Gun control laws, which will only be observed by the law abiding, amount to sheep passing a resolution in favor of vegetarianism. Yet criminals, who are prepared to break other laws, against murder, robbery, rape, and other offenses – laws which carry far greater penalties for breaking them than any gun control ordinance – are to be expected to balk at laws carrying or using guns because they have been outlawed? This makes no kind of sense.

Every year in this country, guns are used by law abiding people to defend themselves; even the lowest estimates put such uses in the hundreds of thousands per year. In 1994, the Department of Justice commissioned a survey which put the number at one and half million. Now, anti-gun zealots would put the ability of decent, law-abiding people at risk because of a single incident, horrific though it was, that cost a score of lives. I don’t say this to be callous or to make light of the lives lost at the Sandy Hook Elementary School. But these events are rather like plane crashes: both spectacular, headline-grabbing events, but both are rare, and the loss of life from other causes actually far outstrips them. Many people are afraid of flying, and news of an airliner crashing will feed that fear. Yet the fact remains that if you want to travel from New York to Los Angeles, you are far more likely to arrive safely if you get on an airliner than if you climb into the family car to do it. However, if the family sedan is hit by a drunk driver, no one outside your family and friends will probably ever hear of it. If the airliner crashes, on the other hand, the whole nation will. So, such spectacular events as plane crashes make the news, and feed people’s fears of flying. Yet all the while, vastly greater numbers of lives are lost in automobile accidents.

It is much the same with firearms. One spectacular, news-making tragedy like Sandy Hook feeds people’s fears of guns, and stokes the demand for gun control. But none of those laws will be obeyed by criminals or madmen, and may cost far more lives than they save when law-abiding people, who will comply with the new laws, are thereby disarmed. None of the proposals I am hearing would have stopped Adam Lanza.

A properly trained concealed carry permit holder -in this case- teacher, security, or school resource officer may have prevented, or minimized this tragedy.
Gun-free zones are delusional concept in false sense of security. Statistics prove this, as do such recent events. That is a related but different discussion.

Today I am writing to you to stand up for the gun rights of the law-abiding citizens.

I, and many others believe the United States Constitution is the most supreme document in the modern world.

According to the second amendment, we have a right to be armed against tyranny, foreign and domestic. To be armed, one must be able to be equally armed. Making illegal higher capacity magazines, and certain ergonomic and cosmetic features would halter the design of the second amendment.

Not only that, but we plain out have fun at the range with our guns, as we ought to be able to.

But I realize that you and your colleagues in Congress are under tremendous pressure to do something. But I implore you to resist the knee-jerk calls for actions that will not have the slightest positive impact, and instead focus your efforts on achieving something that will help. The real problem that needs to be addressed is with the deranged individuals who commit these crimes.

Myself and many other believe some very simple yet highly effective measures could be standardized with the NICS background check system, and state level mental health records.

I am aware in some states, when a person is delayed for further review in the NICS system, the state has a process for sending relevant court and mental health records in for consideration.
I believe some basic factors should be standardized with this concept.

NICS should be able to access a basic profile on a persons mental health records, like they can conviction records, at the point of the call in, anybody that is deemed high risk, is immediately delayed, and the transaction is sent up for further review by someone with some unbiased education in the field of psychology.

If a person meets so much criteria, the transaction ought to be denied, much like a person with a felony conviction.
Then there is already an appeals process in place, that could be improved to include opinion of current or former medical care providers of said person, and friends and family, and local law enforcement Intel could be presented, and a formal process to solidify the denial, or put this person into a lower risk category, and proceed the transaction.

With such a measure, we need a system of checks and balances. We need to make sure that a regular Joe who sought treatment for depression 4 years ago, does not see his gun rights or other rights disappear.

We need to make sure unelected bureaucrats are not in a position to further an agenda that would take away the rights of for example:
A person who lost their spouse to cancer and had a nervous breakdown a few years ago, because instead of having the time to take off from work to properly heal and cope, they had to make a mortgage payment, keep working, keep going, and somehow make the income of one work with a planned life of two incomes and such.


Then you will have a solid achievement to point to when asked what steps have been taken to prevent another such tragedy as the one at Sandy Hook, and such a measure as this will not infringe the 2nd amendment rights of ordinary Americans, and will have the support of the NRA and other gun rights organizations, such as Gun Owners of America, National Association for Gun Rights, and Second Amendment Foundation. It’s a better idea, it’s politically feasible, and it’s more just. This is an opportunity to improve upon existing laws or look into the idea to enact laws that may actually work, instead of infringing on the rights of the people with ineffective and unwarranted false solutions that actually do more harm than good, and cost a lot of time and money.

If you recall the election that followed the passage of the ineffective and agenda-influenced "Assault Weapon Ban" of 1994.. EVERY gun owner in America remembered who had forsaken the constitution, and many were voted out. With modern technology, the internet, and social media.. the facts are out there, the statistics are out there, and so are the votes of every senator and congressperson.

I hope you take the opportunity to consider the facts, and get to the bottom, and offer some real solutions, if any. Banning inanimate objects from law abiding citizens does harm to the country, and the constitution.

Sincerely,
"

hso
December 27, 2012, 01:38 PM
Keep 'em short and focused on one point if you want them to be effective.

SilentStalker
December 27, 2012, 01:59 PM
Thank you for all of those that have written their congressman. This is something we must do. However, I would like to address the point that I think most of us need to be more stern in our letters. In others words, instead of being all nice about it we need to blatantly tell them that any legislation enforcing any of these proposed bans or any ban of any kind will be met with resistance. That will get them thinking. I am serious about this. The time for being nice about it is over. We need to stand our ground and speak with a stern voice that this will not be tolerated.

I would also like to point out that many of us have not even brought up the fact that if these bans do get put in place then they could be effecting 150,000-200,000 people's jobs. That is a lot of people without work in an already dismal economy. Not to mention all of those soldiers from overseas that may be coming home looking for work. What are they going to do with all of those people? I bet you money that they have not even thought about that. Anyways this really hits close to home for me because I work in the industry and I just thought it might be something else to bring up in the letters you guys write to your congressmen. Thanks guys/gals.

Doc7
December 27, 2012, 03:13 PM
Here is the letter I wrote:

Hello,

I am writing to voice my opposition to the upcoming assault weapons ban legislation proposed by Senator Dianne Feinstein of California.

The summary of this legislation indicates sweeping and expensive reform that will provide little to no benefit to the country, and at great cost. Protection of home and hearth, hunting, and the shooting sports (which consist of some of America’s greatest pastimes), are all at risk of severe impact from this legislation. Additionally, the law will be specifically disregarded by criminal elements of our great society, while abiding Americans will be forced to pay significant fees to keep firearms that they already own and may depend upon, and make significant changes to their usage of these weapons (such as magazine limits, thumbhole stocks, etc).

I understand that in your position you feel a duty to respond to recent tragedies that have struck and captured the attention of our nation. Please recognize that additional gun control legislation will not stop deranged killers, and do not cop out of the public spotlight on this issue by passing this legislation instead of demanding that the government enforce the laws which are already in place and address mental health issues and database records of mentally incapable individuals in this country.


Used this to find the appropriate individuals:

http://www.contactingthecongress.org/cgi-bin/newseek.cgi

GiorgioG
December 27, 2012, 06:22 PM
I thought the http://www.nraila.org/get-involved-locally/grassroots/write-your-reps.aspx was the easiest place to identify/contact every one of your state / federal reps.

Gryffydd
December 27, 2012, 07:05 PM
One common theme I've noticed on THR lately is a lot of comments along the lines of "Well, I know my reps are anti-gun, so I'm not going to bother writing them".
Maybe if your rep is Feinstein, that's one thing...
But I can't help but think that this is the wrong attitude. No matter how anti-gun they are they should get flooded with letters, emails, emails, and calls. It may not make any difference in the end, but then again it may. And in any case they should get a feel for how many of their constituents disagree with them and how strongly. If everyone did this it might just be an eye-opening experience for them.

Tim the student
December 28, 2012, 01:45 AM
I apologize if this has already been posted, but this thread (http://www.ar15.com/forums/t_1_5/1405559_Former_DC_intern_on_contacting_Congress_members.html&page=1) may be worthwhile to read for those writing letters - which should be all of us.

It may contain some swearing, I don't recall.

Screamin'Eagle
December 28, 2012, 12:19 PM
Done.

05kas05
December 28, 2012, 04:50 PM
i have never been one to get involved with much because i either didnt know how or did not want to say or do something that would hurt or effect what ever it was i was for or possibly against. i now realize my voice needs to be heard so i contacted my senators here is one response i have recieved thus far.

Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison <senator@hutchison.senate.gov>
9:18 AM (5 hours ago)

to me
Dear Friend:
Thank you for contacting me regarding gun control legislation. I welcome your thoughts and comments on this issue.
While we all support the strongest measures to ensure that guns do not end up in the wrong hands, I believe that one of the most powerful deterrents we have is the consistent, full enforcement of the numerous laws that already address many aspects of the problem. For instance, there are more than a dozen laws at the state and federal level that deal with the use, carrying, ownership, or trafficking of guns, and we must prosecute without qualification those who violate these laws.
Rather than usurping the rights of law-abiding citizens, I believe we should vigorously prosecute those who use guns to commit crimes. I have worked to enact federal anti-crime legislation that imposes tough minimum sentences on those convicted of using firearms to commit crimes, prevents early parole for violent criminals, and provides federal funds to build new prisons and fund local law enforcement. I will continue to support legislation that fights crime and upholds our Second Amendment rights.
On June 26, 2008, the Supreme Court upheld the individual right to keep and bear arms in District of Columbia v. Heller. I submitted an amicus brief to the Court in support of affirming the District of Columbia's gun ban as unconstitutional, and was joined by 55 Senators, 250 House members, and the Vice President of the United States. This historic decision will affect gun laws throughout the country that try to unjustly undermine our rights under the Second Amendment.

I appreciate hearing from you, and I hope that you will not hesitate to keep in touch on any issue of concern to you.

Sincerely,
Kay Bailey Hutchison
United States Senator

i am still waiting to hear back from the other senator i contacted.
i say come on guys if i can do it so can everyone else,we need to stand together and let our voices be heard.

Doc7
December 28, 2012, 04:55 PM
Here is the letter I wrote:

Hello,

I am writing to voice my opposition to the upcoming assault weapons ban legislation proposed by Senator Dianne Feinstein of California.

The summary of this legislation indicates sweeping and expensive reform that will provide little to no benefit to the country, and at great cost. Protection of home and hearth, hunting, and the shooting sports (which consist of some of America’s greatest pastimes), are all at risk of severe impact from this legislation. Additionally, the law will be specifically disregarded by criminal elements of our great society, while abiding Americans will be forced to pay significant fees to keep firearms that they already own and may depend upon, and make significant changes to their usage of these weapons (such as magazine limits, thumbhole stocks, etc).

I understand that in your position you feel a duty to respond to recent tragedies that have struck and captured the attention of our nation. Please recognize that additional gun control legislation will not stop deranged killers, and do not cop out of the public spotlight on this issue by passing this legislation instead of demanding that the government enforce the laws which are already in place and address mental health issues and database records of mentally incapable individuals in this country.

Used this to find the appropriate individuals:

http://www.contactingthecongress.org/cgi-bin/newseek.cgi
Here is the ridiculous response I got to my letter. Obviously I should expect a form letter, but an intern could at least select an appropriate response rather than one that agrees with an entirely different position than I showed.

Thank you very much for your correspondence regarding gun control. I share your concerns and unequivocally support federal solutions to the deadly epidemic of gun violence in our communities. New Jersey is rated by the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence as having the second strongest controls on guns in the country. Unfortunately, however, New Jersey's efforts are tragically stymied by guns purchased in states with weaker gun laws and then transported to our communities. This must stop!

Millions of Americans own guns, and far too often these guns fall into the hands of "high risk" individuals. This is a nationwide problem. As the unfortunate incident at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newton, Connecticut indicates, gun violence can happen anywhere. As such, I am in strong support of the establishment and strict enforcement of gun control laws that make sense, so we can ensure that our communities will become safer places to live for our children and for future generations.

While some Americans believe the only answer to gun violence is tougher penalties for lawbreakers, I believe our government should take a more proactive approach. The Brady Law of 1994 has blocked the sale of firearms to over 1.6 million felons, fugitives, and other individuals prohibited from buying guns under federal law. Other proactive approaches include renewing the assault-weapons ban, closing the gun-show loophole, mandating the installation of trigger locks, prohibiting the sale of firearms to persons on terrorist watch lists, instituting limits on handgun purchases, and eliminating influxes of cheaply made weapons. I view these measures as reasonable life-saving limitations on gun-ownership rights.

Protecting our communities is one of my highest priorities. Therefore, I will be a strong advocate for meaningful gun-control measures that will keep our neighborhoods safe.

As a constituent of the 10th Congressional District of New Jersey, I am honored to work on your behalf and encourage you to contact me about issues that are important to you. Please visit my website www.payne.house.gov, where you may sign up for my electronic newsletter and receive periodic updates on my activities.



Sincerely,


Donald M. Payne, Jr.
Member of Congress

Doc7
December 28, 2012, 04:59 PM
Sent back:

I disagree with your position and will be donating money to your opponents in future elections.

Unfortunately, I think I may be the only Republican in the 10th district of NJ.

Dr. Sandman
December 28, 2012, 10:13 PM
Here my letter to Congress. Feedback desired!

Dear Three Members of Congress and the President-
Please Vote “NO” on the Assault Weapons Ban!!!

I am your constituent, and I urge you to vote no on Senator Feinsteins Assault Weapons Ban. The details of the ban are oppressive, heavy handed, and over reaching.

The only solution to bad guys with guns are good guys with guns. The results of this bill becoming law will ensure that law-abiding citizens are less well armed than criminals, degenerates, and psychopaths.

The suggested registration of firearms is a chilling reminder of pre World War 2 Germany, where forced registration made it easy for Hitler and the Nazi’s to confiscate guns and disarm the Jews. There is but one real purpose of forcing gun registration, and it is the future confiscation of firearms from law-abiding citizens. Remember, criminals and crazies won’t register their guns. Registration does not keep guns out of the hands of the bad guys. Note that the Newtown Massacre culprit did not own any guns, and would not have had to register any. The entire bill is very disturbing, but this is the most worrisome part.

Prohibition of the transfer of grand fathered guns is also very disturbing. U.S. Citizens have the right to own property and the confiscation of said property, even after death, is wrong. Part of the right of owning property is being able to buy and sell that property. That was and is the intension of the founding fathers. If an item is permitted to own, how can there be no trade? In addition, many of these guns are treasured heirlooms that have already come down from generations, and the owners of these guns wish to pass them to their children. Is Senator Feinstein going to take my farm when I’m dead, too?

The list of guns exempted by name contains not a single handgun. This bill lays the groundwork for the future prohibition of all handguns, a right that has recently been confirmed by the Supreme Court in the Heller case.

The bill seeks to ban “high capacity ammunition feeding devices” in addition to “assault weapons”. Many have asked “Why does the average citizen need an assault rifle and a 30 round magazine?”. The answer is in Bill of Rights.

Amendment II
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

This says nothing about hunting, self defense, sport shooting or target practice (Although the very weapons most used in these practices are those which the bill seeks to ban). This says that the people may one day need to fight an army. Thus military style weapons should not be prohibited. In fact, this amendment serves to create a check on the government. I find it highly interesting that there are those who want to dissolve this check.
You swore an oath to uphold the Constitution of the United States of America. Please uphold it by voting “NO” on Senator Feinsteins Assault Weapons Ban.

Thank you very much.
Sincerely,
Dr. Sandman

hso
December 28, 2012, 10:15 PM
Elected officials opposing an AWB will receive my ardent support during the next elections and those supporting it will receive my passionate opposition.

Any AWB is a failed idea. This is not an opinion but a fact stated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), The University of Pennsylvania, and the National Institute for Justice. Even the Brady Commission admits to the trivial effect of the last national AWB. It doesn't address the root cause of the shooting at Sandy Hook. It is unconstitutional in the light of the SCOTUS rulings on DC and Chicago clarifying that the 2nd Amendment is an individual right. It is unworkable because of the burden it would add on the federal budget with the additional bureaucracy it creates and because it would turn millions of voters into felons when they fail to register their existing firearms thinking their firearms isn't included in the ban. It is insulting and offensive because it treats 200 million voters as if they were criminally insane instead of actually spending the money to treat the criminally insane.

If you oppose an AWB I pledge financial support and to work for your reelection to keep a rational elected official in office. On the other hand, any support for an AWB will result in my donating that money to your opponent and my passionately working for any opponent running to unseat you. This will be the case regardless of your opponents stance on and AWB. The backlash against politicians who supported the 1994 AWB will pale in comparison to the backlash against those that don't oppose such misguided politically motivated legislation.

bnsaibum
December 28, 2012, 11:26 PM
Sent this, use and change as it suits;

Dear Senator ----,

As a resident of the State of _______ and a firearms enthusiast I am writing you to express my grave distress about the Honorable Senator Feinstein's upcoming proposed legislation concerning a firearms and magazine capacity ban.

The summary of the proposed legislation found on the Honorable Senator Feinstein's website shows that it is a rewrite of H.R. 3355 –Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 with some disturbing additions. These alarming additions to the current bill will make millions of currently law abiding citizens into potential criminals with the stroke of a pen should it be passed. During the time that H.R. 3355 was an active law and after its sunset in September of 2004 there was no statistical indication that either its enforcement nor its sunset had any measurable impact on crime as the crime rate has continued the trend of dropping since its enaction and after its sunset. The Honorable Senator Feinstein's assertion that a new ban will reduce the rate of murder and violent crime attributable to semi automatic rifles and 'high capacity' magazines is logically flawed and has no statistical evidence to corroborate it.

I implore you as my representative in the United States Senate and as an American to vote no on this bill.

Sincerely,

Solo
December 29, 2012, 12:01 AM
I am trying to draft a letter. Can I get an opinion?

Dear Congressman ---,

I'm writing today to convey my concerns regarding the gun control legislation currently being discussed in the wake of several recent tragedies. The intention of these laws are to reduce the incidence and deadliness of mass shootings, however, I do not believe they are an effective means of doing so.

I studied chemistry and psychology in college with the intent of going to graduate school in a psychology or neurobiology related field, and have friends who study the biological, clinical, and social aspects of psychology. The motivations that drive people to commit senseless acts of violence is complex and poorly understood, but the fact that our country lacks an effective means of helping treat mentally ill individuals is a major factor in these tragedies.

I believe the answer to these issues lies in better mental health care, and less in gun control laws. I would feel more comfortable with a greater number of guns and fewer mentally ill individuals rather than the opposite.

Sincerely,
---

dc.fireman
December 29, 2012, 01:26 AM
I wrote a letter to Sen. Mark Warner(D)-Va. this evening, using leadcounsel's letter as a starting point. I'm glad I did - here's a clip from his most recent interview with NPR:

SI: Senator, I wanted to ask about one other thing. Our sports commentator Frank Deford was on the air this week and he said that gun control advocates will take an opportunity like this to push their positions and gun rights advocates will push back on their positions and it’s a predictable dance and nothing will really change, he said. Unless sportsmen, hunters, decide that they are willing to push for what they might see as reasonable gun restrictions. Do you think that’s right?

Senator Warner: I think we need to hear their voices in this conversation and I think they will. And I again hope that those listeners who are hunters and gun owners will step up as well.

SI: Senator Mark Warner of Virginia, always a pleasure to speak with you, thanks very much.

Remember, this guy has presidential aspirations...

GeeJ
December 29, 2012, 04:19 PM
Wow! This thread really took off! I'm excited to see so much activism, collaboration and the will to go out of one's way to help another! The letters I'm seeing letters that illustrate with clarity that American gun owners are very well-informed of the actual facts and potential consequences surrounding these issues and that we will fight to defend them. Keep up the great work!!

Now, with my original thread post likely being buried (and VERY HAPPY to see that), I'd like to remind anyone interested in my original PDF attachment which helps streamline the layout process of a professional looking letter. With approval from forum Moderators, I put together a PDF form/auto-formatting template that users can simply copy-&-paste the content of their choosing (as all text fields can be edited) and the PDF will maintain proper formatting & layout, as well as automatically generating an addressed envelope; so that you don't have to. I have updated it and is attached below. Also, it can continuously be used for any future letter writing you might do. If I can help even one person, then I'm happy. I explain the finer details of the PDF in the original post of this thread.

I can't tell if anyone has been using it, but I'd would very much like feedback regarding functionality issues or ideas. However, please PM those messages because our present momentum in proactively engaging lawmakers like this and the willingness to help each other write the most impactful letter they can is EXPONENTIALLY MORE IMPORTANT.

Keep up your efforts! Be it in this thread, another thread, a different forum site, involvement with 2A organizations, or simply in your daily life!

As I said in my original post:
Letter writing from *only* the individual may have no impact by itself, but the collective voice of a great number DOES HAVE A SIGNIFICANT IMPACT and does influence the laws that govern our lives and that of those we love. Don't EVER feel discouraged, belittled, insignificant, or think that you are a letter writing nobody. You ARE important! YOU ARE IMPORTANT to you, YOU ARE IMPORTANT to your friends and family, YOU ARE IMPORTANT to all of us, and YOUR LETTERS ARE IMPORTANT to the rights and liberties that are worth what it cost to attain them and are certainly worth what it will cost to retain them.

Letter Layout Template To Lawmakers 12-24-2012

Boostedtwo
December 29, 2012, 06:31 PM
I'm not being negative in anyway I have contacted my senator on 2 occasions now, yesterday and about 2 months ago, I still have both reply emails from my senator and they both say the exact same thing, like they have it ready to just input your email and send to you.

Here is the message I have gotten 2 times from him:

Dear Mr. Pardue:

Thank you for contacting me regarding the Newtown, Connecticut Elementary School shooting. I appreciate hearing from you about this tragic event.

On December 14, 2012, our nation experienced an unspeakable tragedy in Newtown. My thoughts and prayers go out to the victims of this terrible event, as well as to their families and loved ones. Now is the time to pause and reflect as to how we can prevent such events in the future in a manner consistent with our rights and values. Rest assured, I support law abiding American citizens who choose to exercise their Second Amendment rights.

In the wake of this tragedy, several pieces of legislation are expected to be introduced in the 113th Congress. Senator Dianne Feinstein announced her plans to introduce an assault weapons ban bill on the first day of the 113th Congress which would ban the sale, transfer, importation and possession of assault weapons, as defined in that bill, not retroactively, but prospectively. Her legislation would also ban the sale of clips of more than ten bullets. Additionally, President Obama has announced that Vice President Joe Biden will be heading up an effort to form administration polices to curb gun-related violence. The White House

barnbwt
December 29, 2012, 09:38 PM
Mr. Speaker,
As you know, legislation is set to be proposed that would unduly restrict the firearms and accessories of law-abiding citizens. It is imperative these bills not be brought up for a vote. There is no demonstrable need for addiitional laws, which are widely accepted to have little impact on the incidence of crime or mass shootings. I do not support any new gun legislation that does not repeal existing ineffective firearms restrictions.

Thank you for considering my position on this matter, and for your continued service to our nation,
TCB

A bit of a kiss-ass, aren't I :D? Whatever. The point is, don't bring gun control up for debate/vote, and you can continue doing the Speaker of the House thing you like so much. I would be open to new legislation returning some of the rights of gunowners wrongly/pointlessly taken during past "crises"

TCB

^^^Even if you don't get a real reply, pols are all about "data mining" these days, so the intent of your message was likely hashed out in four or five keywords, and compiled into a statistic or internal poll. Such is our Brave, New, Democracy.

ndh87
December 30, 2012, 09:44 PM
A short and to the point letter



Dear sir,
I urge you to vote against further restrictions on our right to keep and bear arms. Recent events have been tragic, however restricting the rights of law abiding, tax paying, and voting citizens will do nothing to curb these tragities. Education is much more effective than prohibition.

Sincerely,

N--------
Gun owner and voter

C5rider
January 2, 2013, 10:00 AM
Penned this and on its way to all my reps in big, white, domed buildings.

I am an informed American citizen that has been blessed to live in this great republic and enjoy the freedoms enumerated by our Constitution and the Bill of Rights. I participate in our election system with careful research. As such, I cannot vote for any representative that will not follow their sworn oath, which they took while entering office, to uphold the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.
I am writing to urge you to continue to uphold your oath of office, and protect the 2nd Amendment from more gun control. I am certain you are under considerable pressure at this time to pass legislation in the name of public safety to prohibit, regulate, or otherwise control firearms. I believe however, that the rights protected by the Constitution should be firmly held and protected.
Knee jerk calls for gun control are never the answer. The 2nd Amendment is too important. I appreciate your time and hope that you will continue to support and defend the Constitution that you have sworn to uphold.

Thank you for your service.

