reply from Susan Collins- one of the "good guys"?


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bk42261
February 6, 2013, 09:51 PM
Thank you for contacting me with your concerns regarding the debate over gun control measures. I appreciate your taking the time to do so.



There are many proposals being discussed at the federal level, including expanded background checks, a ban on large-capacity magazines, and a prohibition on military-style "assault" weapons. I understand your concerns with the proposals offered by the President and Senator Feinstein. On January 24th, Senator Feinstein introduced her legislative ban on military-style weapons which President Obama also supports. This legislation appears to be far broader than the 1994 "assault" weapons ban, and it appears to place onerous requirements on gun owners, including new background checks of existing owners of military-style weapons.



Responsible gun ownership is part of the heritage of many families in Maine. In fact, Maine has one of the highest rates of gun ownership yet the lowest rate of violent crime in the country. While our country should examine what can be done to help prevent gun violence, denying the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens won't change the behavior of those intent on using firearms for criminal purposes.



We need to have a national conversation about ways to avert another devastating mass murder, as well as discuss reasonable ideas about preventing violence. The root causes of violence in our country are complex, and if we are to take an effective approach, then we must be comprehensive in our analysis. On January 16th, President Obama announced his plan to address gun violence