Spats McGee
January 2, 2013, 10:54 AM
Overall, a pretty good letter. It's concise and hits those emotional notes that play so well in Peoria (metaphorically speaking). I would point out one quick thing though:
. . . .I am an informed American citizen that has been blessed to live in this great republic and enjoy the freedoms given to us by our Constitution and the Bill of Rights. . . .
(emphasis supplied)

Technically, the US Constitution and BoR doesn't "give us" rights. It enumerates them. IOW, it just spells out pre-existing rights, and the BoR restricts the gov't's ability to regulate or restrict them. Mind you, I've gotten emails from congressfolks who also referred to "rights given to us by the Constitution. I never got a response to the emails that I sent correcting them.

Atbat82
January 2, 2013, 08:21 PM
I've written to all my reps. Not sure it will help (My congresswoman is DeLauro...), but it only takes 10 minutes and it just might help. No downside as far as I can tell.

TarDevil
January 4, 2013, 04:11 PM
With his permission, I'm posting a letter my CCW instructor wrote to all his students and friends. Most has been said, but always good to see it in different perspectives (some North Carolina specific info included):
Compromise is not an Option

The published components of the bill proposed to be introduced by Senator Dianne Feinstein appear to be similar to the ploy insurance companies always use to get a raise in rates. Ask for the sun and stars and we will get the moon. Then politicians tell us how much money they they have saved us.

I really do not think the proposed Feinstein bill would pass, as introduced, at this time in history. Make no mistake, there is no doubt she would love to have it passed as introduced, and it will be pushed ardently by all gun grabbing groups and politicians with tremendous support of the compliant media. Even with the hysteria of a recent mass shooting and former second amendment supporters defecting in Congress, I think it is just too much camel to be allowed under the tent at one time.

Thomas Paine wrote, "These are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country".

At no time in my life have those words, written in December of 1776, been more prophetic than they are today.

My fear is that Second Amendment supporters and even the NRA will accept some compromise in that bill that would allow former second amendment supporter politicians to become “sunshine patriots”. Compromise is not acceptable! Compromise is just another camel hoof under the tent.

You may say, ”That last assault weapons ban wasn’t so bad. I still went hunting with my buddies on Thanksgiving”. Please understand, the second amendment is not about hunting. It is about the security of a free state.

"Good intentions will always be pleaded for every assumption of authority. It is hardly too strong to say that the Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intentions. There are men in all ages who mean to govern well, but they mean to govern. They promise to be good masters, but they mean to be masters." - Daniel Webster

You may not remember that in 1994, the relatively “benign” Brady Act for background checks was followed by the seemingly necessary “assault weapon” ban which was then followed by Brady II, which would have:

* Banned any handgun capable of accepting more than 6 rounds;
* Banned all concealable handguns;
* Slapped a 50% tax on ammunition;
* Required you to get an “arsenal license” even if you had only two “bricks” of common
.22 ammunition;
* Legalized warrantless searches of the homes of anyone brash enough to own 20 guns.

Please contact your Congressmen and Senators. Remind them that they have that seat of power because of the supporters of second amendment rights, and they can be removed from that seat the same way. We must not have “summer soldiers” and “sunshine patriots” representing us.

COMPROMISE IS NOT AN OPTION !

Grass Roots North Carolina, ( http://grnc.org/ ), is the most up to date and responsive organization I have found regarding information on Second Amendment issues. Some of the information in this essay was gleaned from their communications This includes both North Carolina issues as well as National issues. They, (I should say “we” because I am a member), are already meeting with members of Congress to give them a “spine injection” and get them to oppose the Feinstein-Obama gun ban when it is introduced. That means going to Washington, and that requires money. If you haven’t yet joined or contributed, please go to:

http://grnc.org/index.php/join-grnc/contribute

Gun control is not about guns, it’s about control.

miamivicedade
January 4, 2013, 08:23 PM
Mr. Speaker,

Being a Republican has been difficult lately. It seems that every time I turn on the news, Democrats are declaring victory, either by passing some legislation, winning elections, or celebrating Supreme Court victories. More than any other reason, I am a Republican simply because I believe the Republicans are better guardians of our Constitution. By nature, I am a textualist, who believes that logically, there is no other position to take. I have studied the Constitution for many years, and I love it.

You see, it seems to me, and maybe I’m wrong, that the Democrats are always busy trying to recreate a Constitution that fits them, rather than stay within the boundaries of the one we currently have. I hate how they make everything a national issue, and only defer to the states when their national vision doesn’t pan out. Every time they succeed in pushing something through, or having the Court decide something it shouldn’t, the people have less democratic choice. That is certainly not the vision of America anyone had or has in mind.

Currently, I can’t help but notice this push for more restrictions on guns. Although this was a quite predictable follow-up to the terrible events in Connecticut, it still surprises me no less that a major political party of the United States of America is laden with members who try to make a serious argument against the Second Amendment and its original meaning. To me, just a guy who works in IT for a living, by the way, the Second Amendment is so clear that I often find it hard to believe there is a debate about it. Further, I find it hard to believe that the discussions around these so called “assault weapons” are based on known mistruths. As an American, I have the right to defend myself, I have a right to protect my family, I have a right to protect my property, and I have the right to expect an honest, fact filled discussion about issues that arise and threaten to take away the liberties of all American citizens. For all those reasons, I am adamantly opposed to any restrictions on firearm sales and magazine size limits. I am also opposed to any registration requirements.

November’s election had a mandate. That mandate, evident by the House holding firm, was one that demanded both sides come together to solve our nation’s problems. Lately, all I have seen is Democratic victories, Republican caving, and Obama acting like a king by refusing to negotiate and claiming his vision as one we all want.

I respectfully request, that when the issue of gun control comes before the House, the Republicans deliver a victory for America by putting an end to these nonstop assaults on our Constitution. If the Republicans fail, again, and allow another setback of rights, I will have to resign myself from their company, and will not vote for them anymore. I will exercise my right to remain silent, by sitting at home on election day, until there is a party out there that represents me and the rest of America.

Thank you,

messerist
January 4, 2013, 08:37 PM
Well put.

parker51
January 4, 2013, 08:45 PM
My feelings exactly! I have voted republican since I was old enough to vote (over 40 years) and if they let us down this time it will be the last time I vote.

the iron horse
January 4, 2013, 09:22 PM
You said that well.

I have voted Libertarian since the eary 1990s, but I have also voted for
my local Republican congress and senate representatives.

It's time we all let them know that they should stand by the U.S. Constitution
and the Bill of Rights.
Now!

vito
January 6, 2013, 10:58 PM
I am a political independent, who supports candidates, not political parties. There are many issues that I am concerned with, but none more than the preservation of American liberty.

Despite the tragedy of what happened in Newtown, CN recently, we do not need new gun control laws. The types of laws being discussed would do nothing to stop madmen from committing mayhem, and as a voter I will never support any legislator who seeks to restrict or take away my 2nd Amendment rights.

Should the Biden commission propose, and the Congress seek to pass laws that would stop me from owning the guns of my choice, or would establish a national registry of guns or gun owners, or which uselessly would try to dictate things like the capacity of magazines for semi automatic guns, I will support with my vote and money whoever opposes such laws. Sadly what the NRA Executive Director said is true, it takes a good man with a gun to stop a bad man with a gun. I will not ever support, and will vigorously oppose, any legislator or politician who seeks to make it harder or impossible for me to be ready as that good man with a gun should I ever need to be.

Protect freedom. Enforce current federal firearms laws. We do not need nor will we accept new restrictions on the 2nd Amendment.

gearchecker
January 6, 2013, 11:24 PM
Sorry,
We do not need nor will we accept new restrictions on the 2nd Amendment.

You will have no choice, it will be the law. Anything you do in rebuttal to it will make you a criminal.
If you don't believe me, just ask. There seems to be members here to have the answers about what will be constitutional and what will be considered anarchy or rebelious.
You certainly don't want to be inciting rebellion with your statement.

bubbameat
January 6, 2013, 11:35 PM
I took "not accept new restrictions" as we will vote any MF'er out who approves new legislation. Not necessarily disobey law. For example, if any new restrictions pass, I will vote based on 2nd amendment alone for MANY future elections. It's good for them to hear that from votes that they may court.

Ryanxia
January 7, 2013, 12:24 AM
An excellent original post. You are not alone, many of us have written similar letters to our Congress critters. Your letter was well articulated and should be a template for those seeking the right words.

NO MORE COMPROMISE.

gearchecker
January 7, 2013, 12:35 AM
The ultimate argument is this.
Once it's passed as "Law" it'll take a 2/3 Majority to repeal it. That's nearly impossible in this political climate. I agree that we must stand within the limits of the law, but what are we to do during the time of appeal? If we don't agree to register the guns under the new law we're criminals. If we agree to register our guns they have the information to confiscate them in the future, simply by passing another law allowing them to do just that. And, if given even the slightest opportunity, they will pass laws to confiscate all of our guns.

This is no catch 22. This is real, and our current constitutional rights are being threatened to the very core of the Constitution. Those currently in power believe that the constitution is a "Living Document" that can be changed by current social will.
How do you think they can be stopped? We couldn't even get enough people gathered in November to change the current presidential administration. They believe they are imposing the will of the people, simply because the citizens in this country re-elected them again.
They believe they are the voice of the people.

Without getting aggressive about our position we have no chance of being heard.
Conservatives lose because we don't speak up. And if we do speak up, we can't even put forth a long term winning argument.
The Liberals win because they're loud from the beginning, and get louder and louder as they move along with their agenda.
Even when they lie continually, they're allowed to tell it long enough, and loud enough that people start to believe it as the truth.

We all talk a good game, and we're great arm chair quarterbacks, but how many have actiually tried to do something about this problem?

This forum at this moment has 174,339 members. There is a poll currently asking if we have contacted any of our political leaders.
To date, 60 people said YES, 6 said NO, and another 9 said No, but they will later.
Let's do some simple math. 60 /174339 = .00034 - That is .03% of the members in this forum have not said yes.
Let's consider the importance of this issue.
Wouldn't you think that a few more than 60 members would have done something positive to support our position? I'll guarantee that a whole lot more than 60 anti-gun activists have sent in their letters, making their voices heard.
The loudest crying baby gets cared for first.
Because we don't want the others getting upset because of the one making all the noise.

The anti-gunners are screaming, kicking and crying the loudest, and they're not going to settle for anything less than all they're demanding right now.

We need to be loud and be heard on this issue. We can't expect that Ted Nugent or Jesse Ventura will be our only voices. We are "The People"

Regards,
Gearchecker

Tycer
January 9, 2013, 11:20 PM
In addition to parroting the Grass Roots North Carolina letters to my national representatives I have a couple of local issues.

I believe hitting them in the wallet is a different angle.

Comissioner want's to ban gunshows. My letter:


Good morning all,

I received the email below from a friend. If this is correct, and my research shows it is, this could cost the city huge amounts of money. Since the gun rights groups sue under Civil Rights laws, Asheville will be required to pay the plaintiff's legal fees. I believe they have very deep pockets and will spare no expense in hiring the best attorneys and legal aides. Furthermore, Asheville does not need the bad National publicity. If half the families in the US have firearms and Asheville is seen as Anti-Gun, we just lost Half of our tourism base.

Asheville cannot afford this. Stop now.

Kind regards from the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains,



Our county has a ban on firearms during a state of emergency. My letter:


Hi,

Since you are in classes these next two days to discuss such topics, please ask about this topic.

Buncombe County has a clause in the Emergency Powers Law that mirrored North Carolina law until last year. North Carolina was successfully sued under a Civil Rights Violation regarding the banning of the possession or sale of weapons outside the home during an emergency. State law has been changed to remove that restriction and North Carolina will be required to pay the legal fees of the plaintiffs.

I believe Buncombe County is open to a similar Civil Rights suit now that the former NC Statute has been declared an unconstitutional violation of civil rights. I do not think Buncombe County can afford to waste money on this type of lawsuit if a simple law change to again match NC law could prevent it.

Kind regards from the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains,

hso
January 11, 2013, 01:26 AM
For New York organizations calling for an AWB -

While NYC may be the center of the universe it is not the entirety of it and making policy for the rest of the country based on that assumption is not reasonable. Your particular needs in a city of over eight million (the most populous in the U.S. by a large margin) are not the same as a nation of 314 million. When President Obama's FBI reports that violent crime has fallen 15% over the past five years alone and is now half of the high in the past 40 years it seem incongruous that people would be demanding national policy to remove things instead of dealing with the root cause behind the miserable souls that capture the headlines with heinous acts. Perhaps NY should rather look to spreading cause of the city's success in driving the violent crime rate to one of the lowest in the nation and well below Chicago's, one of the highest? It is ironic that the city the President considers home is also one of the most conservative in banning firearms yet is one of the most deadly in the country, but then he acknowledged in the debates that so-called assault weapons aren't the cause of the bloodshed in Chicago. Why ignore the facts and impose the wrong solution on the nation?

hso
January 11, 2013, 02:12 PM
I've started pulling from the letters back from pro 2A members of Congress to make letter to send to local, state and other Congressional members.

Words are not enough to describe the grief I felt when I heard about the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary school. The lives of twenty beautiful children and six brave adults were taken by a madman. A parent should never have to bury their child. I share the sadness of every American at this tragedy.


As a constituent I expect you to preserve the right of law-abiding citizens to purchase, own, and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment. The shootings at Sandy Hook should not be used to promote an infringement on that right. In a free society like ours, it is an unfortunate reality that the government cannot prevent every evil and tragic event from occurring nor should it try to.

Semi-automatic firearms were introduced more than a century ago. They account for over 15 percent of the more than 250 million privately-owned firearms in the United States and constitute the majority of firearms bought each year for more than a decade. They are used for the same purposes that all firearms are, including self-defense, hunting, and recreational and competitive target shooting. The term "assault weapons" is a general one used by the media and anti-gunners to intentionally blur the line between fully automatic firearms, which have been banned for easy purchase since the 1930's and semi-automatics, which are common and popular firearms.

My position is that we do not need to enact another assault weapons ban. Evidence and FBI crime statistics have shown that the first attempt at a ban in 1994 did not produce any noticeable reductions in crime rates nor is there any correlation with firearms ownership and violent crime. Violent crime and firearms crime rates were already trending downward before the ban was enacted and have continued to drop as the rate of semiautomatic firearms purchases have gone up, the rate of carry permit issuance has gone up and more states become "shall issue" leaving fewer "may issue" permit states. The increasing rate of firearms ownership may not result in less violent crime, but the data shows that it does not cause a higher rate. Comparisons between states with conservative firearms ownership laws that restrict ownership and those with liberal firearms laws that only require a background check for the full range of semiautomatic firearms shows no correlation between violent crime rates and firearms ownership, types of firearms or magazine capacity. When asking what effect firearms have on violent crime rates the data shows that there is no pattern and therefore no correlation between violent crime rates and firearms. More focus should be placed on the laws currently in place and on our nation's mental health system to prevent those violent criminals that are the cause of these heinous acts.

The founding fathers included the Second Amendment in the Constitution in order to ensure citizens could defend themselves against all enemies, foreign and domestic, and we must never forget or compromise this right for based on lies and deceit and panic.

wow6599
January 11, 2013, 02:51 PM
Here is the response I received from Senator Blunt. Yeah, probably a staffer or automated response, but it's the best answer I've gotten so far.


Dear XXXXX,

Thank you for contacting me regarding the rights of gun owners.

As you may know, I am a strong defender of our Second Amendment rights. The right of law-abiding citizens to own firearms is an individual right guaranteed by the Second Amendment of the Constitution and broadly interpreted by the U.S. Supreme Court. Our Founders clearly understood that one of the most basic rights of Americans is the ability to defend themselves and their families.

In light of the terrible tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut, there have been calls for immediate action to address gun control. I do believe it is important that we have a serious national discussion about preventing these senseless acts of violence and protecting our children in their schools. Equally important, however, is an effort that more broadly addresses ways to spend federal dollars more wisely when it comes to treating and identifying those who are mentally ill as well as intervening before they tragically impact their own lives and the lives of others.

There are no easy answers here. I continue to believe that a weapons ban does not fix the issue. Whatever we do, it must be consistent with the Constitution.

I appreciate your thoughts and will continue to support legislation that safeguards our Second Amendment rights, encourages safe and responsible gun ownership, and keeps our homes and families safe.

Again, thank you for contacting me. I look forward to continuing our conversation on Facebook (www.facebook.com/SenatorBlunt) and Twitter (www.twitter.com/RoyBlunt) about the important issues facing Missouri and the country. I also encourage you to visit my website (blunt.senate.gov) to learn more about where I stand on the issues and sign-up for my e-newsletter.

Sincere regards,

Roy Blunt
United States Senator

GWARGHOUL
January 11, 2013, 04:44 PM
Weird, I never got a response from him or Claire.

But, this sounds ok so far.

Axel Larson
January 11, 2013, 06:30 PM
Dear Mr. Engstrom:



Thank you for contacting me about the school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, and gun control in the United States. I appreciate hearing from you on this very important issue.



The tragedy in Newtown left me shocked and horrified. As a father and grandfather, I cannot begin to imagine the pain and grief that the families of the victims are experiencing. Many constituents, like you, have written in to me in the past few weeks to express their support for meaningful changes to federal firearms policy. I have heard from parents, grandparents, veterans, teachers, hunters, and children, all expressing their belief that our laws need to be improved, and urging Congress to act. I have also heard from Vermonters, like you, who are concerned that new legislation could interfere with our Second Amendment rights.



I grew up hunting in Vermont and am still an avid target shooter. I value our Second Amendment rights, and the Supreme Court has said definitively that Americans are guaranteed its protections. But like all of the rights guaranteed by our Constitution, it is not absolute. I agreed with Justice Scalia when he wrote in the Supreme Court's District of Columbia v. Heller decision that the Second Amendment does not prohibit reasonable regulations. The factors underlying the terrible tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut, are complex, and involve a host of issues relating to mental health treatment, firearms policy, and school safety. It is my hope that as this conversation continues, the Senate will hear from many Americans, including experts from law enforcement, from the mental health community, and from leaders in our educational system.



One thing that I am especially concerned about is the role that mental health records play in the purchasing of firearms. The National Instant Criminal Background Check System, or NICS, is an FBI database that is intended to provide licensed sellers with a quick and easy way to determine if, among other things, a buyer has a history of mental illness. Unfortunately, the majority—some estimates say as many as 91 percent—of mental health records are not in NICS, due to a lack of reporting and legitimate competing values involving privacy. But in order to be effective, the records that make up our background check system must be as complete as possible, and I support efforts to improve the inclusion of these records. In 2007, I worked with a bipartisan group of senators and representatives to pass the NICS Improvement Amendments Act of 2007. This bill, which was unanimously passed by both the House and Senate, helped to improve the collection of records for inclusion in the federal background check system. The bill, which was unfortunately prompted by the tragic events at Virginia Tech in April of 2007, helped to improve the information sharing of criminal and mental health records between state and federal law enforcement agencies. I have supported strong funding for this law and will continue to do so and encourage state and local officials to play their important role in making the NICS database as complete as possible.



In the past weeks, many, including the President, have called for sensible changes to our federal gun laws. While this has traditionally been a difficult topic to broach in Congress. I am very hopeful that we will be able to work together and make meaningful changes to our national firearms policy, while still preserving the Second Amendment rights that Vermonters cherish. I look forward to starting this conversation early this Congress, and I plan to hold a Judiciary Committee hearing on our national gun control policies. If there are practical, sensible, workable answers to prevent such unspeakable tragedy, we should make the effort to move them forward.



Thank you for contacting me. Please keep in touch.



Sincerely,

PATRICK LEAHY
United States Senator

MOHunter
January 11, 2013, 07:57 PM
Same response for me too, nothing from McCaskill.

Axel Larson
January 11, 2013, 08:25 PM
Had to have some bbq ribs and a nice bath after hearing this. sounds like he might throw us under the bus.

ATBackPackin
January 11, 2013, 08:39 PM
The one thing that irritates me more than anything else about letters like this one is the blatant dishonesty. I wouldn't like it, but I would at least respect them a little if they would simply admit that they are going to back anything and everything the President puts forth.

vamo
January 11, 2013, 09:14 PM
Got it too, still waiting on claire. She was so fast to respond when I wrote her about SOPA, I guess its easy to respond to something that's so universally opposed by the public.

Yuck Mouth
January 11, 2013, 11:04 PM
One common theme I've noticed on THR lately is a lot of comments along the lines of "Well, I know my reps are anti-gun, so I'm not going to bother writing them".
Maybe if your rep is Feinstein, that's one thing...
But I can't help but think that this is the wrong attitude. No matter how anti-gun they are they should get flooded with letters, emails, emails, and calls. It may not make any difference in the end, but then again it may. And in any case they should get a feel for how many of their constituents disagree with them and how strongly. If everyone did this it might just be an eye-opening experience for them.

I agree!

I remember when the AWB was about to expire how so many people on some of the gun forums I visit said it would never happen an its a waste to try writing your reps about it.

I say write them regardless. It's better than sitting around doing nothing! You've got to at least try!

HDCamel
January 12, 2013, 01:18 AM
I actually got two responses from the same senator (Mark Warner).

One was a generic response that basically thanked me for writing, the second was an actual response to the gun control subject.

No mention of actual restrictions on firearms or magazines, only reminding me that he holds an "A" rank with the NRA and a bit on strengthening/stricter enforcing NICS and mental health checks.
In fact, I don't think he's mentioned anything but those things since the shooting.

mgmorden
January 12, 2013, 02:02 AM
Based on the latest NRA interview that I've seen, it sounds like he's promoting their position. The only changes to the firearms purchase process that they sound like they're supporting are better integration of mental health data into the existing NICS system. It sounds a LOT like the reponse you just got:

http://video.foxnews.com/v/2088158329001/

Truthfully, that's a concession that I can live with. It doesn't create any NICS checks where none currently exist, and it doesn't outlaw or restrict any product currently available. In the places where we already have background checks we might as well try to make them work as well as possible.

Axel Larson
January 12, 2013, 11:56 AM
My worry is he will just go ahead and back anything as long as it includes what he wants. If it was just keeping better mental health records I would not be worried.

alsaqr
January 12, 2013, 12:07 PM
sounds like he might throw us under the bus.

Patrick Leahy is a long time gun hater. He will throw us under the bus.

Bartholomew Roberts
January 12, 2013, 12:49 PM
The following is a list of Senators who are up for reelection in 2014. Where I have knowledge of a Senator's current stance on gun control, I have added that information. If you have received a letter from a Senator on this list expressing support, partial opposition or opposition to additional gun control, please share that informaton with us and I will update the original post to reflect that. This post is not intended to advocate for or against a party in a political fashion but rather just to let Second Amendment minded voters see who is walking the walk. As you can see, the antis are bipartisan in nature.


Alabama - Jeff Sessions (R) - Pro-Second. No current statement found.
Alaska - Mark Begich (D) - CURRENTLY OPPOSING ANY NEW GUN CONTROL MEASURES (http://www.webcenter11.com/?q=content/alaskas-senators-gun-control)
Arkansas - Mark Pryor (D) - Gave vague non-answer when recently questioned (http://www.bentoncourier.com/content/sen-pryor-talks-deficit-gun-control-and-economy-during-saline-county-visit)
Colorado - Mark Udall (D) - SUPPORTS GUN CONTROL (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/21/sens-mark-udall-michael-b_n_2345493.html)
Delaware - Chris Coons (D) - NRA F rating. No current statement found.
Georgia - Saxby Chambliss (R) - Gave vague non-answer in response to pro-2A letter (http://www.ar15.com/forums/t_8_35/509249_Responses_from_Saxby_Chambliss.html&page=1&anc=bottom#bottom)
Hawaii - Brian Schatz (D) - No current statement found
Idaho - Jim Risch (R) - NRA A+ rating. No current statement found.
Illinois - Richard Durbin (D) - SUPPORTS GUN CONTROL (http://www.dailyherald.com/article/20130111/news/701119713)
Iowa - Tom Harkin (D) - SUPPORTS GUN CONTROL (http://www.gather.com/viewArticle.action?articleId=281474981826698)
Kansas - Pat Roberts (R) - Gave vague non-answer in response to pro-2A letter (http://www.snipershide.com/forum/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=3766456)
Kentucky - Mitch McConnell (R) - Gun control takes a back seat to spending issues (http://www.kktv.com/home/headlines/McConnell-Any-Gun-Proposals-To-Take-Back-Seat-185800092.html)
Louisiana - Mary Landrieu (D) - Suggested support for expanding NICS in response to pro-2A letter (http://www.bayoubucks.com/forum/showthread.php?p=645583)
Maine - Susan Collins (R) - Supported past AWBs and gave vague statement supporting more gun control (http://bangordailynews.com/2013/01/10/politics/sen-susan-collins-is-one-of-five-senators-to-watch-in-the-gun-control-debate/)
Massachusetts - John Kerry (D) - SUPPORTS GUN CONTROL
Michigan - Carl Levin (D) - SUPPORTS GUN CONTROL (http://www.usacarry.com/forums/firearm-politics-2nd-amendment-issues/29440-sen-carl-levin-continues-push-more-gun-control.html)
Minnesota - Al Franken (D) - Has supported gun control; but dodged question when asked about more gun control (http://blogs.citypages.com/blotter/2012/12/al_franken_didnt_want_to_talk_gun_control_on_friday_betty_mccollum_did.php)
Mississippi - Thad Cochran (R) - NRA A-rated. No current statement found.
Montana - Max Baucus (D) - We must bring ourselves together for an honest national conversation about every aspect in this terrible attack from assault weapons to the media’s coverage of these events to how we address mental illness (http://missoulian.com/news/local/baucus-tester-taking-cautious-approach-to-gun-control-debate/article_7d4c99fc-4a17-11e2-aa33-0019bb2963f4.html)
Nebraska - Mike Johanns (R) - SUPPORTS SECOND AMENDMENT (http://www.yorknewstimes.com/news/johanns-gun-control-to-be-first-legislative-issue/article_a3723c6e-5c72-11e2-a509-001a4bcf887a.html)
New Hampshire - Jeanne Shaheen (D) - SUPPORTS GUN CONTROL (http://www.wmur.com/news/nh-news/Shaheen-statement-on-shootings-gun-control-laws/-/9857858/17807798/-/p0a2tu/-/index.html)
New Jersey - Frank Lautenberg (D) - SUPPORTS GUN CONTROL or Cory Booker (D) - Supports Registration (http://www.nj.com/politics/index.ssf/2012/12/cory_booker_in_tv_appearance_c.html)
New Mexico - Tom Udall (D) - Gave vague non-answer to reporter (http://www.koat.com/news/new-mexico/albuquerque/NM-lawmakers-offer-views-on-tougher-gun-laws/-/9153728/17823942/-/juuwo4/-/index.html)
North Carolina - Kay Hagan (D) - Supported AWB in 2009 but gave non-commital vague answer to reporter (http://www.carolinajournal.com/exclusives/display_exclusive.html?id=9768)
Oklahoma - Jim Inhofe (R) - NRA A+ rating. No current statement found.
Oregon - Jeff Merkley (D) - Seeking to end filibuster in Senate. Some past gun control support. No current statement found.
Rhode Island - Jack Reed (D) - SUPPORTS GUN CONTROL (http://rhodeisland.onpolitix.com/news/216474/jack-reed-backs-obama-push-on-gun-laws)
South Carolina - Lindsey Graham (R) - SUPPORTS SECOND AMENDMENT (http://www.ar15.com/forums/t_1_5/1420393_Letter_from_Lindsay_Graham.html&page=1&anc=bottom#bottom)
South Carolina (special to replace Jim DeMint) - Tim Scott (R) - SUPPORTS SECOND AMENDMENT (http://www.alan.com/2012/12/18/south-carolinas-likely-new-senator-tim-scott-im-for-gun-control-use-both-hands/)
South Dakota - Tim Johnson (D) - No current statement found
Tennessee - Lamar Alexander (R) - SUPPORTS SECOND AMENDMENT
Texas - John Cornyn (R) - NRA A rated - Gave vague non-answer to pro-2A letter (http://www.ar15.com/forums/t_8_8/507710_Senator_Cornyn_Response.html)
Virginia - Mark Warner (D) - Supported increased NICS checks in recent response letter (http://www.ar15.com/forums/t_1_5/1420339_The__Gang_Of_Seven__Democratic_Senators_In_Gun_Friendly_States_Up_For_Re_Election_In_2014.html&page=1)
West Virginia - OPEN SEAT (Jay Rockefeller retiring (http://www.politico.com/story/2013/01/jay-rockefeller-to-retire-86054.html?hp=t3_3))
Wyoming - Mike Enzi (R) - SUPPORTS SECOND AMENDMENT (http://www.enzi.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/judiciaryguncontrollawenforcement)

The guys giving vague answers on either side need to hear from us. They are wobbly and waiting for direction. The guys opposing us vocally already need to go. We need to start planning now how to help their primary opponents and general election opponents in 2014.

CAR-AR
January 12, 2013, 01:19 PM
I contacted both of my senator and my rep and I got one form letter (senator) and nothing my rep.

hso
January 12, 2013, 01:42 PM
Great piece of information to put to use and well worth sticking to the forum!

We can change the information about Alexander since my correspondence with him has been completely specific and supportive of RKBA. No new restrictions, enforcement of current laws, improvement of NICS to avoid issues like Cho, mental health.

Here are two replies to me.

Dear XXXXX,

Thanks very much and letting me know what’s on your mind regarding the right to bear arms.

I’m a strong supporter of Second Amendment rights. Congress should not pass laws that take away these rights from law abiding citizens and leave criminals to terrorize the streets. Good citizens don’t abuse guns – criminals do. I will continue to support legislative efforts to protect the Second Amendment rights of law abiding Americans, and oppose efforts to overturn the Second Amendment.

In two recent cases, the U.S. Supreme Court clearly held that the Second Amendment protects the right of individual Americans to keep and bear arms. In the 2008 case, D.C. v. Heller, the Supreme Court held that D.C.’s restrictive gun laws violated the constitutional rights of Americans. Two years later, in McDonald v. Chicago, the court struck down the city of Chicago’s handgun ban and held that, like the federal government, state and local governments must respect Second Amendment rights. I joined legal briefs in both cases in defense of this constitutional right and was pleased with the Supreme Court’s decisions.

I am grateful you took the time to let me know where you stand. I’ll be sure to keep your comments in mind as Second Amendment rights are discussed and debated in Washington and in Tennessee.

Sincerely,
Lamar

Thank you for sharing your feelings regarding the tragic shootings in Newtown, Connecticut. I was horrified by this attack that left twenty-eight dead. My thoughts and prayers are for the victims and those who now live with their loss.

As we learn more about the tragedy in Newtown, I think we must look closely at the behavior of isolated young men who develop an obsession with violence. We should ask the leaders of the entertainment industry whether they would want their children--or those who might harm their children--to watch the increasingly violent video games and movies that they pour into our culture. This is not the only cause of violence in our society but it is one important cause. Connecticut has strong gun laws. The problem is not with the gun but with the person pulling the trigger.

This is a terrible event for our nation and we must find appropriate ways to respond. I’m grateful you’ve shared your reactions with me and will keep them in mind as we move forward.

GAMALOT
January 12, 2013, 03:32 PM
Writing a letter to my NY Senators would be a complete waste of time and effort.
If Obama was to stop short Schummer would have to be surgically removed and Gillibrand would probably have a broken nose.:banghead::banghead::banghead:

Yo Mama
January 12, 2013, 04:28 PM
Sorry, but IMO, the Senate no longer matters, they will pass it. They have the votes, and the momentum.

The House is the only place to stop it.

Hokkmike
January 12, 2013, 04:41 PM
Yo Mama has got it right! BUT, the Senate must be made to look ahead at the next election cycle.

GAMALOT
January 12, 2013, 06:04 PM
I do agree that Yo Mamma is spot on and also about the next election cycle the D' will have to go through.

Here is some more food for thought. Remember who you voted for when that next election cycle comes around. We are our own worst enemies and somewhere north of 52% of all American voters keep putting these jerk blocks back in office.

Quick Shot xMLx
January 13, 2013, 01:59 AM
Here's the reply I got from Senator Kay Hagan (D) in NC. She has a gift for talking a lot but not saying anything. At the end of the day Hagan is a party hack, she'll vote for whatever the Dem leaders tell her to vote for. She's not going to fight in the trenches for anything but she'll follow like a sheep.



Dear Friend,

Thank you for contacting me regarding the horrific tragedy that took place at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. I appreciate hearing your thoughts on this issue, and my thoughts and prayers remain with the victims and families of this senseless and appalling act of violence.

In the wake of the shooting in Newtown, which left twenty-six innocent members of the community dead, many of them young children, Americans across the country are searching for answers on how we can prevent such tragic events from happening in the future. I believe we must do all we can to put laws and policies in place to prevent future tragedies such as this one. Doing that will require a common-sense debate on a comprehensive approach that examines all relevant issues, including access to firearms, mental healthcare, and the prevalence of violence in video games and media. Additionally, Senator Feinstein has stated her intent to introduce legislation concerning access to firearms at the start of the 113th Congress. To date, that legislation has not been introduced. As always, it is important that we not unnecessarily infringe on the legitimate Second Amendment rights of responsible gun owners.

Like you, I have always been an advocate for Second Amendment rights. My family, like the great state of North Carolina, has a long tradition of hunting and gun ownership, and I take great pride in that heritage. During my tenure in the North Carolina Senate I continuously supported the responsible use of firearms. As your United States Senator, I will always be committed to protecting these fundamental, constitutional rights.

Again, thank you for contacting my office. It is truly an honor to represent North Carolina in the United States Senate, and I hope you will not hesitate to contact me in the future should you have any further questions or concerns. If you would like to stay informed on my work in the Senate, you can sign up for my e-newsletter, follow me on Twitter at @SenatorHagan, or visit my Facebook page.

Sincerely,

Signature

Kay R. Hagan

hso
January 13, 2013, 10:30 AM
Another angle

Existing laws are more than adequate to reduce violent crime if they are adequately enforced.

Improvements to the background check system to include both voluntary and involuntary mental health treatment may be of benefit in reducing violent crime.

Actual improvements to the mental health care system will be of benefit in reducing violent crime by reducing the root cause of mass murders.

Since the FBI Uniform Crime Report shows that violent crime has been dropping as firearms purchases have been rising, sales of semi automatic magazine fed handguns and rifles have become the largest segment being purchased, there is no correlation between the type of firearms, magazines or ammunition available to the public and violent crime rates. As a voter and active member of my community I urge you to acknowledge that additional restrictions on firearms or magazines or ammunition will not be of benefit in reducing violent crime and that time and resources should not be wasted on them.
Sincerely,

vamo
January 13, 2013, 09:08 PM
Thank you for contacting me regarding the recent shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, as well as gun control policy and gun safety. I appreciate hearing from you and welcome the opportunity to respond.

On Friday, December 14, 2012, a gunman entered Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, and began shooting teachers and students before taking his own life. This horrific tragedy took the lives of 27 people, including 20 children seven years of age and younger. As a mother, I'm horrified and stunned by the senseless violence against innocent children and teachers.

This tragedy has led to renewed and important discussions about gun control, which is often a divisive topic in our nation. The loss of so many beautiful children in a mass shooting that involved an assault rifle with ammunition clips that held large numbers of bullets makes clear that we need to revisit the assault weapons ban that expired in 2004 and review permissible magazine ammunition sizes. I am also supportive of closing the gun show loophole and making sure that those with court-determined, dangerous mental health diagnoses do not get access to guns. Finally, it is equally clear that we must reconsider the mental health services available to our citizens, knowing that each mass shooting our nation has experienced involved individuals with substantial mental health problems. "Obamacare" will expand important mental health coverage when it is implemented in 2014. Protecting our children and our citizens will require us to come together to find real solutions that cover a broad range of factors that have contributed to these horrific incidents.

I firmly believe that an attempt to promote appropriate gun safety measures can be done without infringing upon law-abiding citizens' right to own firearms or unduly burdening the hunting and sportsmanship culture of Missouri. Weapons designed primarily for the use of soldiers to kill people in war are not used in hunting and can be reasonably limited without jeopardizing any rights under the Second Amendment. I believe the horror of the Newtown shootings makes clear that we must get to work protecting our communities and our children from mass slaughter, while also protecting our Second Amendment rights. I am hopeful that the National Rifle Association, a significant voice in this discussion, will be a constructive part of this dialogue.

Even as I welcome this renewed debate, please know that I will continue to protect the Second Amendment Rights of law-abiding citizens to safely own and use appropriate firearms. In the past, I have voted to permit residents of the District of Columbia to own and purchase firearms. I also supported an amendment to a spending bill that would prevent funding for any international organization, including the United Nations, that places a tax on any firearm owned by a United States citizen. I have opposed other inappropriate measures, such as forcing Missouri to accept other states' firearms laws.

As your United States Senator, I will keep your thoughts in mind anytime Congress considers gun-related legislation. In the wake of the Newtown tragedy, my prayers are with the students and staff at Sandy Hook Elementary, and with their families. All Americans are outraged at senseless and criminal gun violence no matter where they may fall in the debate on guns in American society. A renewed national conversation has begun and we must all be a constructive and open-minded part of it. There is middle ground here, where this nation can come together with sensible laws that prevent the mass murder of innocent citizens, while we continue to respect our Constitution and its Second Amendment rights.

Again, thank you for contacting me. Please do not hesitate to contact me in the future if I can be of further assistance to you on this or any other issue.



No surprise she favors controls I am sure its the standard form letter sent to pro 2a writers.

hso
January 13, 2013, 09:12 PM
Some of the pro 2A replies make good starting points for us to use to send more letters on to the Congresspersons that aren't committed one way or the other.

The Anti letters give us insight into the thinking of those politicians and make the fact that they need to be replaced instead of reelected vividly clear.

ZeSpectre
January 13, 2013, 09:13 PM
Dear Mr. XXXXXXXX,

Thank you for contacting me to share your thoughts on the tragic events in Newtown, Connecticut and your views on gun control.

On December 14, 2012, 20 innocent children and six adults lost their lives in one of the worst, most tragic shootings to ever occur in the United States. As a parent of three daughters, this was the ultimate nightmare. Like the Virginia Tech and Columbine shootings, this tragedy unfolded in what was once regarded as a safe haven free of crime and violence: a school.

I am a strong supporter of the Second Amendment constitutional right of law-abiding citizens to keep and bear arms. I own firearms and I have an "A" rating from the National Rifle Association. However, I also recognize that, like with many of our constitutional rights, our Second Amendment rights are not without limits. It is unfortunate that a tragedy of this magnitude is what is needed to prompt action, but we need to have a serious discussion on how to best avoid these kinds of mass shootings in the future. The status quo is not acceptable.

I believe our discussion should cover many issues. We can start by improving the existing criminal background check system. Currently, the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) is woefully incomplete, with many states failing to submit available records on persons who may be disqualified from purchasing or possessing firearms. With a more complete background check system, we can keep firearms out of the hands of those who have been deemed unfit to possess them.

In addition, we can take common sense measures such as passing the CAMPUS Safety Act (S. 3682), which I introduced last year. That bill would establish a national center for campus public safety within the Department of Justice to serve as a resource center and assist schools and universities in developing campus safety plans and threat assessment tools. We also need to look at changes to our mental health system so we can provide help to those with dangerous mental illnesses before it is too late. There will not be a single solution, but all of these issues and others need to be part of the conversation and I urge you to continue to express your views as we move forward.

Again, thank you for contacting me. For further information or to sign up for my newsletter please visit my website at http://warner.senate.gov.

Sincerely,
MARK R. WARNER
United States Senator

ZeSpectre
January 13, 2013, 09:16 PM
Dear Friend,

Thank you for taking the time to share your views and experiences with me.

If you need assistance resolving a specific problem with a federal agency, please contact my office at 703-442-0670 or toll free at 1-877-676-2759. Otherwise, please be assured that we are reading and responding to your comments and opinions as fast as we can.

As the 112th Congress moves forward, please continue to be in touch with your views.


Sincerely,
MARK R. WARNER
United States Senator

poboy6
January 14, 2013, 12:05 AM
I've received no reply from Ms. McCaskill (MO). I made sure to remind her that 2A has nothing to do with hunting.

The letter vamo posted is exactly the same that others have reposted from her. We can call her office but is there a way to speak to her personally? Does anyone have her cell number?

Green Lantern
January 14, 2013, 03:50 PM
Update on Hagan from GRNC:
Thousands of GRNC members have recently received a form letter from Sen. Kay Hagan (D-GRNC *) in response to concerns about the Obama/Biden/Feinstein anti-gun attack that is currently underway in Washington, DC.

In a painful attempt to appear supportive of our rights without actually supporting them, she has succeeded only in making it clear that her position needs significant correction. She writes,

“it is important that we not unnecessarily infringe on the legitimate Second Amendment rights of responsible gun owners”

The Senator apparently does not appreciate that government cannot infringe upon fundamental liberties whether it is deemed “necessary” or not. It is also troubling to note she believes there are “legitimate” Second Amendment rights, which of course implies that some “illegitimate” ones also exist. Which ones are these?

She completes a trifecta of Second Amendment misunderstanding by raising her family’s “long tradition of hunting”. Grandpa’s side-by-side shotgun isn’t of much use against tyranny, is it?

HAGAN CAN’T HIDE HER LUKEWARM TREATMENT OF GUN RIGHTS

Sen. Hagan’s prior votes have earned her a GRNC “one star” evaluation, consistent with voting with gun owners 62% of the time. This is not a person we can be confident about protecting our interests in the largest battle to maintain gun rights in a generation. Hagan needs an attitude adjustment, and needs it now!

IMMEDIATE ACTION REQUIRED!




Email AND call Sen. Hagan.

Call Sen. Hagan Monday, January 14th between 9 am and noon. If unable to call during these times, call when you can: 202-224-6342
Remind the Senator: the Second Amendment confirms and protects a fundamental liberty.
The right to keep and bear arms is not subject to perceived “needs”.
These rights SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED!
Bans, limits, registration schemes and all other gun-related restrictions currently being “floated” are UNACCEPTABLE!
North Carolina gun owners will tolerate NO COMPROMISE!

CONTACT INFO


Email Sen. Hagan using her webform: http://www.hagan.senate.gov/contact/



DELIVER THIS MESSAGE



Suggested Subject: "No Compromise on 'Obama Gun Ban'"



Dear Senator Hagan:


The Second Amendment confirms a fundamental liberty of North Carolinians to keep and bear arms. The need for this right is made clear within the Amendment itself: the “security of a free state” depends upon it. We have unfortunately seen how this is true following repeated attacks upon defenseless citizens within “Gun Free Zones” where these rights have been unconstitutionally usurped.

The right to bear arms has nothing to do with hunting or sports, it is necessary for defense of life, liberty and property. Such defense clearly requires effective, non-obsolete, militarily-relevant weapons. Thus, North Carolinians will tolerate no compromise with bans or restrictions of semi-automatic rifles, pistols or of magazine capacity.

You are free to pursue better management of the violently insane, and are encouraged to repeal the dangerous “Gun Free School Zones Act” of 1996. Any other cooperation with Obama/Biden/Feinstein proposed gun control is unacceptable. There can be no compromise with these anti-freedom plans.



Sincerely,

Axel Larson
January 14, 2013, 06:12 PM
This was my Governor's response.
Thank you for writing to me in response to the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT. The grief and shock that we all share is overwhelming and has led to a national conversation about ways to stop violence in our communities. I want to thank you for taking the time to add your voice to that conversation.



The last month has given me opportunity to reflect, and while there is no one policy change that can prevent a tragedy like this from happening again, I believe we must explore initiatives that will strengthen the safety of our communities. The role of firearms is one part of that discussion, and while I support the right of law abiding citizens to own guns, I believe it is appropriate to have a broader dialogue about what we can do to keep weapons of war out of the wrong hands. However, I strongly believe that to address gun violence we need a 50-state solution. I fully support the efforts of President Obama and Vice President Biden to develop a sensible, federal response to help prevent future tragedies, and I encourage Congress to enter into a vigorous and thoughtful debate on this issue.



In addition, my administration continues to focus on strengthening communities and providing for the well-being of Vermonters by working to improve Vermont's mental health and social services. Many Vermonters have also written to me about the importance of reviewing school security procedures. These concerns warrant further examination and I will be working with my administration and legislators to determine how we can respond to this crisis at the state level.



As citizens of this country, we are all called upon to reflect on the small actions we can take every day to build stronger, safer communities. I thank you again for joining me in this effort. Like all Vermonters, I am heartbroken by this tragedy, and my heart and thoughts are with the loved ones of the victims in Connecticut.



Please do not hesitate to contact my office if I can be of further assistance.





Sincerely,

Peter Shumlin

Governor

109 State Street, Pavilion
Montpelier, Vermont 05609
802-828-3333

Visit Governor Shumlin’s Online Resources:

And he had a A rating from the NRA(not any more) I can't believe I voted for him.

GAMALOT
January 14, 2013, 06:41 PM
He is a guy who would never get a vote from me!

I personally believe we could use a chain saw to cut off the entire NE Quadrant and ship it off to the Pacific region where these liberals belong.

avs11054
January 14, 2013, 06:56 PM
Why should we give up on the senate? We still have a fillibuster.

Axel Larson
January 14, 2013, 07:12 PM
Sounds like the NRA needs to do more back work on their rating system. Needless to say I will not be voting for him again.

HeathH
January 14, 2013, 07:44 PM
Here is the response I received from Senator Sharrod Brown. Kind of what I expected out of him.

Dear Mr. Hamilton:

Thank you for sharing your thoughts about assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, and the calls to regulate or ban these items.

From 1994 to 2004, Congress enacted a ban on semi-automatic assault weapons. The bill had three main components. The first section was comprised of a list guns that were banned by name, such as Uzi’s. The second section outlawed the future manufacture and sale of any new semiautomatic weapon with a detachable magazine and more than two of several assault-style features. The third section was an appendix which listed hunting rifles and shotguns that didn’t run afoul of the second section, and thus were exempted from the bill.

In 2011, law enforcement leaders such as Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Back, Oklahoma Police Chief Bill Citty, and Brockton, Massachusetts, Police Captain Emanuel Gomes, all separately discussed how their officers were being outgunned with assault weapons possessed by criminals.

While I have supported restrictions on the possession of semi-automatic assault weapons, and restrictions on the ability of criminals to possess handguns, I do not support an outright ban on guns or arbitrary restrictions on the right of law-abiding citizens to possess guns.

When our children and families are no longer safe at our schools, in our malls, and in our movie theaters, then we as a country must take action. The shocking numbers of public shootings throughout the country last year, culminating in Newtown, Connecticut, demand that we engage in a serious national discussion about gun violence, not just in terms of weapons and bullets, but also including mental health access, public safety officers, and our responsibility both as individuals and a society.

This is a complex issue and we must work together to uphold our Constitution while at the same time ensuring that our communities are safe. We can and must act to make such tragedies less likely in the future. Should any legislation concerning a reintroduction of the Assault Weapons Ban come before the Senate, I will keep your thoughts in mind. Thank you again for contacting me.

Sincerely,

Sherrod Brown
United States Senator

GAMALOT
January 14, 2013, 08:18 PM
Sherrod Brown just gave you the old "Check is in the mail" brush off!

The vast majority of the Senate have one motto they will live and die by, "Never allow a good crisis to go to waste".

As Patriots, Gun Owners and Second amendment advocates we should be absolute in our convictions and allow them to die from their elected positions.

Most of these fools would seriously hurt themselves if you put any gun in their hand short of a single action or revolver.

HeathH
January 14, 2013, 10:41 PM
The long and short of my reply to him is I will be actively campaigning against him in his next election cycle. Little does he know I already campaigned against him this year. He does have a huge urban machine going in Ohio and it will be extremely hard to oust him.

PigButtons
January 14, 2013, 11:12 PM
Your work is greatly appreciated. Having written to both Senators here neither has replied, whereas Mo. Brooks, our districts Congressman, wrote back a very Pro2A email in less than 48 hours. I'll be continuing to email my Senators until I receive a response.

Catshooter
January 14, 2013, 11:16 PM
Thank you for this helpful post. I emailed Tom Harkin letting him know that I would work to see him defeated should he support gun control.


Cat

hso
January 15, 2013, 02:20 AM
People who have never been to a gun show are standing in line for hours for the chance to purchase a semiautomatic rifle. People who might have been to one or two shows are standing in line for hours to purchase a semiautomatic rifle. Shops emptied of every AR on the shelves. Manufacturers and suppliers and retailers back ordered with no prediction on how quickly they can stock those shelves. Gun shows reporting the highest attendance in their history. Shops reporting customers lined up before opening for the chance to be first to purchase whatever new inventory may have been stocked overnight. Why? Because the people standing those lines and purchasing the firearms reflect the attitude held by hundreds of people for every one in the lines that firearms aren't the cause of violent crime.

That attitude of those people is supported by the facts of the Obama administration's FBI in the Uniform Crime Reports. The UCR shows, without emotion or bias or political purpose, that while sales of AR-15 type rifles have gone up, violent crime rates have been dropping over the decades. While more and more people purchase the AR-15 for competition, recreation, and hunting everything from rabbits to deer to destructive wild hogs the use of rifles in murders has dropped to less than the number of people murdered with hands and feet year after year.

The facts show us that violent crime is down, murders are down, and gun crimes are down in the face of rising rates of firearms sales. When you can't find a correlation showing violent crime rate increases with rising firearms sales logic tells you that the assumption that firearms have anything to do with violent crime rates is wrong and the assumption must be abandoned as a false premise. A new assumption about the causes of violent crime must be sought if we actually want to reduce violent crime.

No new legislation restricting firearms or magazine or ammunition purchases will have any chance of reducing violent crime rates in the U.S. because they simply aren't correlated with violent crime rates.

GAMALOT
January 15, 2013, 09:07 AM
Basically what you just said HSO, Billions of legally owned guns didn't kill anyone yesterday while the criminals with illegal guns were having a field day.

Any politician with a lick of sense already is well aware of this but they have a good crisis at the moment and will not let it go to waste. It is all about Control and very little about guns.

Brent J
January 15, 2013, 05:11 PM
also claims she is in favor of sport hunting. She also told me that the UN Small Arms Treaty (or whatever it was called) would never pass the Senate. Now, when it came to a vote, she just happened to be absent that day so, she had no mark in her column for or against it.

Green Lantern
January 15, 2013, 07:47 PM
Brent - iiiiinteresting, I called multiple times on that subject and could NEVER get a straight answer from them! :mad:

...guess that kinda pokes holes in my theory that they use caller ID to tell people what they think they WANT to hear on a given subject...

1 old 0311-1
January 15, 2013, 09:02 PM
The problem we are STILL running into, like 2008, and 2012, is the lazy gun owners who don't vote.:eek: These are the first ones that will cry when "EXECUTIVE ORDERS" flush our gun right down the crapper.

miamivicedade
January 15, 2013, 10:13 PM
Well done Bartholomew.

OH_Spartan
January 15, 2013, 11:51 PM
I know it would be daunting but could we get a list of the house members? I got a very pro rkba response from my rep tiberi.

Red Sky
January 16, 2013, 03:04 PM
http://www.cnn.com/2013/01/15/politics/gun-law-polls/index.html

Not happy news, but news nonetheless, and there is some hope near the end - and that coming from CNN of all places. Anyone living in states with vulnerable Democratic senators should be blowing up their emails and phones in the coming days. Get anyone else you know who will support us to do the same.

Unfortunately (or fortunately, for that matter) my effort from Texas doesn't matter much as we already have them on our side.

Diamondback6
January 16, 2013, 11:52 PM
Chalk Cantwell and Murray (D-WA both) up in the Anti-Second Amendment Bigot column. I don't even waste my effort on those two terrorist-sympathizing oxygen thieves anymore...
(Remember, Patty bin Murray: "Osama builds schools and roads and..." yes, THAT Patty Murray.)

Bartholomew Roberts
January 17, 2013, 04:39 PM
Add Senator Franken to the SUPPORTS GUN CONTROL category:
http://livewire.talkingpointsmemo.com/entry/sen-al-franken-raises-doubts-about-support-for

RetiredUSNChief
January 17, 2013, 05:45 PM
Good to know!

Many thanks.

gdcpony
January 20, 2013, 10:14 AM
Well, I think we have one. This is actually only the second reply I have had that actually was even related to my letter. Most of the others have either been a "Thanks for contacting, please stay involved" or some off the wall reply having nothing to do with my letter."

I have begun sending my daughter's essay now as it is a ton more eloquent than my own writing and to let them know how our children feel as well. Better than having them used as pawns the other way.
January 15, 2013

Dear George,

Thank you for contacting me regarding your opposition to further gun control legislation. As your representative in Congress, I appreciate your input on this important issue.

On December 14, 2012 our nation experienced an unspeakable tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut. A gunman stormed Sandy Hook Elementary School and murdered 20 young children and six adult staff members. My thoughts and prayers continue to go out to the victims and families of those affected. As a father myself, I cannot begin to imagine the pain these families are experiencing.

In response, the President and some members of Congress have called for stricter gun control legislation. Senator Dianne Feinstein has already announced she will introduce a new assault weapons ban in the 113th Congress and President Obama has appointed Vice President Biden to head a task force looking at ideas and legislation to curb gun violence.

While I am deeply saddened by the senseless acts of violence in Connecticut, I do not believe it is appropriate to politicize this heinous incident and use it as a platform to push for new gun control legislation. People choose to own firearms for a variety of reasons and many new gun laws end up adding burdens to law abiding citizens and our 2nd Amendment rights.

We should enforce current laws and work to ensure individuals with mental illness and criminals can't carry out criminal acts against our fellow citizens. Thank you for your input, I will be sure to keep your views in mind.

Again, thank you for contacting my office. Please continue to keep me informed on the issues that are important to you. For more information on my work in Congress, or to sign up to receive my e-newsletter, please visit the 7th District's website at: http://gibbs.house.gov .

Sincerely,
Signature
Bob Gibbs
Member of Congress

1911austin
January 20, 2013, 12:08 PM
Great response. We need to stand behind leaders who are willing to stand up for us.

PlusP
January 20, 2013, 01:18 PM
That is a man who is understands the problem we all face

hso
January 21, 2013, 12:32 AM
If you're Senators aren't on the list they're not up for election in 2014 so they are not include because we can't work to have them reelected or against their reelection in this next election cycle.

All 435 seats in the United States House of Representatives will be up for election in 2014.

If you know whether a Representative has a clear position on an AWB please include it.

Our job is to make sure that every politician running for office in 2012 that supports any restriction on firearms, magazines or ammunition during this struggle doesn't have a job in Washington after Nov. 4, 2014. We have to work to remove them from office during the primary, and failing that, during the election.

Even if none of this gets out of committee to a floor vote the people who betrayed their office by supporting it have to go. We must prove that this is truly a third rail issue that destroys political careers so it is another 10 years before they forget the lesson.

Bartholomew Roberts
January 22, 2013, 08:12 PM
Senator Warner of VA is now on-record for supporting magazine bans:
http://www.warner.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/newsclips?ContentRecord_id=b904ed7d-c95d-46cb-9aa0-43d31c84f7ea

RetiredUSNChief
January 22, 2013, 10:23 PM
Senator Warner of VA is now on-record for supporting magazine bans:
http://www.warner.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/newsclips?ContentRecord_id=b904ed7d-c95d-46cb-9aa0-43d31c84f7ea

Well...THAT was an interview just chock full of decisive, definative answers to specific questions now, wasn't it? :rolleyes:

Ryanxia
January 23, 2013, 12:52 PM
People choose to own firearms for a variety of reasons and many new gun laws end up adding burdens to law abiding citizens and our 2nd Amendment rights.

That's a good sentence right there. Something maybe to include when writing the rest of our Congress critters.

Ole Humpback
January 23, 2013, 06:15 PM
Heres the letter I just sent to my senators & representative in regards to the bill Senator Feinstein intends to introduce tomorrow:

Dear Senator/Representative,

My name is Ole Humpback and I am concerned constituent of yours. I recently was informed that Senator Diane Feinstein intends to introduce a bill in the Senate on Thursday January 25, 2013 in regards to a new version of a so called "assault weapons ban". As an avid outdoorsman and member of both the National Wild Turkey Federation and National Rifle Association, I ask that you oppose this bill.

I have read the proposed ideas for her bill, President Obamas executive orders that are to be considered for the bill, and Govenor Cuomo's recently signed "assault weapons ban" that is being used as a template for Senator Feinstein's bill and find them all to be unconstitutional in regards to the Second Amendment. Also, although I own no firearms which are semi-automatic versions of military firearms, all the firearms I currently own would be considered "assault weapons" if Senator Feinstein's bill, President Obama's proposals, or a Congressionally approved version of Govenor Cuomo's bill is passed. This would turn me, a law abiding citizen who enjoys hunting and competitive shooting sports, into a criminal due to the fact that my hunting & sproting firearms have qualities that are deemed to be what constitutes an "assault weapon" when in fact none of them can even be called an "assault weapon" in even the loosest terms.

Also, for you information, an "assault weapon" is a military weapon that has selective rate of fire capabilities (semi-auto, three round burst, and full auto generally speaking), fires a reduced power cartridge, and is designed mainly for short range combat. These weapons are currently illegal for civilians to own. The firearms that these new bills and proposals seek to ban do not meet this definition for "assault weapon". In fact, these firearms are lawfully bought & used by several thousand people in the US & Indiana every year for competitive shooting events.

With the above said, I again ask that you oppose tomorrow's bill.

Sincerely,

Ole Humpback

B O
January 23, 2013, 07:37 PM
Apparently the poll we hit on his site didn't matter much to him :banghead:


"Thank you for contacting me about policy proposals that seek to reduce gun violence in the wake of the tragedy in Newtown.

I am a hunter and have always owned guns, and I support the Second Amendment.

But assault weapons such as AK 47s are intended for killing, not hunting.

Solutions for reducing gun violence must address many areas, from protecting law enforcement and keeping weapons out of the hands of criminals, to school safety, access to mental health services, and confronting a culture that sometimes glorifies violence.

I support reinstating the assault weapons ban and restoring the 10-round limit for ammunition magazines. And, I support universal background checks so that we can know if person buying a weapon has a criminal record.

I appreciate hearing your views on this very important issue, and I will keep them in mind. Please do not hesitate to contact me in the future.

Sincerely,
Bill Nelson"

Shear_stress
January 23, 2013, 11:31 PM
With Senator Feinstein unleashing her proposed "assault weapons" legislation tomorrow, I sent a preemptive letter to the senators representing my state. In it, I took a different tack than some folks. Instead of focusing on the 2nd Amendment directly, I decided to appeal to the fact that we really do have the statistics on our side. Time will tell if it makes a damn bit of difference.


Dear Senator XXXXXX,

We all were repulsed by last year's tragedies in Newtown, Clackamas, and Aurora and many well-intentioned people have called for new firearms regulations that are "common sense" and "meaningful." However, some of the proposals I have been hearing about are neither. In particular, I am referring to legislation that would further regulate a vaguely defined category of firearms, so-called "assault rifles."

My education in engineering and the life sciences has taught me to look at the data when confronted with in issue. Or, in this context, to ask the question "what is the harm caused by semiautomatic rifles?" Despite the sunset of the 1994 "Assault Weapons" ban, homicide rates in this country have been declining for years according to the FBI's Uniform Crime Report statistics. In addition, referring to Expanded Homicide Data Table 8 (Murder Victims by Weapon 2007-2011), rifles of all kinds have been involved in 2.5-3.1% of homicides. This is at or slightly lower than the rate of use of shotguns and is, in fact, also lower than the rates for blunt objects (4-4.5%) or even hands, fists or feet (5.7-6.2%.) Given that "military style" rifles represent a subset of the rifles included in the data, there is clearly no growing epidemic of their use in murders.

Rifles such as the AR-15 (was has been sold to the public since 1964) have exploded in popularity in the last few decades. Despite depictions to the contrary, military-derived rifles are fully ensconced in the shooting sports mainstream and are central to events such as Three Gun, IPDA and CMP or NRA High Power. The AR-15 in particular is commonly used for small game hunting as well due to its excellent accuracy. It should be noted, however, that the .223 round used by most AR-15 variants is less powerful than the cartridges used by most traditional deer rifles.

Further restrictions on military-style rifles defies common sense. Such laws exploit arbitrary aesthetic standards to regulate firearms that, though they are in common use for sport and defense, simply do not represent a growing or significant threat to the public. Moreover, this focus on military-style firearms as causative agents of violence is not "meaningful" in the sense that it neglects the less politically expedient roots of violence--poverty, lack of educational opportunities, etc.

Consequently, I urge you to do the intellectually honest thing and resist pointless restrictions on certain types of firearms. If we are truly interested in addressing violence in this country we need to have the courage to change the agenda to reflect its true causes.

Best regards,
XXXXXXXX

LevelHead
January 23, 2013, 11:33 PM
Very nice - may I use most of it as well?

Typo in the third paragraph - "was has been sold to the public since 1964"

Shear_stress
January 23, 2013, 11:43 PM
Very nice - may I use most of it as well?

Be my guest! Thanks for catching that typo.

2ifbyC
January 24, 2013, 12:11 AM
Time will tell if it makes a damn bit of difference.

It makes a major difference for reasons that you may have not contemplated:
1. It improves your cognitive thinking so you can write in a concise, cogent manner.
2. You have exercised your right to have your voice heard and to ensure your representatives know your position on issues that are important to you.
3. You were “in the arena” and not on the sidelines making judgments.
4. It instills pride and self-worth.
Good job. Hopefully, you will serve as a model for others to express their inner voice.

jamesbeat
January 24, 2013, 01:41 AM
Beautiful.

Skribs
January 24, 2013, 01:52 AM
Two things...

1) Put both Washington senators on the list as SUPPORTS GUN CONTROL. Patty Murray has an F rating from the NRA, and a track record of constantly voting to restrict our rights. Maria Cantwell (I haven't looked up her NRA rating) proudly says she supported the 94 AWB and her email to me included the phrase "I support the second amendment, but..."...with a LOT after the "but".

Both of these senators have been representing us for far too long. Let's get rid of them already.

2) Can you maybe recolor the names, i.e. make pro-gun folk green and anti-gun folk red? Would be even easier to discern who's who.

http://www.ontheissues.org/domestic/Patty_Murray_Gun_Control.htm
http://www.ontheissues.org/domestic/Maria_Cantwell_Gun_Control.htm

From S. Cantwell (Murray hasn't responded):

Dear Mr. {Redacted},



Thank you for contacting me regarding the tragic shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. I appreciate hearing from you on this important issue.



All Washingtonians – and all Americans – offer our deepest condolences to the families of the 20 children and six school staff members who were killed in this senseless attack. Our thoughts and prayers are with the community of Newtown, as its residents heal from this incomprehensible tragedy.



This horrific attack highlights several issues that must be addressed promptly in order to better protect against such inexplicable violence. We need to get powerful assault weapons off our streets. And we need to strengthen services for the mentally ill and their families.



In the past, I supported the original Assault Weapons Ban and the Brady Bill, as well as the Youth Handgun Safety Act of 1993, which prohibits juveniles from possessing or receiving handguns. I look forward to work with my colleagues in the Senate to strengthen responsible legislation to rein in gun violence. We need to work to close the loopholes in existing laws that allow criminals and children to gain access to firearms contrary to the law's intention. One example is the well-known "gun-show loophole" which allows people to purchase firearms at gun-shows without undergoing the background check required when guns are bought from licensed dealers. Lastly, I believe we must support increased gun-safety and gun-use education.



I support the Second Amendment and the rights of law-abiding Washingtonians who own guns. I also remain focused on addressing the deeply troubling violence in this country and making our state and our country as safe as possible for all people, including our most vulnerable citizens, our children. I believe both of these goals are important and can be simultaneously accomplished through common-sense gun laws and stricter enforcement of existing laws.



Along with addressing gun violence, making services for the mentally ill and their families more accessible will encourage those suffering from mental illness to seek needed care and support. Mental health care is a critical component of our healthcare system and an individual's overall health status. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, approximately one in 17 Americans suffers from a seriously debilitating mental illness. I care deeply about mental health care and understand the important role behavioral health services play in the lives of both those who suffer from mental illness and their family and loved ones.




Thank you again for contacting me to share your thoughts on this matter. Please do not hesitate to contact me in the future if I can be of further assistance.

Sincerely,
Maria Cantwell
United States Senator


For future correspondence with my office, please visit my website at
http://cantwell.senate.gov/contact/

viper7342
January 24, 2013, 02:21 AM
The following is a letter I just finished writing to my Congresscritters, if anyone would like to use it feel free.

I am writing today, to strongly urge you to vote no on any and all new proposed new gun bans/regulations, that would affect a law abiding citizens right to keep and bear arms, including any so called "Assauls Weapons" Ban, restrictions on "High Capacity" Magazines, More intrusive background checks, or bans on internet sales of firearms or ammunition. I believe strongly in the Second Amendment to the US Constitution and Feel that there are already plenty of laws on the books regarding guns, I also believe that criminals will commit crimes no matter what weapon they have to use to accomplish their goals, I strongly believe that Wayne Lapierre was absolutely right when he said "the only thing that will stop a bad guy with a gun, is a good guy with a gun". Therefore, I also strongly urge you to support any legislation that may come about to repeal the Gun Free School Zones Act of 1990 and any and all ammendments thereto which create nothing more than gun free victim zones. In other words, I strongly urge you to NOT SUPPORT ANY NEW GUN LAWS,DENY SUCCESS TO MASS MURDERERS BY ABOLISHING PHONY ‘GUN-FREE’ VICTIM / KILLER ENABLING ZONES NOW, I WOULD ALSO URGE YOU TO WORK WITH US OR WE WILL WORK TO RETIRE YOU.

TenDriver
January 24, 2013, 10:34 AM
I wonder if he understands hunting involves killing most of the time....

Curator
January 24, 2013, 12:00 PM
I got the same response, obviously canned. Nelson was a petty good Insurance Commissioner but has been seduced by the National Dems to get into lock-step with the Party Line. He needs to be defeated in his next run for the Senate. Trying to convince him to look at the gun-ban logically won't work. Unfortunately he has 6 more years of selling us down the river,

Skribs
January 24, 2013, 02:12 PM
Dear Mr. {Redacted},


Thank you for taking the time to contact me. I deeply appreciate your willingness to share your thoughts with me as I work to represent all the residents of our Congressional District. I hope that even if we do not always agree, we can continue having a civil, reasonable and thoughtful conversation on how we can confront the challenges our nation faces.

Many different proposals for reducing gun violence have been made in the past few weeks, including by President Obama. I am carefully reviewing the President's proposal, which has not yet been written into legislation, as well as the many other proposals that have been made by advocacy groups. Most importantly, I am listening to the ideas that my constituents have proposed for fighting gun violence in America. As the national debate on gun violence moves forward, I want you to know what my guiding principles on this issue will be.

First, I believe that doing nothing is not an option. Like all Americans, I am heartbroken by the shooting that occurred at Sandy Hook Elementary School in December. The murder of twenty first-graders and seven adults, six of whom worked at the school, was a tragedy beyond comprehension. As the husband of a retired principal and teacher and the father of two boys, this shooting hit particularly close to home for me and my family.

Sadly, too many other communities have also experienced incidents of gun violence. The South Sound has not been spared. Six people were injured in a mass-shooting at the Tacoma Mall in 2005. Four Lakewood police officers were killed in 2009 while sitting in a coffee shop. Every day in communities around America there are tragic gun deaths that rip neighborhoods and families apart.

I believe we must do more to prevent gun violence in this country. No child should go to school scared of being shot. Every American deserves to live in a society free of the threat of gun violence. I am committed to working to reduce gun violence and keeping guns out of the hands of criminals and those who are dangerously mentally ill. Let me repeat: Doing nothing is not an option.

Second, I believe that all proposals aimed at reducing gun violence should be evaluated in an evidence-based way. We should enact policies that research shows us will actually work and be effective at reducing gun violence. Unfortunately, researchers looking into ways to reduce gun violence face unnecessary and inappropriate barriers in conducting their work. For example, Congress has placed restrictions on the ability of the Centers for Disease Control to do research into the cause of gun violence. It has also placed restrictions on what data federal agencies can release to researchers looking to study gun violence. These laws limit our ability to even understand the scope of the problem confronting us. These laws should be repealed.

Third, I believe we must strike a reasonable balance between respecting the Second Amendment and the need to keep our communities safe. I know many are greatly concerned Congress or the President will act in a way that damages the Second Amendment or targets hunters and sportsmen. I grew up a hunter and understand these concerns. The Supreme Court has repeatedly ruled in favor of the right of individual firearm ownership and Congress and the President need to respect this.

I believe it is possible for us to have common sense gun laws that will protect Americans without at all threatening our right to bear arms. For example, Congress has already placed significant restrictions on the production and ownership of tanks, bazookas, machine guns and other automatic weapons. Individuals who meet certain criteria, such as those who have been deemed dangerously mentally ill, are also not allowed to own firearms. I support these laws and support making sure we do a better job enforcing them.

One new action that I believe would better strike a balance between respecting the Second Amendment and keeping our communities safe is closing what some have called the "gun show loophole." This is an omission in federal law which allows individuals to purchase firearms at gun shows without having to undergo a background check. They would be required to undergo this background check if they were purchasing a firearm at a brick-and-mortar store, and visiting a gun show allows them to slip past this security check. I strongly believe that individuals who have committed violent felonies or who are dangerously mentally ill should not be able to evade background checks simply by purchasing a firearm at a local gun show.

Finally, as we look for ways to reduce gun violence, I believe we need to look beyond gun laws. We need to take steps to make our schools a safer place for kids and teachers. Every school in America should have a comprehensive emergency management plan in place, and every school must take steps to reduce violence and bullying.

We also need to improve access to mental healthcare. While only a small minority of those who have a mental illness are violent, we cannot let these individuals slip through the cracks of our healthcare system. Congress needs to continue making sure health insurance policies fully cover necessary mental health coverage, and we need an increased focus on mental health treatment for young Americans between the ages of 16 and 25. These young people are the least likely to seek assistance for a mental illness despite being one of the age groups with the highest risk of developing one.

There is no single action we can take to fully eliminate gun violence. However, the immensity of this problem cannot be an excuse for inaction. In the weeks and months ahead, I look forward to continuing to hear from you and other constituents about what we can do to tackle this problem. Please do not hesitate to contact my office again as this debate continues.

At least he doesn't appear to be as gun-grabbery as some of the people representing my state, but he likes the laws we have on the books and appears to support closing of the "gun show loophole" and by extension I'm assuming universal background checks. All so we don't look like we are "doing nothing."

I'm going to post another comment on his page saying that considering the number of times firearms are used in self defense in the country vastly outweighs the number of times firearms are illicitly used for violence, that further restrictions, while "doing something", will be doing something in the wrong direction.

I will also ask what other amendments he's willing to "strike a balance" with, or if it's just the one that scares him that is up for debate.

Last point I'll make is that I voted for him (unfortunate...but he didn't have gun control up on his issues) because he seemed like a level-headed person, but if he is willing to restrict my rights, I will rescind that vote in the next election and give it to his competitor.

Ryanxia
January 24, 2013, 03:51 PM
Make sure when he comes up for reelection that you unseat him. Start looking for an alternative to his anti-American ways.

Bartholomew Roberts
January 24, 2013, 04:00 PM
I am past the window where I can edit my post here; but I have updated this version with the color code you suggested:
http://www.ar15.com/forums/t_1_5/1420444_.html&page=1

In addition, I also added statements that I found from several Senators to clarify their position. I noted that Jim Risch had a strongly worded pro-Second response that is now missing from his website and can only be found in Google cache. If you are in Idaho, you might want to call and thank him for his support. I know that the Senate offices are getting anti-protests (Cornyn was targeted on the 20th by gun control supporters).

Don't take anything for granted. These guys need to know how you feel.

J.R.W.
January 24, 2013, 06:10 PM
Dear Mr. (edited):



Thank you for contacting me regarding gun control legislation. I appreciate your interest in this matter, and I welcome the opportunity to share my thinking with you.



I firmly support the Second Amendment and recognize that the vast majority of gun owners in the United States are responsible, law-abiding citizens. However, I also believe that certain restrictions on firearm use and ownership are justified and appropriate. Determining which restrictions may be necessary has taken on a new urgency in the wake of the December shooting in Newtown, CT.



In the wake of this devastating event, we are all working to determine how best to prevent similar tragedies in the future. Schools throughout Rhode Island and around the nation are reexamining their security policies to ensure they provide the best protection for our students. Police departments are updating their response plans and communities are working to improve their outreach to troubled youths. I am grateful for all of the ideas that I have received from my constituents about how to move forward.



As part of the policy response, I support efforts to strengthen mental health services in this country, as well as responsible gun regulations that can improve public safety without infringing on Americans' rights to own guns for lawful purposes. For that reason, in the 113th Congress (2013-2014) I will continue to back bills that increase inspections of gun dealers, with penalties for those who don't keep good records; reinstate the assault weapons ban; require universal background checks for gun purchases; and prohibit large capacity magazines. I have long been troubled by the types of powerful ammunition, weapons and extended gun clips that are so readily available and that go well beyond the needs of self-defense or sport. This is even more troubling given the lack of constraints on the purchase of firearms, including instances where individuals can buy weapons without any background check.



A number of my constituents have indicated that they believe the enforcement of existing gun laws combined with better gun safety education are the best policy solutions. While I agree that those are important components of our effort to reduce gun violence, I do not believe that they are sufficient by themselves. I do not believe in banning all firearms. I know that many hunters and sportsmen use their weapons responsibly for recreation every day, and individuals have the right to own a firearm for self-defense. Nonetheless, there are important legislative steps that must be taken to address this public health crisis and prevent incidents like that at Sandy Hook Elementary.



Please be assured that I will continue to advocate for common-sense legislation that prevents gun violence while preserving Second Amendment rights. Thank you again for contacting me, and please keep in touch throughout the legislative session.

Sincerely,


Jim Langevin
Member of Congress

I'm going to sit down over the weekend to formulate a articulate response to hopefully address specific points. I'll be including the FBI crime stats that have been brought up recently. I'm thinking it will be a useless battle though. Providence RI, the state capitol, just passed a city council resolution trying to ban all semi automatic weapons. Time will tell, I guess.

TheGloriousTachikoma
January 24, 2013, 06:27 PM
You do realize that it will never be seen my your congresscritter's eyes, right? At best it will be coherently skimmed by an aide.

This is all you have to send in the letter:

"Dear Congresscritter,

Do not vote for an Assault Weapons Ban or a Magazine Capacity Ban or I will vote you out.

-Sincerely, John Doe

jrdolall
January 24, 2013, 08:40 PM
Thank you for contacting me with regard to gun ownership rights. It is good to hear from you and I am pleased that we both support a citizen's right to bear arms.

I believe that gun control legislation violates both the letter and the spirit of the United States Constitution. Throughout all my previous years in Congress, I have consistently supported legislation that strengthened an individual's right to bear arms, and I will continue in the 113th Congress. As long as I represent you in Congress, I will vigorously defend the Second Amendment.

On Wednesday, January 16, 2013 President Obama issued a plan of action titled "Now is the Time: The President's Plan to Protect Children and our Communities by Reducing Gun Violence." In it the President calls for many reforms like a national assault weapon ban, a ban on high-capacity magazines, stricter background checks, ways to make schools safer, and expanded mental health services. The plan included calls for Congressional Action, but also included 23 Executive Orders. I am very concerned with these Executive Orders and his use of executive privilege to bypass Congress. As these issues come before Congress rest assured that I will continue to strongly support the Second Amendment and vote against any of the President's proposals that infringe upon the rights of law abiding Americans.

Again, thank you for contacting me and I am pleased we agree on this matter. Please do not hesitate to contact me again on this or any other matter of concern. If you would like further information of issues of importance to you, please log on to my website at http://mike-rogers.house.gov

Ash
January 24, 2013, 08:50 PM
He's in the camp of the enemy. Better get him to change sides.

HKGuns
January 24, 2013, 09:04 PM
No, he won't change sides. Vote his arse out of office. Volunteer for his opponent during the next election, spread the word any way you can that he is not upholding his oath to the constitution.

Bartholomew Roberts
January 25, 2013, 02:58 PM
Sen. Susan Collins goes wobbly on a new AWB: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-01-25/assault-weapons-ban-lacks-democratic-votes-to-pass-senate.html

Says she isn't certain she will support it, despite voting for it every single time it came up previously. My guess is she is probably lying; but congratulations to you guys in Maine who have apparently made an impact on her position.

In the bad news; but not surprising department, Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI) is one of the sponsors of Feinstein's new abhorrent and worse than ever before ban bill.

Ashcons
January 25, 2013, 03:35 PM
I've been hammering at Mark Pryor over the past few weeks on this issue. I feel like he'll vote however the wind blows, which means I'll still vote for a more pro-2A senator in the next election. Boozman gave a fairly solid reply as did Womack.

gdcpony
January 25, 2013, 05:04 PM
Got another one.
Dear Mr. and Mrs. Clayton:



Thank you for contacting me with your concerns regarding gun control initiatives in the wake of the recent shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut. I value your opinion and appreciate hearing from you on this matter.



No words can describe this unspeakable tragedy. My thoughts and prayers continue to be with the families and friends of those who lost loved ones in Sandy Hook.



In the days ahead, the American public and elected officials will examine all of the factors that played a role in this event, and others like it. As this conversation unfolds, let me state clearly that I will continue to stand up for the 2 nd Amendment rights of law-abiding Americans. Furthermore, please know that I am strongly opposed to President Obama's implementation of numerous gun control initiatives through executive order. This is just another example of the president attempting to bypass the Congress and the Constitution in order to implement his extreme agenda.



Again, thank you for sharing your views on this issue with me. If you have any further questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me.





Sincerely,

Walter B. Jones
Member of Congress

gdcpony
January 26, 2013, 10:20 AM
Another from Gov John Kasich:
Dear George :



Like all Americans, I was horrified as the tragedies of Friday, December 14 th unfolded in Newtown, Connecticut. The deplorable act of violence that took the lives of innocent children and adults is beyond reason, and I pray that, in time, the families of the victims and the people of that community are able to find peace.



As you no doubt recall, we were all reminded of the evil th at exists in our world when six students were shot, three fatally, at Chardon High School in Geauga County on February 27 th , 2012. In the aftermath, the heroic stories of the first responders, teachers and staff who acted swiftly and selflessly to protect others showed true courage.


Since that tragic event, and in the wake of the recent tragedy in Newtown, the absolute necessity for school officials, parents, students and first responders to be trained and practiced in responding to these unthinkable crimes is of utmost importance. Various state and local agencies, including the Ohio Office of Homeland Security and the Ohio Department of Education, have worked collaboratively to implement, review and drill response plans. Moreover, these occasions of violence and heartache should give us all pause to think about how we treat each other, and the value we as a society place upon every life.



With regard to calls for legislation in response to these events, it is my belief that we will be best served by enforcing those laws that currently exist. And, in the weeks and months that follow, we should learn as much as possible about how this happened, and what steps we can take, including mental health awareness and school safety protocols, to guard against the senseless loss of innocent life ever again.



I appreciate your taking the time to write. Please join me and my family in continuing to keep the communities of Chardon and Newtown, and all innocent victims of violence, in our prayers. Thank you.

gdcpony
January 26, 2013, 10:22 AM
And another:
Dear George,



Thank you for contacting me about our Second Amendment rights. It is good to hear from you.



I am a gun owner who believes in the right to bear arms in defense of self, family and property. During my 12 years serving in Congress, I received an "A" rating from the National Rifle Association for defending our Constitutional Rights. I opposed the so-called "assault weapons ban" and opposed the Brady Bill. I supported repealing both the Clinton gun ban and the Washington, D.C. gun ban. I voted to protect the private information of gun owners; to protect state gun laws; and to protect firearm and ammunition manufacturers, dealers or importers from lawsuits and damages related to criminal misuse by a third party.



As a life-long hunter, I also believe the rights and freedoms of hunters must be guarded and I developed an executive order that the president signed to enhance hunting and fishing opportunities at wildlife refuges and national preserves. As your Senator, I will continue to protect our Constitutional freedoms and will be a strong advocate for preserving these rights and traditions for future generations.



Thank you for taking the time to contact my office. For more information, I encourage you to visit my website at www.portman.senate.gov. Please keep in touch.



Sincerely,

Rob Portman
U.S. Senator

gdcpony
January 26, 2013, 10:23 AM
I think I will post all replies I get from now on good and bad.

gdcpony
January 26, 2013, 10:25 AM
January 23, 2013



Thank you for contacting my office. I appreciate your taking the time to write to me regarding this issue.



I agree that the last thing we should be doing in the aftermath of a terrible crime such as what took place in Connecticut is to overreact in the legislative realm. As a concealed carry license holder myself, the legislature should not be curtailing the rights of those who carry lawfully because of the unlawful actions of certain individuals. I will also be sure to keep watch for any legislation concerning background checks in the coming months.



Thank you again for getting in touch with my office. If I can ever be of assistance to you regarding any state issue, please do not hesitate to contact me.



Sincerely,







Andy Thompson

State Representative

95th House District


State level

M-Ful
January 26, 2013, 02:05 PM
Today I sent this letter to all three of my representatives, please help me get this issue more attention. "I am seventeen and would like your attention on an important issue to me. All across the state there are competent, mentally stable pistol marskman under the age of twenty one, which is the age requirement for concealed carry. Each time I go to the range to practice or an IDPA match I see more and more outstanding young marksman under twenty one, like myself practicing defensive pistol shooting. I love my fellow Arkansans and would not hesitate to protect their lives, including yours, if you would allow me and many others like me to have the tools to do so. In Arkansas an eighteen year old individual can carry a handgun while hunting or be in possession of one but can neither buy or conceal carry said weapon. I'm urging you to consider legislation that would allow the concealed carry age requirement to drop to 18, we are old enough to defend our country with a weapon in the military, why can't we do the same for our fellow man at home?" What do y'all think?

swalton1943
January 26, 2013, 02:16 PM
Ask the dead if they would have liked to have had a firearm when the [U]murderer came for them. What do you think would be their answer?:evil:

Kiln
January 26, 2013, 05:19 PM
I'm from Arkansas too. I doubt it'll ever happen. It is an unfortunate thing that people just don't care about handgun owners under 21.

I remember feeling the same way and I can tell you that in my opinion, if you're 18 you should be able to own a handgun and go through the process to legally carry a concealed weapon.

wgaynor
January 26, 2013, 09:21 PM
January 25, 2013



Dear Mr. Gaynor,



Thank you for contacting me regarding the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn. My thoughts and prayers are with the children, parents, teachers and community as they mourn this tragic loss of life.

After such a senseless act of violence, the power of prayer and the kindness of friends, family, and neighbors near and far provides solace and strength to the community. I hope we can learn more about what warning signs were missed and how we can better prevent tragedies like this from occurring in the future. However, I do not believe we should rush to point fingers or enact reactionary legislation curtailing Second Amendment rights. No amount of gun control will be able to prevent mentally disturbed individuals from committing despicable acts of violence. High-risk individuals will still be able to acquire firearms and other lethal weapons, even with an increase in prevention. Please be assured I will oppose any proposed gun control law which would limit the right to gun ownership by those who are responsible, law-abiding citizens, and that I will continue to defend Americans' Second Amendment rights in the Senate.

Once more, thank you for sharing your thoughts. Please do not hesitate to contact me if I can be of assistance in the future. I look forward to hearing from you again.



Sincerely,



Rand Paul, MD
United States Senator

Spats McGee
January 26, 2013, 10:35 PM
I think I forgot to post this on THR, but Mark Pryor from Arkansas has been very noncommittal in his response to my emails. IOW, he'll support gun control if he thinks it will get him reelected.

Ash
January 27, 2013, 03:29 PM
It can't be, reason from Washington? I've always liked this guy.

flatlander937
January 27, 2013, 04:40 PM
He's one of the few good senators. His voting record mirrors what the Constitution says.

b7tac
January 27, 2013, 04:49 PM
Rand Paul is one of only two U.S. Senators that I trust to uphold the literal translation of the U.S. Constitution - the other being Marco Rubio from the great state of FL.

vamo
January 27, 2013, 05:21 PM
So I got 2 replies from the letters I sent Missouri's NRA F rated senator, I got one reply from her on the 13th, and got another reply yesterday (I think to my mass letter through ruger), I won't bore anyone with the long detailed letters though neither of them were as firmly anti as I was expecting. I did notice that in the first one she seemed firmly in support of AWB, magazine restrictions, and universal background checks. In the second she does not mention assault weapons or magazines. Though she does still mention the need for universal background checks, she did add that any proposal would need careful review, when that was not part of her 1st response.

Both I am sure are her standard from letters so I find it a bit encouraging that someone chose to remove references to assault weapons and magazine capacity to the most recent one.

Of course take all of this with a grain of salt she is a politician after all, and keep the pressure up especially when a bill is in danger of being voted on.

Jaybird78
January 27, 2013, 10:40 PM
I'm suprised I got a reply. This has been the only one so far. :rolleyes:




Thank you for contacting my office. I appreciate your thoughts regarding the Second Amendment rights of all Illinois residents.



Hunting is an important tradition across the state and in my native Southern Illinois, and as a former prosecutor and as Lt. Governor, I am committed to protecting our constitutional rights. But we also need to consider the effects of gun violence. Our efforts should focus on protecting both our constitutional rights and our safety.

My goal is to support measures that both reduce gun violence and protect the constitutional rights of law-abiding gun owners. As firearms legislation moves through the General Assembly, I expect that there will be a robust debate on these issues. I will continue to be involved in discussions that involve the safety of our citizens.



Thank you once again for your thoughts. It is important for me to maintain an active engagement with the public on all matters that affect our state. Please contact my office again at any time.



Sincerely,




Sheila Simon

JFtheGR8
January 28, 2013, 03:07 AM
I got the same thing. My reply reminded her that hunting is a privilege whereas owning firearms is a constitutional right.
These antis try this divide and conquer thing all the time. Trying to appeal to the hunters to get them to support "common sense" gun laws.


Posted from Thehighroad.org App for Android

bigfatdave
January 28, 2013, 03:45 AM
broken concepts include (but are not limited to)

-2a is about hunting
-gun violence is different from general violence
-legislation impacts the plans of violent criminals

hso
January 28, 2013, 09:44 AM
Remind those that aren't dedicated Antis that the costs to the supporters of any new law restricting magazines, firearms, or ammunition will be higher than the '96, '98, and 2000 elections.

Remind them that Clinton and Feinstein gave too much credit to the NRA at the time of the backlash to AWB '94 for the losses in Congress and that the same mistakes are being made now.

Even more now than then, the number of voters who own these firearms and magazines that use this ammunition out number NRA members and far far outnumber hunters and are a growing group in the country.
Even more now than then, we're better connected and organized through internet forums and social media.
Even more now than, then the facts and actual data on crime showing that murder rates have fallen ever since AWB '94 expired are readily available and easily shared demonstrating the fact that AWB '13 supporters are lying to the American voters.
Even now more than then, we know that replacing politician supporting an AWB is possible and we'll spend our time and money to see that takes place. AND that even if one is passed the backlash will see it reversed

There are far more of us, we have access to better information, we're far better organized on our own, and we'll be far more active in removing any politician from office that wants to restrict firearms, magazines or ammunition we might want to own.

BCCL
January 28, 2013, 10:28 AM
My "reply" from her as well



Thank you for contacting my office. I appreciate your thoughts regarding the Second Amendment rights of all Illinois residents.

Hunting is an important tradition across the state and in my native Southern Illinois, and as a former prosecutor and as Lt. Governor, I am committed to protecting our constitutional rights. But we also need to consider the effects of gun violence. Our efforts should focus on protecting both our constitutional rights and our safety.

My goal is to support measures that both reduce gun violence and protect the constitutional rights of law-abiding gun owners. As firearms legislation moves through the General Assembly, I expect that there will be a robust debate on these issues. I will continue to be involved in discussions that involve the safety of our citizens.

Thank you once again for your thoughts. It is important for me to maintain an active engagement with the public on all matters that affect our state. Please contact my office again at any time.

Ryanxia
January 28, 2013, 11:30 AM
While it sounds that she softened a little it still sounds like she's still firmly anti-American.

Ryanxia
January 28, 2013, 11:34 AM
Sounds like a good guy. Remember to keep him in office during reelection and to help his campaign when the time comes.

Ryanxia
January 28, 2013, 12:05 PM
That's too bad, concealed carry license age is 18 in my state (private sale/gift from parents I guess).

It's ridiculous that you can be drafted and vote at 18 but not be able to drink a beer or buy a revolver.

Gaiudo
January 28, 2013, 12:35 PM
Dear Dr. Ellis:

Thank you for contacting me about Senator Diane Feinstein's assault weapons ban proposal. This issue is of great importance to me as well, so I appreciate hearing your thoughts and the opportunity to respond to your concerns.

As you are aware, Senator Diane Feinstein has proposed legislation to prohibit the sale, importation, transfer, and manufacturing of all assault weapons and high capacity ammunition-feeding devices. This federal mandate would outlaw the purchase, ownership, and use of hundreds of firearms and would limit magazine capacity to 10 rounds for semiautomatic rifles and handguns. As a member of the House of the Representatives, I will not vote on this legislation unless it is passed by the Senate and scheduled for a vote in the House.

Representative Diana DeGette has introduced House Resolution 138, the Large Capacity Ammunition Feeding Device Act. As a companion bill to Senator Feinstein's legislation, H.R. 138 would likewise ban the transfer and possession of large capacity ammunition feeding devices. I believe that states should continue to implement these standards. It would not be wise for Congress to establish an arbitrary national standard, provided that each state is composed of different demographics, crime rates, and local culture. The Colorado General Assembly will be having this debate during this session of the legislature. I do not doubt Senator Feinstein's and Rep. DeGette's sincerity, but I believe these standards are best left to state and local governments. However, I am in favor of improving the federal gun background check system through legislation that would strengthen the screening process for people who have a record of past criminal activities or mental illness.

Thank you again, Nicholas, for taking the time to contact me. For more information on my work in Congress on your behalf, please sign up for my newsletter at https://forms.house.gov/coffman/webforms/enews.html.




Sincerely,

Mike Coffman
Member of Congress

Jaybird78
January 28, 2013, 09:15 PM
I'm surprised they even mentioned hunting. But it is a divide gun owners tactic to be sure.

Jim K
January 28, 2013, 09:39 PM
Remember that to those people the Second Amendment means that a goverenment-controlled militia has the right to have guns in order to keep the lower classes in check. So they can say, with a straight face, that they support the Second Amendment.

Jim

LUCKYDAWG13
January 28, 2013, 09:44 PM
yep i got the same B/S too :cuss:

narcoden
January 28, 2013, 10:04 PM
I got over a dozen of that same email. Doesn't matter what I write, the same form letter comes back. Really makes you feel like your voice is heard...

Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk HD

vamo
January 28, 2013, 10:08 PM
She was polling pretty badly before a major public gaffe by her opponent this past election. Maybe she realizes shes going to have to be more moderate to stand a chance of ever winning again in this state. Then again she doesn't have to face voters for another 6 years so we'll see. I did find the language difference in the letters encouraging though.

paintballdude902
January 28, 2013, 11:35 PM
this is the response from congressman G.K. Butterfield to my letter to all my representatives through the ruger website.

Dear Friend:

Thank you for contacting me regarding Second Amendment Rights' and gun violence. I appreciate learning your views.



Like many Americans, I am concerned about preserving our constitutional rights to own firearms. As you know, the majority of gun owners in America are law-abiding citizens who responsibly maintain firearms for personal protection or personal hobbies.



However, the tragic deaths of 26 children and adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newton, Connecticut plus several other mass killings involving deadly firearms suggest a need for policymakers to consider limiting the proliferation of assault rifles and high-capacity magazines, completing thorough background check on all gun sales, preventing the trafficking of guns, and working with mental health professionals and law enforcement to keep guns out of the hands of those who may cause us harm. Enacting sensible gun laws that fully considers the time in which we live would place our country on a path to more responsible gun-ownership and decreased gun violence.



As more gun control proposals are put forth, I look forward to working with my Congressional colleagues to thoughtfully consider the measures that take appropriate action.

Very truly yours,

G.K. Butterfield
Member of Congress


i responded by telling him politely that this issue is near and dear to my heart and central to my ideas about this country. then i finished by saying that he would never receive another one of my votes and i am waiting for the day he is challenged by another individual worthy of my vote and respect.

avs11054
January 28, 2013, 11:44 PM
Did you let him know that there is no proliferation of "assault rifles" and he should refrain from voting for something that he apparently knows nothing about?

OldMac
January 29, 2013, 07:31 AM
He is one of the good ones that understands the constitution and his role to represent you rather than rule you. If his daddy had been elected, we wouldn't have this current crises of some believing they can take away God given rights.

beeenbag
January 29, 2013, 07:54 AM
Rand Paul for President 2016!!!

CZ-75BD
January 29, 2013, 10:01 AM
Dear correspondent,


Thank you for contacting me in support of American's Second Amendment rights and gun safety. I truly appreciate your input as I work to represent your interests in Washington.

Gun violence is unfortunately not a rare occurrence in our country. The massacres such as the ones we have witnessed in Newtown, Oak Creek, Aurora and Tucson each shook the nation, and every couple of months there seems to be another tragedy. We all want to see senseless violence end. Regrettably, little action is taken to prevent the next tragedy, even in the aftermath of horrific events.

I do believe in, and am committed to defending our Second Amendment rights, including the right to bear arms. The vast majority of gun owners who live in the Tenth Congressional District and across the country are law abiding citizens and important and valued members of our community.

I also believe we can, and should, take sensible steps to improve the safety of our communities. President Obama has called on Congress to pass sensible legislation that would ban military style assault weapons, put limits on high capacity magazines, create a universal background check for gun purchases and increase penalties to combat gun trafficking. I believe that these are all proposals that would help to decrease gun violence while respecting American's Second Amendment Rights.

I have called on my colleagues from both sides of the aisle to unite behind these proposals and pledge to do all that I can to ensure that they become law. I believe it is time for Congress and the country to engage in a national conversation about measures that can be taken to enact safe, sensible policy that will help to reduce gun violence while respecting American's Second Amendment rights.

I would like to thank you again for reaching out to me on this important matter. Hearing from constituents like you allows me to bea more informed and effective Member of Congress. If I can be of further assistance to you on this or any other matter, please do not hesitate to contact me or my office.

Sincerely,

Brad Schneider
United States Representative
Tenth Congressional District of Illinois

Ryanxia
January 29, 2013, 10:23 AM
I would write him back and say bluntly that if you vote for further gun control that infringes on our Constitutional Rights than I and many others will work passionately to unseat you at your next election. And then I would do it.

Mosbyranger
January 29, 2013, 03:21 PM
Dear Mr. Mosbyranger:

Thank you for taking the time to contact me regarding Second Amendment rights and the national imperative to keep our children safe. I appreciate you taking the time to inform me of your thoughts on this issue. My thoughts and prayers are with the families and loved ones of those that were tragically killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

This horrific tragedy as well as that which occurred in Aurora has reignited the debate regarding public safety and how best to prevent atrocities such as this from occurring again. Keeping our children safe must remain a top priority for lawmakers of all political stripes, and we must be prudent in implementing a comprehensive plan for school safety moving forward. I am a strong supporter of Second Amendment rights and I am committed to protecting the right of the American people to bear arms in future legislative efforts. In addressing this pressing safety problem, all options should remain on the table, but I will not support rash legislation that fails to appropriately analyze and address the real issues we face.

As we examine the factors that led to these mass shootings, it will be critical to emphasize the role that parents and community leaders can play in prevention efforts. It is also important to increase our efforts to reform policy with respect to mental illness to ensure that those who are mentally ill are never in a position to commit violent atrocities on our children and others. It is also critical that firearm sales are monitored to ensure proper examination of the purchaser's background prior to purchase. I look forward to working with my colleagues towards comprehensive policy to help make our schools safe havens for children and to prevent tragedies like those at Sandy Hook and Aurora in the future. Should legislation concerning this matter come to the House floor I will be sure to keep your views in mind.

As always, I welcome the opportunity to communicate with you regarding issues impacting Colorado. For your convenience, you may sign up to receive regular email updates from me on matters important to the 3rdCongressional District at http://tipton.house.gov. Please do not hesitate to contact my office if I can ever be of any assistance.

Sincerely,


Pretty much boilerplate, sounds like he will support universal background checks, but at least he recognizes the mental health angle of mass shootings. I do have to wonder what his definition of "rash legislation" is.
MR

Ryanxia
January 29, 2013, 05:49 PM
Need to tell him you don't support what is a gun registration and additional cost (most places will charge you if you are required to go through a background check to transfer a firearm, see MA). And that you will work passionately to unseat him if he votes for it.

M-Ful
January 29, 2013, 07:15 PM
What state would that be Ryanxia?

snuzzo29
January 29, 2013, 08:13 PM
Dear:

Thank you for contacting me about gun violence prevention in light of the shooting in Newtown, Connecticut. I appreciate hearing from you.

I share with all Americans a profound sense of sorrow at the senseless act of violence committed at Sandy Hook Elementary School. The nation mourns this event and many Americans wonder what can be done to prevent this type of tragedy in the future.

I am an original cosponsor of the Large Capacity Ammunition Feeding Device Act which would reinstate a ban on magazines that can hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition. The ban on multi-round magazines expired along with the federal assault weapons ban in 2004. I am a cosponsor of a bill that would reinstate the ban on assault weapons and would expand the definition of assault weapons to close loopholes that allow gun manufacturers to work around the previous ban.

I support universal gun background checks, which prevent the transfer of firearms without a background check by non-licensed gun sellers. I am a cosponsor of “terror gap” legislation that would give the Attorney General discretionary authority to deny gun sales to individuals who are known or appropriately suspected to be engaged in terrorism.

The majority of Americans and the majority of thoughtful gun owners and hunters agree that there must be reasonable limits on gun ownership and weapons. We must institute common-sense limits, such as barring those with a history of mental instability, those with a history of violent crime or who are subject to restraining orders, and those whose names have been placed on a terrorist watch list from owning weapons. Straw purchasers and gun dealers should face firm penalties. There should be limits on how many firearms may be purchased in one month. Those who own firearms that are within the reach of children should have protective locks on their weapons.

The United States Supreme Court has raised questions about the Second Amendment and the protections and responsibilities under this Constitutional amendment. I plan to hold a Senate Judiciary Hearing in the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Human Rights Subcommittee to address this Constitutional question and how to forward on gun control.

My heart and prayers go out to the victims and their families in Newtown, Connecticut, as we remember the children and teachers who lost their lives.

Thank you again for contacting me. Please do not hesitate to keep in touch.

Sincerely,
Richard J. Durbin
United States Senator

Can't say I didn't expect this. Still have yet to hear back from Sen. Mark Kirk but he seems to be a strong anti as well.

Mayvik
January 29, 2013, 09:02 PM
tl;dr "Issues are important to me. I will think about issues. Thank you for writing, XOXO A Robot"

Dear (Mayvik):

Thank you for writing regarding gun control in Colorado. This is an important subject, and we appreciate the time you took to share your thoughts and concerns.

Throughout the past six months in Colorado and across the nation, we have experienced an unprecedented level of tragedy due to gun violence. The shooting that occurred in Aurora on the night of July 20th is an event that will remain in our hearts and minds forever. And while our lives will never be the same again, these experiences showed the strength and resilience of individuals to come together as a community. Now, as a community, we must come together to discuss ways we can prevent similar tragedies in the future.

Your letter is one of thousands we have received expressing sympathy and sharing your opinions on everything from banning assault weapons, to increasing mental health availability, to the rights of citizens to carry concealed weapons. The diversity of opinions on how best to address this issue is proof positive that we should not shy away from this discussion. We are confident that through thoughtful and mindful debate we can find reasonable solutions that respect the rights of law-abiding Coloradans to own firearms while maintaining the health and safety of our communities.

This is a multifaceted issue and part of this dialogue should focus on mental health access. So, we have asked the Colorado General Assembly to support a comprehensive overhaul of our state’s mental health system so we can better identify and help people who are a threat to themselves and others.

This is a conversation that will continue throughout the course of this legislative session, so we also encourage you to share your thoughts with your legislators. To contact the House of Representatives, please call 303-866-2904. To contact the Senate, please call 303-866-2316. These contacts will direct your call to the appropriate office. Or, you can find your legislators online at http://www.colorado.gov/esri/webmaps/my-hood.html?webmap-id=a4838d49acca478e82f453d209bc81d9

Once again, thank you for your input, and for taking the time to contact our office. We will keep your thoughts in mind as we move forward.

Sincerely,


Office of Governor John W. Hickenlooper

hso
January 29, 2013, 09:19 PM
Ok, that's scripted by a functionary that doesn't have an opinion on the issue themselves.

creitzel
January 29, 2013, 10:37 PM
This is pretty much what I expected. He's been anti-gun his whole career. Sure wish we could get this guy voted out of office.


From: Senator Carl Levin [mailto:senator_levin@levin.senate.gov]
Sent: Tuesday, January 29, 2013 7:43 PM
To: redacted
Subject: Re: Your Concerns


Dear Mr. Reitzel:

Thank you for contacting me about gun safety issues. I appreciate you sharing your views with me.

I support sensible gun safety laws and strict enforcement of those laws to help prevent crimes, suicides and violence committed with firearms. I support the steps President Obama outlined recently to curb the gun violence that plagues our nation, and I believe Congress can and should work to enact legislation to prevent gun violence without infringing on the rights of law-abiding citizens.

I was an original cosponsor of the Brady Law (P.L.103-159). This law requires prospective handgun purchasers to undergo criminal background checks before purchasing a firearm from a licensed dealer. The background check system is able to make 92 percent of background check determinations on the spot, and since 1994, has prevented more than 1.5 million firearm purchases. Additionally, according to Centers for Disease Control statistics, since the Brady Law went into effect, the number of gun deaths in the United States dropped 22 percent, from 39,595 in 1993 to 30,769 in 2007. The number of gun homicides dropped by more than 29 percent, from 17,024 in 1993 to 12,129 in 2007.

While the Brady Law has been successful in reducing gun violence, I believe more has to be done. For example, only 60 percent of all gun sales in the United States take place at licensed federal dealers, where background checks are mandatory. The remaining 40 percent of gun sales are conducted by unlicensed individual sellers, often at gun shows, and a background check is not required. This means that across our nation, any dangerous individual can go to a gun show and purchase a deadly weapon without any form of background check. To close this ‘gun show loophole,’ I am a cosponsor of the Gun Show Background Check Act. This bill would enact the common sense principle that anyone who wants to purchase a firearm at a gun show should be able to pass a simple background check. Ten national police organizations support closing this loophole.

Additionally, I am a cosponsor of the Denying Firearms and Explosives to Dangerous Terrorists Act, a bill that seeks to reduce gun violence by keeping firearms out of the hands of terrorists and criminals. Although hard to believe, nothing in current law prohibits individuals on terrorist watch lists from purchasing firearms, unless they fall into another disqualifying category. This “terror gap” in federal law must be closed, and this bill would do just that. This legislation would deny the transfer of a firearm when a Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) background check reveals that the prospective purchaser is a known or suspected terrorist and the Attorney General has a reasonable belief that the purchaser may use the firearm in connection with terrorism. Keeping guns out of the hands of terrorists is just common sense.

I also have always supported the rights of sportsmen and hunters. Hunting is a way of life for millions of Americans and plays an integral role in modern wildlife management. But military style assault weapons have no sporting purpose. Because of these weapons, our nation’s citizens are in greater danger and police officers across the country are encountering criminals armed with highly lethal military style weapons.

To support our law enforcement community and to save lives, I am a cosponsor of the Assault Weapons Ban of 2013. This legislation would prevent the future possession, manufacture, sale and importation of assault-type weapons while grandfathering weapons lawfully possessed at the date of the bill’s enactment. It would ban firearms with detachable magazines and military style features, such as grenade launchers, protruding pistol grips, and barrel shrouds. It would support law enforcement officers across our nation, who should not be forced to confront lawbreakers toting military arms. And it would protect the rights of hunters by specifically naming thousands of firearms with legitimate sporting, sentimental or other value that would remain legal to possess.

This bill also would ban high capacity ammunition magazines. Studies have shown that high capacity ammunition magazines are used in 31 to 41 percent of fatal police shootings in cities across our nation. They also have been used by the perpetrators of numerous mass shootings, including at Columbine High School, Virginia Tech, the Tucson shooting of Representative Gabrielle Giffords and 19 others, the attack on a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, and the horrifying shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. The Newtown shooting alone left twenty six people dead, twenty of them children.

We must not wait until more places are added to this heartbreaking list. We can and should act swiftly to protect our families and loved ones from mass shootings. These measures have the overwhelming support of law enforcement communities around our nation, who have implored us to make changes to stop the flood of these types of weapons into the hands of those who would use them for harm. I will continue to work for common-sense gun safety measures.

Thank you again for contacting me.

Sincerely,
Carl Levin
levin.senate.gov

bigfatdave
January 30, 2013, 12:01 AM
Dear Mr. BFD:

Thank you for sharing your thoughts regarding firearms legislation.

When our children and families are no longer safe at our schools, in our malls, and in our movie theaters, we as a country must take action. The shocking numbers of public shootings throughout the country last year, culminating in Newtown, Connecticut, demand that we engage in a serious national discussion.

First, thank you for sharing your thoughts about assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, and the calls to regulate or ban these items.

From 1994 to 2004, Congress enacted a ban on semi-automatic assault weapons. The bill had three main components. The first section was comprised of a list guns that were banned by name, such as Uzi’s. The second section outlawed the future manufacture and sale of any new semiautomatic weapon with a detachable magazine and more than two of several assault-style features. The third section was an appendix which listed hunting rifles and shotguns that didn’t run afoul of the second section, and thus were exempted from the bill.

In 2011, law enforcement leaders such as Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Back, Oklahoma Police Chief Bill Citty, and Brockton, Massachusetts, Police Captain Emanuel Gomes, all separately discussed how their officers were being outgunned with assault weapons possessed by criminals.

While I have supported restrictions on the possession of semi-automatic assault weapons, and restrictions on the ability of criminals to possess handguns, I do not support an outright ban on guns or arbitrary restrictions on the right of law-abiding citizens to possess guns.

Secondly, thank you for sharing your thoughts on background checks for firearms owners.

I continue to receive numerous constituent letters voicing opinions on this issue. Gun shows have become a way for criminals and gun traffickers to purchase weapons without a background check and without a record of purchase. Gun sellers at these shows are not always registered the same way as owners of gun shops. This enables people to sell guns to criminals or the mentally unstable without any record being created for law enforcement. The International Association of Chiefs of Police supports improving and expanding the background check process to ensure that registration and background check is conducted for every gun sale.

Lastly, thank you for expressing your concerns over gun control and access to mental health care.

Many people have expressed concerns about holes in our mental health care system that contributes to violence. Though people with mental illness are not at an increased risk of behaving violently in general, there is a subset of individuals with mental illness who are at risk of violent behavior of the kinds we have seen in public gathering places.

Over the last few years, Congress has passed laws to improve the mental health system so individuals in need of psychiatric evaluation, treatment, and support do not fall through the cracks. Several components of these laws have yet to be fully implemented.

In a bipartisan effort to ensure that mental and behavioral health services are covered by insurance in a manner equivalent to medical and surgical services. Congress passed the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act in 2008 This law prohibits insurance companies from arbitrarily limiting the number of hospital days or outpatient treatment sessions a patient is granted, as well as prohibiting higher copayments or deductibles for subscribers who seek psychological services. Such practices by insurance companies were both wrong and counterproductive. This legislation will help the 54 million Americans with mental illness gain access to appropriate and affordable treatment. My Senate colleagues and I have been working with the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to ensure this law is fully implemented. Additionally, I and several of my colleagues sent a letter to President Obama asking him and HHS to fully implement the law.

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) is also working to improve access to mental and behavioral health services. Individuals in Ohio who have been denied insurance coverage due to a pre-existing mental health condition can now access the new Ohio High-Risk Insurance pool. For more information on the high risk pool or to sign-up for coverage, please visit http://www.insurance.ohio.gov/Documents/07-22-10HighRiskPoolFAQs.pdf

The ACA immediately eliminated pre-existing coverage exclusions for children. Kids will no longer be denied coverage — or have services excluded from coverage — as a result of pre-existing conditions. Additionally, parents of young adults can now maintain coverage for their children until age 26. Serious mental illness is often first noticed in the late teens or early twenties, when the brain is changing rapidly and when pressures to perform are great. It is crucial that young adults with existing or emerging mental illnesses not experience lapses in coverage at this time of high risk.

Beginning in 2014, insurance companies can no longer deny coverage to individuals with mental illness and insurers cannot use mental illness as a reason to raise premiums. HHS also established an essential benefits package — a set of health care service categories that must be covered by most plans — that will take effect in 2014. Mental health and substance abuse disorder services will be part of this package.

The Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act and the ACA represent tremendous strides forward for mental health coverage and access. However, we must also re-examine our mental health safety net, which has faced unrelenting budget cuts, reducing access for some our most vulnerable citizens.

We must work to reduce the stigma attached to mental health treatment, and find ways to support families who are concerned about the mental health status of their loved ones. It is essential that families know about the mental health resources available to them, and that they understand they have allies and other resources to which they can turn. Education about signs of mental illness, how to obtain a mental health screening, and how to access treatment services are simple but key ingredients to a successful national plan for managing mental health crises.

Gun violence is a complex issue and we must work together to uphold our Constitution while at the same time ensuring that our communities are safe. We can and must act to make such tragedies less likely in the future. Should any legislation concerning firearms come before the Senate, I will keep your thoughts in mind. Thank you again for contacting me.

Sincerely,

Sherrod Brown
United States Senator


Expected and disappointing.
I'll ping him again for specific bills and ask why the CDC couldn't find any meaningful improvement from the AWB, as well as remind him of one very specific result of the previous AWB, firing a bunch of idiots who voted for it.

bigfatdave
January 30, 2013, 12:06 AM
response from Jan 14th, it seems that others have received different responses
Dear BFD,

Thank you for contacting me about our Second Amendment rights. It is good to hear from you.

I am a gun owner who believes in the right to bear arms in defense of self, family and property. During my 12 years serving in Congress, I received an "A" rating from the National Rifle Association for defending our Constitutional Rights. I opposed the so-called "assault weapons ban" and opposed the Brady Bill. I supported repealing both the Clinton gun ban and the Washington, D.C. gun ban. I voted to protect the private information of gun owners; to protect state gun laws; and to protect firearm and ammunition manufacturers, dealers or importers from lawsuits and damages related to criminal misuse by a third party.

As a life-long hunter, I also believe the rights and freedoms of hunters must be guarded and I developed an executive order that the president signed to enhance hunting and fishing opportunities at wildlife refuges and national preserves. As your Senator, I will continue to protect our Constitutional freedoms and will be a strong advocate for preserving these rights and traditions for future generations.

Thank you for taking the time to contact my office. For more information, I encourage you to visit my website at www.portman.senate.gov. Please keep in touch.

Sincerely,
Rob Portman
U.S. Senator

Better, although I'll still be pinging on him for specific bills and to ask why he injected some nonsense about hunting into a discussion on RKBA.
I'll also ask min, "as a life long hunter" why he isn't ridiculing the idiots who claim that .223/5.56 "assault weapons" are powerful, when he MUST be using something more powerful to hunt anything larger than a coyote.

bigfatdave
January 30, 2013, 12:08 AM
silence

a complete, deafening silence

for over 2 weeks now

I blame the Ohio republican party for this one.
Marcy OWNS that seat in the HoR, last time the GOP put "Joe the plumber" up against Kaptur, they're not even trying to unseat her. I'm not exactly a fan of the GOP, but Kaptur needs to go.

emb
January 30, 2013, 09:23 AM
I wrote many letters to Florida democratic and republican Senators and Representatives. Mr. Rubio is the only one that responded.

"Dear ****:

Thank you for writing me regarding the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. I understand this is an important issue and I appreciate hearing your thoughts.

The Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution states "the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed." I hold the fundamental belief the Second Amendment should not be altered. At the same time, I have always been open to measures that would keep guns out of the hands of criminals and the mentally ill.

In light of the recent tragedies, some have suggested restricting gun ownership and have suggested ways to curb gun violence. I am always open to ideas on how to stop violent crimes, however I have concerns when these suggestions are solely directed toward restricting gun ownership. Given the Constitution's clear stance on gun ownership, I will continue to support an individual's right to own firearms.

It is an honor and a privilege to serve you as your United States Senator. I appreciate you offering your opinion on this issue. If I can ever be of any assistance to you, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Sincerely,

Marco Rubio
United States Senator"

rjrivero
January 30, 2013, 09:35 AM
Sen. Rubio writes a nice letter!

rjrivero
January 30, 2013, 09:39 AM
Received this recently:

Dear rjrivero,



Thank you for contacting me to express your views about the President's gun control proposals. It is good to hear from you.



As you know, President Obama recently issued 23 executive actions and endorsed gun control legislative initiatives following the terrible tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School.



I had hoped President Obama would look to address the root causes of senseless acts of violence and work with Congress to develop a comprehensive plan to lessen the likelihood of these kinds of tragic incidents in the future. Unfortunately, the President has chosen to act unilaterally wherever he can and focus on new gun bans which I believe would undermine the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens.



In response to tragic attacks like the one at Sandy Hook Elementary, I remain committed to ensuring that those who suffer from mental illness, a common thread in these instances, receive proper care, that current gun laws are enforced, and that school safety is enhanced as we address the deeper issue of violence in our society.



Thank you again for taking the time to contact my office. For more information, please visit my website at www.portman.senate.gov. Please keep in touch. EMAIL.BEGINHIDE.MERGE



Sincerely,

A

Rob Portman

U.S. Senator



Sincerely,

Rob Portman
U.S. Senator
Not a very strong letter. Some have suggested that Sen. Portman has waivered in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook shootings. This letter makes me wonder. What do you think?

tiamat
January 30, 2013, 11:06 AM
I sent the form letter provided at Ruger's site (http://www.ruger.com/micros/advocacy/) , and got this response from MI Senator Carl Levin (bolds/highlights are my additions):

Dear Mr. tiamat:

Thank you for contacting me about gun safety issues. I appreciate you sharing your views with me.

I support sensible gun safety laws and strict enforcement of those laws to help prevent crimes, suicides and violence committed with firearms. I support the steps President Obama outlined recently to curb the gun violence that plagues our nation, and I believe Congress can and should work to enact legislation to prevent gun violence without infringing on the rights of law-abiding citizens.

I was an original cosponsor of the Brady Law (P.L.103-159). This law requires prospective handgun purchasers to undergo criminal background checks before purchasing a firearm from a licensed dealer. The background check system is able to make 92 percent of background check determinations on the spot, and since 1994, has prevented more than 1.5 million firearm purchases. Additionally, according to Centers for Disease Control statistics, since the Brady Law went into effect, the number of gun deaths in the United States dropped 22 percent, from 39,595 in 1993 to 30,769 in 2007. The number of gun homicides dropped by more than 29 percent, from 17,024 in 1993 to 12,129 in 2007.

While the Brady Law has been successful in reducing gun violence, I believe more has to be done. For example, only 60 percent of all gun sales in the United States take place at licensed federal dealers, where background checks are mandatory. The remaining 40 percent of gun sales are conducted by unlicensed individual sellers, often at gun shows, and a background check is not required. This means that across our nation, any dangerous individual can go to a gun show and purchase a deadly weapon without any form of background check. To close this ‘gun show loophole,’ I am a cosponsor of the Gun Show Background Check Act. This bill would enact the common sense principle that anyone who wants to purchase a firearm at a gun show should be able to pass a simple background check. Ten national police organizations support closing this loophole.

Additionally, I am a cosponsor of the Denying Firearms and Explosives to Dangerous Terrorists Act, a bill that seeks to reduce gun violence by keeping firearms out of the hands of terrorists and criminals. Although hard to believe, nothing in current law prohibits individuals on terrorist watch lists from purchasing firearms, unless they fall into another disqualifying category. This “terror gap” in federal law must be closed, and this bill would do just that. This legislation would deny the transfer of a firearm when a Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) background check reveals that the prospective purchaser is a known or suspected terrorist and the Attorney General has a reasonable belief that the purchaser may use the firearm in connection with terrorism. Keeping guns out of the hands of terrorists is just common sense.

I also have always supported the rights of sportsmen and hunters. Hunting is a way of life for millions of Americans and plays an integral role in modern wildlife management. But military style assault weapons have no sporting purpose. Because of these weapons, our nation’s citizens are in greater danger and police officers across the country are encountering criminals armed with highly lethal military style weapons.

To support our law enforcement community and to save lives, I am a cosponsor of the Assault Weapons Ban of 2013. This legislation would prevent the future possession, manufacture, sale and importation of assault-type weapons while grandfathering weapons lawfully possessed at the date of the bill’s enactment. It would ban firearms with detachable magazines and military style features, such as grenade launchers, protruding pistol grips, and barrel shrouds. It would support law enforcement officers across our nation, who should not be forced to confront lawbreakers toting military arms. And it would protect the rights of hunters by specifically naming thousands of firearms with legitimate sporting, sentimental or other value that would remain legal to possess.

This bill also would ban high capacity ammunition magazines. Studies have shown that high capacity ammunition magazines are used in 31 to 41 percent of fatal police shootings in cities across our nation. They also have been used by the perpetrators of numerous mass shootings, including at Columbine High School, Virginia Tech, the Tucson shooting of Representative Gabrielle Giffords and 19 others, the attack on a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, and the horrifying shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. The Newtown shooting alone left twenty six people dead, twenty of them children.

We must not wait until more places are added to this heartbreaking list. We can and should act swiftly to protect our families and loved ones from mass shootings. These measures have the overwhelming support of law enforcement communities around our nation, who have implored us to make changes to stop the flood of these types of weapons into the hands of those who would use them for harm. I will continue to work for common-sense gun safety measures.

Thank you again for contacting me.

Sincerely,
Carl Levin
levin.senate.gov

I also got a response from Senator Debbie Stabenow, which was much more succinct and basically summed up as complacency and inaction until the next attack must not be an option.

avs11054
January 30, 2013, 11:20 AM
How does this letter make yoy wonder? He says that he thinks new gun control goes against the second amendment

akv3g4n
January 30, 2013, 12:14 PM
The letters that I have received all seem to indicate that he is strongly for the RKBA. I think he is firmly on our side....

Thank you for contacting me to express your concern about the rights of gun owners. It is good to hear from you.



As you may know, I am firm supporter of Second Amendment rights. Like you, I believe that infringing on the rights of law-abiding citizens does not address the root causes of violence in our society.



As you may know, I am a gun owner who believes in the right to bear arms in defense of self, family and property. During my 12 years serving in Congress, I received an "A" rating from the National Rifle Association for defending our Constitutional Rights. I opposed the so-called "assault weapons ban" and opposed the Brady Bill. I supported repealing both the Federal Assault Weapons Ban and the Washington, D.C. gun ban. I voted to protect the private information of gun owners; to protect state gun laws; and to protect firearm and ammunition manufacturers, dealers or importers from lawsuits and damages related to criminal misuse by a third party.



Thank you again for taking the time to contact me. If you have additional questions, please use the contact form on my website http://www.portman.senate.gov, and I will look forward to responding to you.




Sincerely,
Rob Portman
U.S. Senator

Ryanxia
January 30, 2013, 12:50 PM
Not bad, but I would write a response to him and let him know you don't support what they're calling "universal background checks". He might be on board with that at this point and we need to make sure that doesn't go through.

See NRA's response to universal background checks.
http://www.ammoland.com/2013/01/universal-background-checks-absolutely-not/#axzz2IwHMpPUB

Ryanxia
January 30, 2013, 12:53 PM
Make sure you let him know that if he stands for our Rights we will stand for him and if he doesn't we will work passionately to unseat him in his reelection.

Ryanxia
January 30, 2013, 01:02 PM
Time to tell him if he won't stand up for your Rights you will work passionately to unseat him during the reelection, then actually do it when the time comes.

mbt2001
January 30, 2013, 01:46 PM
Send it back with red paint over his writing saying

"READ MY LETTER AND RESPOND ACCORDINGLY NEXT TIME DOOFUS!"

i.e. Not a form letter...

millertyme
January 30, 2013, 02:06 PM
I'm getting pretty fed up by the notion that our Second Amendment rights are to preserve our firearm ownership for some "sporting purpose". Does anyone know when the idea that our right to firearms ownership became so strongly espoused to the fiction that our firearms are meant to be used primarily for recreation?

I understand that 30-40% of firearm crimes against cops (already separated them from the rest of us = elitist posture) use high-capacity magazines, but what percentage of firearms sold also just happen to have high-capacity handguns. I would bet a disproportionate majority of handguns sold can hold in excess and are designed around a magazine that holds in excess of ten rounds.

Does anyone have an accurate figure of how many times annually a firearm is used to deter or altogether stop a criminal act? Does anyone keep statistics on that kind of thing?

Additionally, I am a cosponsor of the Denying Firearms and Explosives to Dangerous Terrorists Act, a bill that seeks to reduce gun violence by keeping firearms out of the hands of terrorists and criminals.

Yes, that would make sense until you showed us what it takes (how little it takes) to become a person on a terror watch list. And that would make even more sense if there had been some sort of evidence to back up that these terrorists (not just drug dealers and thugs) were buying up weapons and using them to make terror. I'm not exactly a conspiracy theorist, but I haven't noticed a whole lot of terrorism happening. The couple times I can recall the would-be terrorists failed out of incompetence, not preventative action; and they didn't try to use a firearm, either.

We can and should act swiftly to protect our families and loved ones from mass shootings.

I'll act by arming myself and practicing as often as occasion permits (well, as soon as I can buy some more ammo). You talk about common sense but refuse to acknowledge that shootings happen in gun-free zones and places where firearms are lawfully prohibited by businesses (see movie theaters) that would otherwise be less-than-optimal targets if there were armed individuals there to defend those positions. If we really wanted to protect people from mass shootings we would get rid of the places that mass shootings are most likely to occur, not write something down on paper and put up a sign that reminds the would-be murderer that none of his/her potential victims has been empowered to shoot back

These measures have the overwhelming support of law enforcement communities around our nation, who have implored us to make changes to stop the flood of these types of weapons into the hands of those who would use them for harm.
Not to hate on cops, but when I hear something about a law enforcement officer coming out saying he/she is opposed to concealed carry, opposed to individuals owning semi-automatic, military-styled rifles I'm inclined to think this officer/official has the wrong idea about the citizens he serves. I had this kind of discussion with a criminal procedure law professor and the local chief of police. They forget the Constitution is there to protect and define our inalienable rights, the right to keep and bear arms being our right to defend ourselves from whatever evil may come upon us, whether the individual or the entity, and that by limiting when, where and what we may own to perform that task should not be open to debate. Yes, I think that we the people should be able to own full-automatic rifles (and we are as long as we pay the tax) unless we have proven ourselves to be a threat to the community.

I will continue to work for common-sense gun safety measures.

Then what's the deal with these dimwits coming out so strongly against barrel shrouds?

Ryanxia
January 30, 2013, 03:29 PM
Make sure your representatives understand that if they support our Rights (like their oath says they should) we will support them. If they don't we will work passionately to unseat them. And come next reelection we need to do just that if they are not on our side.

rjrivero
January 30, 2013, 04:01 PM
How does this letter make yoy wonder? He says that he thinks new gun control goes against the second amendment
The letter shown by akv3g4n is what I got from him a few weeks ago. The one I posted is the one I got a few days ago. Much more docile language.

There have been reports that Sen. Portman may be one of the pro 2nd Amendment types who is considering switching over. Like this article in the USA TODAY. (http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2012/12/20/portman-gun-restrictions-congress-connecticut-shooting/1782869/)

It's not that he said anything WRONG in the letter, it's that his stand isn't as strong as it has traditionally been (from my past correspondence with his office.)

bnolsen
January 30, 2013, 06:15 PM
Too bad CO went from a nice conservative state when I moved here into a trending hard left. The state house and senate are all dems and are actively voting against allowing people to defend themselves. Sadly it's becomming CA here.

bnolsen
January 30, 2013, 06:20 PM
Interesting reply. Unfortunately Mike's district was totally redrawn. He went from ~70% support to barely winning this last time. I've liked him a lot in the past. This reply looks like CYA.

Gaiudo
January 30, 2013, 09:06 PM
Dear Dr. Ellis:

Thank you for contacting me regarding some of the different gun proposals that have been introduced during the 113th Congress, including S.2 introduced by Senator Harry Reid, S.150 introduced by Senator Diane Feinstein, and the proposal put forth by President Obama. I appreciate hearing from you.
The numerous tragedies that our nation has had to face over the past year have been staggering. My own family, like all Americans, has been repeatedly shocked and deeply saddened by the violence we have witnessed, and my heart continues to be with the victims and their families. As Coloradans, we know how this type of tragedy can shake a community to its core and in the aftermath of these abhorrent acts our priority should be on supporting the survivors and families, and healing our communities.
We must have a real discussion in this country about finding ways to stop these senseless shootings. I believe a combination of improved access to mental health services, restrictions on certain weapons intended for warfare, and elimination of the gun show loophole are sensible steps that can protect our communities and particularly, our children. In Colorado, we support the right to bear arms and the ability of people to recreate, hunt, and protect their homes, and we want to keep the wrong weapons out the hands of the wrong people. I believe we can have a civil discussion that addresses these issues and as the recommendations by the President's task force are considered in Congress, we will ensure that Colorado's voices are heard.
In addition to the bills referenced above, there are a number of different legislative proposals on gun policy currently before Congress. I am evaluating all of the different bills, and I will keep your thoughts in mind as we work on this issue in the Senate. Let us all continue to keep the communities affected by these tragic acts in our thoughts and prayers.
I value the input of fellow Coloradans in considering the wide variety of important issues and legislative initiatives that come before the Senate. I hope you will continue to inform me of your thoughts and concerns.
For more information about my priorities as a U.S. Senator, I invite you to visit my website at http://bennet.senate.gov/. Again, thank you for contacting me.

Sincerely,

Michael F. Bennet
United States Senator

ezkl2230
January 30, 2013, 09:42 PM
Time to tell him if he won't stand up for your Rights you will work passionately to unseat him during the reelection, then actually do it when the time comes.
We HAVE been working to kick him out of office. But as long as the Metro Detroit area continues to back his welfare state agenda, they will continue to overturn the votes of the rest of the state.

ezkl2230
January 30, 2013, 09:59 PM
I'm getting pretty fed up by the notion that our Second Amendment rights are to preserve our firearm ownership for some "sporting purpose". Does anyone know when the idea that our right to firearms ownership became so strongly espoused to the fiction that our firearms are meant to be used primarily for recreation?

I understand that 30-40% of firearm crimes against cops (already separated them from the rest of us = elitist posture) use high-capacity magazines, but what percentage of firearms sold also just happen to have high-capacity handguns. I would bet a disproportionate majority of handguns sold can hold in excess and are designed around a magazine that holds in excess of ten rounds.

Does anyone have an accurate figure of how many times annually a firearm is used to deter or altogether stop a criminal act? Does anyone keep statistics on that kind of thing?


Yes, that would make sense until you showed us what it takes (how little it takes) to become a person on a terror watch list. And that would make even more sense if there had been some sort of evidence to back up that these terrorists (not just drug dealers and thugs) were buying up weapons and using them to make terror. I'm not exactly a conspiracy theorist, but I haven't noticed a whole lot of terrorism happening. The couple times I can recall the would-be terrorists failed out of incompetence, not preventative action; and they didn't try to use a firearm, either.


I'll act by arming myself and practicing as often as occasion permits (well, as soon as I can buy some more ammo). You talk about common sense but refuse to acknowledge that shootings happen in gun-free zones and places where firearms are lawfully prohibited by businesses (see movie theaters) that would otherwise be less-than-optimal targets if there were armed individuals there to defend those positions. If we really wanted to protect people from mass shootings we would get rid of the places that mass shootings are most likely to occur, not write something down on paper and put up a sign that reminds the would-be murderer that none of his/her potential victims has been empowered to shoot back


Not to hate on cops, but when I hear something about a law enforcement officer coming out saying he/she is opposed to concealed carry, opposed to individuals owning semi-automatic, military-styled rifles I'm inclined to think this officer/official has the wrong idea about the citizens he serves. I had this kind of discussion with a criminal procedure law professor and the local chief of police. They forget the Constitution is there to protect and define our inalienable rights, the right to keep and bear arms being our right to defend ourselves from whatever evil may come upon us, whether the individual or the entity, and that by limiting when, where and what we may own to perform that task should not be open to debate. Yes, I think that we the people should be able to own full-automatic rifles (and we are as long as we pay the tax) unless we have proven ourselves to be a threat to the community.


Then what's the deal with these dimwits coming out so strongly against barrel shrouds?
OK - this is old material now, but it's the only information I have been able to find; statistics relating to defensive firearms use are not kept. If you find it in statistics anywhere, it might be under the heading of Homicides, Justified. This information appeared in an article entitled "A Nation of Cowards," published in the Fall '93 edition of The Public Interest. The author, Jeff Snyder, quotes FSU Criminologist Gary Kleck:

Other evidence also suggests that armed citizens are very responsible in using guns to defend themselves. Florida State University criminologist Gary Kleck, using surveys and other data, has determined that armed citizens defend their lives or property with firearms against criminals approximately 1 million times a year. In 98 percent of these instances, the citizen merely brandishes the weapon or fires a warning shot. Only in 2 percent of the cases do citizens actually shoot their assailants. In defending themselves with their firearms, armed citizens kill 2,000 to 3,000 criminals each year, three times the number killed by the police.

DM~
January 30, 2013, 10:47 PM
I got that one too, also the same basic answer from Debbie stab it in your back!

DM

izhevsk
January 30, 2013, 10:52 PM
I got the same reply, word for word.

mokin
January 30, 2013, 11:54 PM
I think I've been way ahead of him. I've been writting my representatives for the last couple of weeks. Here's a link to find yours.

http://www.leg.state.co.us

Tell them what you think of the efforts to restrict out rights! Colorado is still purple enough that the governer might listen.

hm
January 31, 2013, 02:15 AM
The ultimate non-committal response. Sad he's a Dem (like me).

lopaka
January 31, 2013, 04:17 AM
Thank you for contacting me to express your concerns regarding the tragic shootings at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut and the renewed call for additional gun control. My deepest condolences go out to the family and friends of the victims of this horrific event, and I appreciate your input on this important issue.

First and foremost, no words or actions can alleviate the loss of innocent lives. This tragedy has greatly afflicted our nation. As a father of four, one of which is a public school teacher, I understand the apprehension that many Americans felt when they first heard of this horrific event. We must stop and pray for all those impacted by this tragedy and for a full recovery for those left injured.

Americans of all political stripes can agree that weapons should never be accessible to those who are mentally ill. Americans have a constitutional right to keep and bear arms; however, with that right comes an obligation to make sure those weapons are securely stored and not available to anyone without the owner 's express permission and supervision. We do not need to pass a law to start this reform; we simply need every gun owner, gun store, and shooting organization to take action today to better secure our firearms.

In response to this tragic event, some have called for additional gun control measures, like President Obama ’s proposed 23 executive actions; or Senator Diane Feinstein 's bill that would stop the sale, transfer, importation and manufacturing of assault weapons as well as large ammunition magazines, strips and drums that hold more than 10 rounds. I oppose President Obama ’s executive actions, Senator Feinstein ’s bill, and similar legislation, and believe federal controls often create burdens for law-abiding citizens and infringe upon constitutional rights provided by the Second Amendment. In my view, protecting the rights of citizens and providing for their security against foreign enemies and domestic criminals is the most important duty of government. The Second Amendment to the United States Constitution recognizes the right to possess and carry weapons. Law abiding citizens have a fundamental right to protect themselves and their families.

I am hopeful that this tragedy will highlight our country 's need for greater awareness of mental illness. The causes of violence in our country are deeper and more complex than just firearms. We must continue to address the gaps in our mental health system and drugs and violence in our culture.

Please rest assured that I will keep your thoughts in mind as Congress begins the 113th session and legislation is introduced to address these issues. Again, thank you for taking the time to contact me. I appreciate having the opportunity to represent you in the U.S. House of Representatives. Please feel free to visit my website (www.house.gov/carter) or contact me with any future concerns.




Sincerely,

John Carter
Member of Congress

Ryanxia
January 31, 2013, 12:00 PM
You should all reply that further restrictions and bans on personal firearms would be unconstitutional and if he will not uphold the Constitution of the United States you will work passionately to unseat him at his reelection.

Ryanxia
January 31, 2013, 12:06 PM
While it sounds good that he claims he won't back Feinstein's plan, the fact that he thinks laws to force us to lock up our guns are ok is deeply disturbing. I would send a reply to him and let him know you do not support any further gun control laws and that if he will not stand up for our Constitutional Rights you will work passionately to unseat him during his next reelection.

Justin
January 31, 2013, 12:07 PM
That's the reply that I received as well.

We need to keep the heat on both Bennet and Udall. Media reports are that they're still undecided on further gun restrictions.

lopaka
January 31, 2013, 01:31 PM
Congressman Carter doesn't want new laws, just to remind owners to be proactive in keeping their firearms out of the hands of those that shouldn't have 'em.


Americans of all political stripes can agree that weapons should never be accessible to those who are mentally ill. Americans have a constitutional right to keep and bear arms; however, with that right comes an obligation to make sure those weapons are securely stored and not available to anyone without the owner 's express permission and supervision. We do not need to pass a law to start this reform; we simply need every gun owner, gun store, and shooting organization to take action today to better secure our firearms.

Mayvik
January 31, 2013, 01:58 PM
Verbatim...except I got it twice. :rolleyes:

bigfatdave
January 31, 2013, 02:58 PM
bigfatdave (http://www.thehighroad.org/member.php?u=72658) has reported a post.

Reason:merge with
http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=689694
Post: Reply from Congressman John Carter, Texas 31st District (http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?p=8703086#post8703086)
Forum: Activism
Assigned Moderators: benEzra, hso, ArfinGreebly

Posted by: lopaka (http://www.thehighroad.org/member.php?u=172774)
Original Content: Thank you for contacting me to express your concerns regarding the tragic shootings at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut and the renewed call for additional gun control. My deepest condolences go out to the family and friends of the victims of this horrific event, and I appreciate your input on this important issue.

First and foremost, no words or actions can alleviate the loss of innocent lives. This tragedy has greatly afflicted our nation. As a father of four, one of which is a public school teacher, I understand the apprehension that many Americans felt when they first heard of this horrific event. We must stop and pray for all those impacted by this tragedy and for a full recovery for those left injured.

Americans of all political stripes can agree that weapons should never be accessible to those who are mentally ill. Americans have a constitutional right to keep and bear arms; however, with that right comes an obligation to make sure those weapons are securely stored and not available to anyone without the owner 's express permission and supervision. We do not need to pass a law to start this reform; we simply need every gun owner, gun store, and shooting organization to take action today to better secure our firearms.

In response to this tragic event, some have called for additional gun control measures, like President Obama ’s proposed 23 executive actions; or Senator Diane Feinstein 's bill that would stop the sale, transfer, importation and manufacturing of assault weapons as well as large ammunition magazines, strips and drums that hold more than 10 rounds. I oppose President Obama ’s executive actions, Senator Feinstein ’s bill, and similar legislation, and believe federal controls often create burdens for law-abiding citizens and infringe upon constitutional rights provided by the Second Amendment. In my view, protecting the rights of citizens and providing for their security against foreign enemies and domestic criminals is the most important duty of government. The Second Amendment to the United States Constitution recognizes the right to possess and carry weapons. Law abiding citizens have a fundamental right to protect themselves and their families.

I am hopeful that this tragedy will highlight our country 's need for greater awareness of mental illness. The causes of violence in our country are deeper and more complex than just firearms. We must continue to address the gaps in our mental health system and drugs and violence in our culture.

Please rest assured that I will keep your thoughts in mind as Congress begins the 113th session and legislation is introduced to address these issues. Again, thank you for taking the time to contact me. I appreciate having the opportunity to represent you in the U.S. House of Representatives. Please feel free to visit my website (www.house.gov/carter) or contact me with any future concerns.




Sincerely,

John Carter
Member of Congress

bigfatdave
January 31, 2013, 03:30 PM
The letter I got from Portman's letter-opening monkey is in this post:
http://www.thehighroad.org/showpost.php?p=8699883&postcount=138
in this thread:
http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=689694
Where letters and responses are being amalgamated.


Dear BFD,

Thank you for contacting me about our Second Amendment rights. It is good to hear from you.

I am a gun owner who believes in the right to bear arms in defense of self, family and property. During my 12 years serving in Congress, I received an "A" rating from the National Rifle Association for defending our Constitutional Rights. I opposed the so-called "assault weapons ban" and opposed the Brady Bill. I supported repealing both the Clinton gun ban and the Washington, D.C. gun ban. I voted to protect the private information of gun owners; to protect state gun laws; and to protect firearm and ammunition manufacturers, dealers or importers from lawsuits and damages related to criminal misuse by a third party.

As a life-long hunter, I also believe the rights and freedoms of hunters must be guarded and I developed an executive order that the president signed to enhance hunting and fishing opportunities at wildlife refuges and national preserves. As your Senator, I will continue to protect our Constitutional freedoms and will be a strong advocate for preserving these rights and traditions for future generations.

Thank you for taking the time to contact my office. For more information, I encourage you to visit my website at www.portman.senate.gov. Please keep in touch.

Sincerely,
Rob Portman
U.S. Senator

Three different letters is interesting, though. Mine is from 14jan2013.

izhevsk
January 31, 2013, 03:40 PM
I've written Udall, Bennet, Gardner, and Polis personally voicing my opposition to any new firearms legislation, as well as using the Ruger mass mailer.

Ryanxia
January 31, 2013, 04:45 PM
Ah I see, misread it a bit there.

jrdolall
January 31, 2013, 05:44 PM
On the surface it sounds like a firm 2A supporter. I agree that we don't want mentally ill people with access to firearms. I agree it is our responsibility to safely secure our firearms and that that is a part of being a responsible gun owner. Where I live I can legally leave a loaded gun on every table or chair in my house. That is NOT responsible gun ownership.

rjrivero
January 31, 2013, 09:58 PM
I recently got this letter from Bob Latta.
Dear rjrivero,



Thank you for contacting me with your support for Second Amendment rights. In order to make sound voting decisions, I need to hear from the constituents in the Fifth Congressional District. I appreciate you taking the time to contact me with your thoughts on this issue, as I know how important it is to you.



As a lifetime hunter and a competitor at the National Rifle and Pistol Championship matches at Camp Perry, I fully support our Second Amendment right to bear arms. The framework for the Constitution gives us the rights that we as Americans have in this country. During my time in the Ohio General Assembly, I was the House Co-Chair for the Ohio Sportsmen's Caucus. In addition, as Chairman of the House Criminal Justice Committee, I fought hard for the citizens of Ohio in assisting to pass Ohio's Conceal Carry legislation. Here in Congress, I am a Co-Chairman of the Congressional Sportsmen's Caucus, as well as being a co-sponsor of numerous pieces of legislation protecting our Second Amendment rights.



One of our Founding Fathers, Thomas Jefferson, once said "Laws that forbid the carrying of arms...disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes...Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man." Please be assured that as I continue to represent the Fifth Congressional District, I will continue to protect our Second Amendment rights.



It is my great honor to serve as your Member of Congress and it is my number one priority to represent you and the best interests of the Fifth Congressional District. Please do not hesitate to call, write, or e-mail me in the future with any of your concerns or questions. For federal-related issues, you may reach my Washington, D.C. office by phone at (202) 225-6405, or my District office at (800) 541-6446 for constituent services. I encourage you to visit my website at http://latta.house.gov where you can sign up for my e-newsletter and text message updates. The website also provides links to my YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and Flickr pages, as well as my blog, the Latta Letter, all of which will help bring my work in Washington, D.C. home to you.





Sincerely,

Bob Latta
Member of Congress

lopaka
February 1, 2013, 12:24 AM
Ah I see, misread it a bit there.

It got me for a moment, too. It would have been better to put the last sentence first in that paragraph.

RX-178
February 1, 2013, 02:49 AM
You know, I thought that finding out he is a 2A supporter and opposes Obama's gun control agenda would diminish my desire to make a Mars-related joke.

.......I was wrong.

Seriously though, another one of the good guys it seems.

CZ-75BD
February 1, 2013, 09:06 AM
Dear Mr. corespondent,


Thank you for contacting my office. I appreciate your thoughts regarding gun ownership and use.

As your Lieutenant Governor and a former prosecutor, I am committed to protecting our constitutional rights. But we also need to consider the effects of gun violence. Our efforts should focus on protecting both our rights and our safety.

To this end I have assembled a bipartisan Firearms Working Group bringing together freshmen state Senators and Representatives from across the state to learn about different perspectives on gun ownership. My Working Group will meet in the coming months with gun owners, families of gun violence victims, hunters, law enforcement officials, mental health professionals, educators and firearm retailers. My goal is to promote a more constructive conversation on these issues and seek consensus on policies and legislation that make sense for Illinois.

You can learn more about the Firearms Working Group at www.ltgov.illinois.gov/guns.

Thank you once again for your thoughts. It is important for me to maintain an engagement with the public on all matters that affect our state. Please contact my office again at any time.

Sincerely,

Sheila Simon

SS/dac

Ryanxia
February 1, 2013, 10:29 AM
Maine. I had a friend get his CCW when he was 18.

crm2k5
February 1, 2013, 10:40 AM
Same reply I got. I really hope we can get rid of this moron next year.

gpjoe
February 1, 2013, 11:15 AM
Me too, and a similar form letter from Stabenow. I didn't vote for either, and neither got elected running on a pro-gun platform, so they don't care.

It may be time to actively campaign against them and force them to care.

creitzel
February 1, 2013, 12:35 PM
I too have received a similar response from Senator Stabenow.

I have been voting against both of these Senators for years now, with no appreciable difference in outcome. :barf:

They both have the backing of the unions, and the liberal paradises of Detroit and Lansing, which means they aren't going anywhere anytime soon.

That said, I will continue to vote against them, and try to convince others to do the same. A man can dream right? :)

USAF_Vet
February 1, 2013, 12:47 PM
I too got the same garbage. I didn't expect anything less from that clown. He has known for awhile he will never get my vote, same with Stab-her-now, but they legislate to the lowest common denominator in Detoilet. Always have.

Prophet
February 1, 2013, 06:23 PM
Finally a positive response.

I agree that we must stand together and defend the US Constitution and protect all our rights as Americans. I am a co-sponsor of Rep. Metcalfe's bill, HB 357. I will do everything I can in Harrisburg to protect not only our 2nd amendment rights, but all our rights, here in PA and in the US. Should any legislation come to the floor for a vote, I will keep your thoughts in mind. I also encourage you to contact all of your state and federal elected officials, if you have not done so already.

Thanks for your email,
Dan Moul
STATE REPRESENTATIVE
91st Legislative District
G-32 Irvis Office Building
Gettysburg: 717-334-3010
Harrisburg: 717-783-5217

Ehtereon11B
February 1, 2013, 06:50 PM
Received a letter response from the letters and emails to our elected officials today. From (the office of) Spencer Bachus, 6th District, Alabama. Long post but I will put the important part in bold.

Thank you for expressing your concerns regarding your Second Amendment rights and your thoughts on the continuing gun control discussions. It is certainly important to consider the best ways to prevent violent acts in our society, and having your input is beneficial to me.

Many of the legislative recommendations made by the "Biden Task Force," announced by President Obama on January 16, 2013, will fall under the jurisdiction of the House Committee on the Judiciary, on which I serve. With any response, Congress must respect the Constitution, which we have sworn an oath to support and defend, and the rights of law-abiding Americans. In particular, my support for preserving the rights afforded under the Second Amendment is longstanding and strong. The Second Amendment specifically states that "the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed," and I have always supported and defended this constitutional right It is my firm belief that citizens should not be prohibited from protecting themselves, their family, or their property from harm, and that criminals, rather than law-abiding citizens, should be punished for crimes committed. As specific proposals come before the Committee and House for consideration, please know that I will remember your views, and that I welcome your continued involvement and feedback

He rambles on for two more paragraphs about how EOs work so that is the important stuff.

gdcpony
February 1, 2013, 07:45 PM
Yet another one:
January 30, 2013







Dear SSgt. Clayton,



Thank you for contacting me to express your support for H.R. 35, the Safe Schools Act of 2013. I appreciate having the benefit of your views on this important issue.



As you may know, H.R. 35 was introduced by Representative Steve Stockman (R-TX) on January 3, 2013. This legislation would repeal provisions making it unlawful to possess or discharge a firearm in a school zone.



H.R. 35 was referred to the House Judiciary Committee. Please be assured that I will keep your support in mind should this legislation come before the full House of Representatives for a vote. I will also work with my colleagues to address the violence that seems to permeate our culture, ensure that our children and teachers are safe at school, and make certain that those with significant mental challenges are being appropriately identified, diagnosed, and treated so to prevent tragedies, like Sandy Hook, from taking place.



Again, thank you for sharing your views with me. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any additional questions or concerns. I also encourage you to follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and at www.billjohnson.house.gov , so that you may keep track of my most recent work in Congress. I look forward to hearing from you in the future.



Sincerely,

Bill Johnson
Member of Congress

gdcpony
February 1, 2013, 07:48 PM
And another too!
Dear George,

Thank you for contacting me to express your views about the President's gun control proposals. It is good to hear from you.

As you know, President Obama recently issued 23 executive actions and endorsed gun control legislative initiatives following the terrible tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

I had hoped President Obama would look to address the root causes of senseless acts of violence and work with Congress to develop a comprehensive plan to lessen the likelihood of these kinds of tragic incidents in the future. Unfortunately, the President has chosen to act unilaterally wherever he can and focus on new gun bans which I believe would undermine the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens.

In response to tragic attacks like the one at Sandy Hook Elementary, I remain committed to ensuring that those who suffer from mental illness, a common thread in these instances, receive proper care, that current gun laws are enforced, and that school safety is enhanced as we address the deeper issue of violence in our society.

Thank you again for taking the time to contact my office. For more information, please visit my website at www.portman.senate.gov . Please keep in touch. EMAIL.BEGINHIDE.MERGE



Sincerely,
Rob Portman
U.S. Senator

HKGuns
February 1, 2013, 07:51 PM
They're both garbage and they need to go.

bigfatdave
February 2, 2013, 10:33 AM
that's a good response

did you put it in the combined letter thread as well?

Ole Humpback
February 2, 2013, 06:40 PM
Heres another pair of replies I received this week:

IN State Representative Hal Slager:

Dear Ole Humpback,

Thank you for taking the time to contact me concerning gun control, especially in the wake of the horrific tragedy that occurred recently in Newtown, Connecticut. I appreciate you sharing your thoughts in response to this tragic event.

As you know, in the wake of this tragedy, discussion has focused on gun control and restrictions, along with how to provide much needed care to individuals with a mental illness, at both the state and the federal level. The 118th Indiana General Assembly convened on January 7, 2013. While it is likely that there will be bills authored regarding gun control and mental health, there are a broad number of opinions on this issue and I would expect a lot of discussion before any action is taken. One of my top priorities has always been ensuring a safe learning environment for Hoosier students. Along with keeping our students safe, I ensure you that I will protect my constituent's second amendment rights, and will make sure that our right to bear arms is secure. If I have the opportunity to hear debate and vote on these issues, I will consider all solutions.

Again, thank you for contacting me and expressing your stance on this issue. If you have any other legislative issues or concerns please do not hesitate to contact my office.

Sincerely,

Hal Slager
State Representative
House District 15

This response isn't as concrete in support of the 2nd Amendment as I would like, but I take him at his word that he is going to weigh all options. Need to keep a dialog going with him.

*EDIT*

Heres the response I sent to Mr. Slager:

Dear Representative Slager,

I thank you for your reply to me about the current legislative environment in regards to the Newtown, CT tragedy. I implore you consider all options in the context of what is best for the Second Amendment rights of Hoosier's and their access to mental health care, not what is politically correct at the moment. I have been reviewing the proposals that this nation's US Congressmen have introduced in Congress and found them to be severely lacking in constitutionality & fairness to both law abiding gun owners and people with mental health issues.

As a law abiding gun owner who enjoys hunting & competitive shooting sports, I would be turned into a criminal as all the firearms that I currently own for hunting (which ARE NOT military style weapons in any way, shape, or form) would be classified as "assault weapons" under all legislation that has currently been introduced into Congress for committee's to consider. I find it offensive that many in Congress and State Legislatures in this country claim to support my Right to Keep and Bear Arms yet they insist that I only be allowed to own certain firearms so as to not pose a threat to others. Each firearm I own I bought because it addressed a specific hunting or shooting sport need, now Congress wants to criminalize my law abiding ownership of hunting & sporting firearms because they have features which they are using to define what an assault weapon should be defined as, not what an assault weapon is defined as.

As a person who has been treated for Attention Deficit, Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD), which according to the National Institute of Health is a "problem with inattentiveness, over-activity, impulsivity, or a combination", I find the current proposals for improving access to mental health care for people as well as supplementing the National Instant Check System (NICS) with mental health care data from mental health care providers to be both lacking and illegal. Due to the stereotypes surrounding people with mental health concerns and the fact that supplementing the NICS with mental health care information from providers is a breach of doctor-patient confidentiality, I ask that the discussion on reforming mental health care be thoroughly researched & studied by legislators, health care providers, and health care insurers before any legislation is contemplated. The last thing that we as Hoosier's and American's need for mental health care is a repeat of the disaster that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act has turned out to be.

Sincerely,

Ole Humpback


IN US Representative Peter Visclosky

Dear Ole Humpback:

Thank you for contacting me to express your concerns regarding gun control proposals in response to the recent shooting in Connecticut. I appreciate hearing from you.

I was shocked and heartbroken to learn of the horrific shooting that occurred at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. My thoughts and prayers go out to all of the victims of these attacks and their families for their unfathomable loss. As this marks the seventh mass shooting in the United States in 2012 alone, I firmly believe that Congress must take decisive action to prevent such senseless tragedies from happening again.

While I support the possession of legal firearms by responsible law abiding citizens, I am opposed to the availability of military assault weapons and large capacity ammunition feeding devices, which pose serious threats to public safety and the law enforcement officers who risk their lives protecting us.

That is why, in the 103rd Congress, I supported the assault weapons ban, which prohibited the manufacture, transfer, or possession of semi-automatic assault weapons, including those with a large capacity ammunition feeding device. I deeply regret that President Bush allowed this ban to expire in 2004. Also in the 103rd Congress, I supported passage of the Brady Act, currently known as the national instant criminal background check system, which requires background checks for all firearm transfers and purchases. I would note that the Constitutionality of these laws have never been challenged before the Supreme Court.

You may be interested to know that Rep. Carolyn McCarthy has introduced H.R. 138, the Large Capacity Ammunition Feeding Device Act, which would reinstate the ban on semi-automatic weapons and large capacity ammunition feeding devices. Specifically, the measure would prohibit the transfer or possession of a large capacity ammunition feeding device, except for its lawful possession within the United States on or before the date of this Act's enactment, and by law enforcement officers. The measure also would prohibit the importation of such a device, and would require large capacity ammunition feeding devices to be identified by serial numbers.

H.R. 138 was referred to the House Committee on the Judiciary, where it is currently pending consideration. The measure has 64 cosponsors, and a similar measure has been introduced in the Senate by Sen. Feinstein. The Senate measure, S. 150, has 17 cosponsors and was referred to the Senate Committee on the Judiciary.

Most recently, on January 16, 2013, President Obama announced a comprehensive proposal to prevent future tragedies. Specifically, the proposal calls on Congress to enact legislation to require criminal background checks for all gun sales, reinstate the assault weapons ban, restore a ten-round limit on ammunition magazines, eliminate armor-piercing bullets, provide mental health services in schools, and allocate funds to hire more police officers.

Because these recommendations require Congressional approval, the President supplemented this proposal with 23 separate executive actions which will take effect immediately. These actions include providing law enforcement officials and school officials with better training for active shooting situations, establishing incentives to improve information sharing on background checks, directing the Centers for Disease Control to research the causes and prevention of gun violence, and committing to finalizing mental health parity regulations. The President's executive actions seek to strengthen existing laws related to guns, mental health, and safety.

As the nation continues to make sense of the tragedy at Sandy Hook, I hope that our country will have a serious and thoughtful discussion to ensure that we find a proper balance between Americans' right to own guns and the right to "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."

Thank you again for contacting me. Do not hesitate to let me know if you have any other questions or concerns.

Sincerely,

Peter J. Visclosky
Member of Congress

This is as anti 2A as I have received so far. Need to write him and prove with data that this viewpoint is patently wrong.

hso
February 2, 2013, 09:15 PM
The state of Tennessee makes it easy to search for legislation up for consideration concerning firearms. This then makes it easy to send letters to your state officials supporting or opposing specific pieces of legislation up for consideration. I sent 7 this evening.

http://wapp.capitol.tn.gov/apps/indexes/BillsBySubject.aspx?Primarysubject=1785&GA=108
I found the above by browsing the categories of legislation here - http://wapp.capitol.tn.gov/apps/subjectindex/default.aspx

It would be good if we had this sort of information on each state so everyone would be able to look at and voice their opinion of legislation affecting RKBA.

Bobk538447
February 3, 2013, 09:17 PM
Received a response from Congressman Ruben Hinojosa, Congressional District 15, Texas:

"It is my belief that a number of President Obama's recent proposals on gun safety are reasonable and common sense safety reforms that are long overdue. I have long supported reinstating the assault weapons ban, and limiting high capacity magazines........Some say that Presidents Obama's proposals are a violation of the second amendment. That is simply false. Like many of our constitutional rights, they are not limitless. Conservative Justice Antonin Scalia put it best in the Supreme Court case District of Coumbia v. Heller opinion, which upheld our constitutional right to bear arms: "Like most rights, the Second Amendment is not unlimited. It is not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose:......"

58limited
February 4, 2013, 07:46 PM
U.S Congressman from Texas Ted Poe's e-Newsletter:

Received this today, he is a very strong supporter of the 2nd Amendment.

"Dear Neighbor,

The nation continues to grieve with the community of Newtown, Connecticut over the attack that stole the lives of dozens of innocent children and teachers. What happened was unconscionable evil that most of us will never understand. Since then, some elites in Washington have used the Newtown tragedy for political leverage to reignite the gun control debate.

Since the beginning of the year, we have seen a number of extreme proposals from the Senate and 23 executive edicts from the President. Not one of these proposals would have changed the outcome of the tragedy in Newtown. What they will do is redline the Constitution and bruise our right to bear arms which is guaranteed by the 2nd Amendment.

Make no mistake--these proposals advocate for more government control not more gun control. I believe in the sanctity of the Constitution. The Bills Of Rights were designed to protect citizens from an oppressive government. This timeless document has guaranteed freedom for Americans for over 200 years; it is certainly not up for negotiation now.

Those who believe that more gun control will end violence should examine the evidence. Mexico, for example, has outlawed guns completely, but there has not been a decline in gun-related deaths. Chicago and Washington, DC have some of the toughest gun laws in America, but they are also two of the most dangerous cities in America. So, what now? The focus of any discussion or action should not be on the gun, but on the shooter. In my previous life as a judge and prosecutor in the Harris County courtrooms, I never saw a gun tried for a crime. That’s because we hold the shooter accountable, not an inanimate object.

And, yet here in Congress, we have legislators advocating for more restrictions on guns while they have the protection of armed guards at every door in the Capitol – hypocrisy at its highest.

I am a staunch supporter of the Second Amendment, and I will continue to defend our constitutional right. More laws amount to more control - not more effectiveness. And more laws mean less liberty. And that’s just the way it is.



God and Texas,

Ted Poe
Member of Congress
2nd District of Texas"

HKGuns
February 4, 2013, 09:22 PM
I received the form letter response from Levin that I'm sure has been posted already, if I don't find it I will post it up later. The more I thought about it the more it irked me so I decided to respond to him, copying the other Senator and my Representative (who actually gets it). I probably went too far but he needs to be called out for his not upholding his oath to defend the constitution.

leprechaun50
February 4, 2013, 09:42 PM
This is the reply that I recieved from Minnesota State Senator Bill Weber.
(He grew up less than a mile from me, and his older brother hunted together when we were kids.)

Ed,

First of all, thank you for your service to our great country!

I share your concerns on 2nd Amendment rights. I think it is possible that the federal government will overreach, and I have no doubt that the President will use executive order if he thinks he can get away with it. On the other hand, they will fail to evaluate the trash we see in movies, on TV and in video games claiming protection under 1st Amendment rights.



At the state level, we have a governor who is not on our side of this issue. I believe the Republican Caucus will need to reach out to the rural DFL members to hopefully prevent any state assault on gun rights. If we can achieve a status quo on this issue with the current political structure, it will be a victory within itself.



Thank you for taking the time to contact me. We will keep an eye on this issue and if we need to activate you as concerned citizens, we will alert you to those needs.



Yours Truly,


Bill

leprechaun50
February 4, 2013, 09:46 PM
The reply from one of our U.S. Senators

Dear Mr. Lynch:



Thank you for sharing your thoughts on guns. I appreciate having the benefit of your comments on this important and timely issue.



As the former chief prosecutor of Minnesota's largest county, I worked to enforce the gun laws already on the books and have long supported efforts to promote gun safety, including background checks. I also believe the Second Amendment gives American citizens the right to own guns for collection, protection, and sport. This right is an important part of our shared history and heritage, and should be protected.



As a member of the Judiciary Committee, I look forward to hearings on the President's recommendations and proposed public safety solutions that include school safety, addressing mental illness, limits on high-capacity magazines and assault weapons, and other efforts to combat violence.



Again, thank you for taking the time to contact me. One of the most important parts of my job is listening to what the people of Minnesota have to say to me. I am here in our nation's capital to do the public's business and to serve the people of our state. I hope you will contact me again about matters of concern to you.



Sincerely,

Amy Klobuchar

United States Senator

Mayvik
February 5, 2013, 07:07 PM
Form reply from Udall (D-CO):

Thank you for contacting me regarding Second Amendment rights. I appreciate that you took the time to write on this important topic.
Responsible gun ownership is an integral part of our Western heritage. The Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution provides for an individual right, and I am dedicated to protecting the rights of citizens to own firearms for personal protection, hunting, collecting or for other legal purposes.
We can all agree that the shootings at Columbine High School; Virginia Tech; in Aurora; Tucson, AZ; Newtown, CT and other instances in which terrible crimes have been committed with guns are national tragedies that should concern us all. No single policy is going to be adequate in preventing gun tragedies in the future. We need comprehensive solutions that examine our culture's glorification of violence, the effectiveness of our laws, our ability to enforce those laws and access to firearms, especially those designed for the battlefield. We must do everything we can - consistent with the Second Amendment - to keep weapons out of the hands of criminals, the mentally ill and those who would turn them against their community. As legislation related to Second Amendment rights is debated, I will carefully examine its intentions and impacts and use your thoughts to help guide me.
I will continue to listen closely to what you and other Coloradans have to say about matters before Congress, the concerns of our communities, and the issues facing Colorado and the nation. My job is not merely about supporting or opposing legislation, but also about bridging the divide that has paralyzed our nation's politics. For more information about my positions and to learn how my office can assist you, please visit my website at www.markudall.senate.gov.

Warm regards,
Mark Udall
U.S. Senator, Colorado

quietsage
February 7, 2013, 07:48 PM
Thank you for sharing your thoughts regarding firearms issues. I appreciate hearing about your interest in the issues facing our country and state, and I am glad for the opportunity to respond to your inquiry.

The Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution establishes the right to bear arms, which more commonly means owning or possessing a firearm. Our Founding Fathers recognized this right when they included it as one of the original 10 Amendments, or Bill of Rights, to the Constitution. The ability to purchase and own firearms can be traced to the founding and defense of our nation, and I believe in the continued importance of the Second Amendment today. I feel strongly that the vast majority of gun owners in Utah and across the country understand the serious responsibilities associated with gun ownership, and they possess and use firearms legally.

Across our country, we have all been shocked and saddened by recent tragedies involving gun violence perpetrated by disturbed individuals. As a result there has been a great deal of discussion in the public policy world about possible steps to prevent tragic acts of violence. I believe responsible individuals have a constitutional right to own firearms, and that this right should not be limited. However, even the staunchest defenders of Second Amendment rights are deeply troubled by acts of senseless and brutal violence. It is here that we need to start, as a country, a broad discussion about how to reduce acts of violence in our society. Each of us should have the expectation of safety in our daily lives.

There are three general topics that should be considered in this discussion. First, we should examine our existing gun laws to determine their effectiveness as they are currently being enforced. Second, we should address the current mental health system in our country and evaluate options to make improvements. Third, we should examine the culture of violence in today’s society and seek out ideas to counteract that culture.

As we attempt to find common ground on efforts to reduce violence in our country, we should keep in mind the importance of seeking pragmatic, bipartisan solutions. Any meaningful proposals should be based on facts and with data demonstrating how they will reduce incidents of violence. For example, the so-called Assault Weapons Ban was in place for ten years before it expired in 2004, and the consensus of dozens of studies of that law demonstrate that the law had no real effect on reducing acts of gun violence in our country. The discussion should be deliberative and not reactionary, broad based and not simplistic, and formed through consensus of a wide range of interests and not from a small group of people.

Again, thank you for sharing your concerns with me. If you have any additional questions, please feel free to contact my office.

Best Wishes,
JIM MATHESON
Member of Congress

BLB68
February 7, 2013, 08:57 PM
The Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution establishes the right to bear arms, which more commonly means owning or possessing a firearm.

Someone send this guy a dictionary.

jonc
February 7, 2013, 09:49 PM
got one today too. It must not have been a form letter today cuase mine was a little different

cluck
February 7, 2013, 10:05 PM
Honest response. I didn't expect this. I wonder when I will get my response from him. It's a little encouraging that my representative, despite his party affiliation, is not just spewing the same anti drivel: "I respect the second amendment BUT....".

"Each of us should have the expectation of safety in our daily lives."
This is the only statement that seems ignorant to me. Safety is an illusion.
If his votes match his stated position, I may have to vote for him next time.

BLB68
February 8, 2013, 01:02 PM
Trying to redefine the word "bear" seems a bit suspect to me. Probably will have to wait and see how he votes on things to be sure of his position.

blahpony
February 8, 2013, 06:54 PM
Here is a response from VA senator Tim Kaine.

Thank you for contacting me to share your views on proposals to reduce gun violence. I appreciate hearing from you.

No one can deny that gun violence is a serious problem in this country today. We owe it to the victims of the growing number of mass shootings to vigorously debate specific and comprehensive proposals that can keep our communities safer. The right approach focuses on many issues - improvements to the mental health system, better security protocols and common sense rules about gun use, including keeping firearms out of the hands of dangerous individuals.

When I was on the Richmond City Council in the 1990s, our city was mired in an epidemic of gun violence that included the city having the second-highest homicide rate in the United States. The most successful step we took was implementing Project Exile, a program that involved federal prosecution and tougher penalties for gun crimes that were previously treated more leniently in state courts. Celebrated by diverse groups engaged in the gun violence debate - including the National Rifle Association and the Brady Campaign - the program helped drive down Richmond's homicide rate by nearly 60 percent within a few years.

In 2007, the tragic shooting at Virginia Tech revealed glaring weaknesses in campus security protocols at colleges and universities, in our mental health system and the gun background check system for gun purchases. In a bipartisan spirit, I worked with then-Attorney General Bob McDonnell to immediately improve our background check system and issued an executive order ensuring that those adjudicated to be mentally ill and dangerous would be entered into a national database and barred from purchasing weapons. We also changed standards for mental health treatment and increased funding for community health programs while dramatically improving campus security and efforts to assist college students suffering from mental stress.

In January I attended a round-table event in Richmond with Vice President Biden on gun violence, to talk about the lessons learned in Virginia and the need for a comprehensive approach to these problems. As your U.S. Senator, I will work to bring that kind of comprehensive approach that will strengthen the safety of our communities, while protecting our Second Amendment rights. As a gun owner who worked with others to constitutionally guarantee Virginians the right to hunt, I know that you can be a strong supporter of the Second Amendment without tolerating the gun tragedies that are too often a part of our daily lives.

Concerning specific proposals, I am a strong supporter of universal background record checks. This is the only way we can enforce existing laws that prohibit dangerous individuals from purchasing guns. I am open to supporting legislation placing reasonable limits on high capacity magazines, combat-style weapons and gun trafficking if they are carefully drafted.

Please be assured that I will keep your views in mind as Congress continues to debate strategies to reduce gun violence. Thank you once again for contacting me.

Sincerely,


Tim Kaine


Bolding is mine.

BBQJOE
February 9, 2013, 09:11 AM
I've been sending all kinds of emails, like the rest of you.
here is Paul Gosar's response to my email asking him to oppose any new firearm legislation, as well as a promise to do my best to have someone else fill his seat if he does.

Dear Mr. Heslin,

Thank you for contacting me about the tragic events that occurred at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut. This tragedy affected so many, and I am always glad to hear your thoughts, concerns, and opinions on the matter.

First, my thoughts and prayers are with all of those affected by the tragic shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. My deepest sympathies are with the families and loved ones of the staff and students who were killed or injured and those who witnessed this horrific event. We mourn the loss of the school children and adults whose lives were claimed by the heartbreaking acts on December 14, 2012.

We must now pause and reflect as to how we can prevent a repeat of the events in Newtown, Connecticut while preserving our liberties and values, including the right to bear arms. Our Constitution recognizes certain core liberties that we are endowed with by God—not by the Federal government. The right to defend oneself and one's family and property are among these. The founders of this country knew that having capable citizens willing to take up arms to defend the Republic was essential. For that reason, each individual was given the right to own, possess and responsibly use firearms.

In an effort to prevent other instances like the events in Newtown, we must also engage in a broader discussion that includes increased access to mental health care services. This should include educating the public about the warning signs of those who would harm themselves and others and addressing the stigma related to diagnosis and treatment. Most individuals with severe and persistent mental illness will not commit violent crimes but we need a system in place to recognize and intervene when a risk is posed.

It is crucial that we enforce existing gun laws already on the books. It is my hope that this tragedy results in solutions designed to prevent other similar occurrences.

Irresponsible and criminal use of arms cannot be tolerated, but I believe that using new gun control laws to address this case and others like it would be unwise and ineffective. The federal government must not sink to the lowest common denominator to punish responsible citizens and to infringe on Constitutional rights. I find it distasteful that some people seek to capitalize on a tragedy in order to trample on our Constitution for political gain.

Please know that as your Congressman, I fully support Second Amendment rights and the right to own and carry firearms in a responsible manner. I will oppose any unconstitutional efforts by the federal government to infringe upon Second Amendment rights. I have been a life-long supporter of responsible gun ownership. I have also been a hunter for most of my life, and I am well aware of our rights and duties relative to firearms. We must remain vigilant and enforce all of our constitutional rights, not simply pick and choose the ones we like. Our constitutional rights are not dependent upon which president, or which Congress, is in office.

Again, I appreciate your thoughts and concerns. It is a pleasure to serve Arizona as part of its Congressional Delegation. Your suggestions are always welcome, and if ever I may be of assistance, please do not hesitate to contact me.

MaterDei
February 9, 2013, 12:40 PM
This is Ted Poe's response to an email I sent. Emphasis is my own...

Dear Mr. MaterDei:

Thank you for contacting me to share your thoughts on firearms and the Second Amendment. I appreciate hearing from you on this important issue.

The tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut was unspeakable, incomprehensible and unimaginable evil. There are no words that can offer enough comfort and solace to a grieving community. Since that tragedy, there have been calls for immediate action ranging from legislation for more and less gun control and a national discussion on mental health.

I am an ardent supporter of the individual right to keep and bear arms protected under the Second Amendment. As a former prosecutor and judge, I have tried many shooters in criminal cases, but never a gun. Some may misplace blame on videogames, Hollywood, or the media, but the blame should always be on the shooter. Nations, like Mexico, that have outlawed guns completely have not seen a decline in gun-related deaths. Additionally, Fox News reported that Chicago has some of the toughest gun laws in America, but leads the nation in gun violence.

On January 16, 2013, the Administration issued 23 actions that they plan to take to address gun violence. Ranging from strengthening background checks to launching a national responsible gun ownership campaign, all actions are targeted to facilitate gun control. I do not believe executive orders are the way to control gun violence. The focus of any discussion or action must be on the individual, and I look forward to having that discussion with my colleagues in Congress.

Thank you again for contacting me with your thoughts. For additional information regarding current legislation and my representation of the 2nd District, please refer to my website: poe.house.gov. While you are visiting the website, be sure to sign up for my electronic newsletter.


God and Texas,

TED POE

Billy Shears
February 9, 2013, 04:10 PM
I wrote both my senators after the Newtown shooting, expressing my hope that they would focus their efforts on stopping these deranged individuals, rather than on weapons, and urging them not to squander this opportunity to address the mental health system and involuntary commitment of certain individuals, and instead jump on the easy and very public bandwagon of gun control.

Alas, Sen. Mark Warner chose to ignore that plea, and do just that. He has expressed support for Diane Feinstein's ASW ban (never mind that the last one had no effect whatever on crime, nor did it prevent mass shootings like Columbine). And in an interview recently, he said:

Well, Gwen, I'm a strong Second Amendment rights supporter. I own firearms. On my farm, I have actually got shooting range.

But Friday afternoon, my daughters, who had all come home from college, said, dad, you know, how did this happen? And what are you going to do about it?

And just as a father, the horror of what happened in Connecticut coming on the heels of tragedies at Virginia Tech years before, the tragedy in Colorado, and it seems like about every six or nine months, one of these incidents happening in America, makes me say, you know, enough is enough. There's got to be a rational way to sort through this...

I think that, from the evidence I have seen, that a lot of the challenge comes around the speed by which you can shoot, in effect, these multiple magazines in terms of how rapidly they can be discharged.

Now, there's a whole series of different negotiations about what qualifies as an assault weapon and what doesn't. I think there will be time for that kind of conversation.

We have got to find a way to sort through to where there is an ability for law-abiding citizens still to possess firearms -- nobody is going to take away your shotgun -- but to make sure that these kinds of weapons that in many cases were developed for our military and have become extraordinarily, lethally effective killing machines for our military are now in the hands of people that are just not appropriate...

What are the instruments here that are being used? Are there guns that were developed by the military as technology has advanced and has allowed our soldiers to become better, more effective in Iraq and Afghanistan? Should all of those weapons be able to be slightly modified and then sold on a commercial market?

What kind of -- how much restraint does it put on a lawful target shooter if they want to have to change out a clip after every 10 shells or -- 10 or 15 shells? I'm not sure what the right number should be here...

But I do think that simply saying that the status quo is acceptable and bemoaning another tragedy six or nine months from now, without any real close examination of seeing what laws and rules and regulations need to be changed, would be a real mistake and wouldn't do -- wouldn't be the appropriate honoring the legacy of those poor kids that lives were taken.
I have written back to his office since reading this, and informed him that I will never vote for him again, and that I will now spend time and money to make certain he loses his seat come the next election, and if he ever runs for public office again, I'll do it all over again.

Just as I couldn't support John McCain, after McCain-Feingold unconstitutionally restricted free speech, I can no longer support him. I cannot and will not support ANY politician who supports blatantly unconstitutional legislation, undermining my rights and liberties.

Maybe if he gets enough letters making it clear he's committing political suicide, supporting Feinstein's ASW ban in a state like Virginia, he'll rethink his support for that bill. I'm not holding my breath, but if you live in Virginia, write to him and let him know he's playing with fire on this one.

NosaMSirhC
February 9, 2013, 05:01 PM
I didn't vote for Mark Warner to begin with. I will make absolutely sure that I devote time and treasure to unseat him.

I can only imagine what a response from Senator Kaine's office will read like...

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Billy Shears
February 9, 2013, 05:44 PM
Well, I tend to vote republican more than democrat. But Warner was one of the few seemingly genuine moderate, centrist democrats I could support. No more. As I said, I don't want to be a single issue voter, but when a politician crosses the line into supporting blatantly unconstitutional laws, then he's crossed a line that makes it impossible for me to support him.

jimmyraythomason
February 9, 2013, 05:53 PM
Senator Jeff Seesions of Alabama is strongly in the pro-gun,pro-second Amendment category.

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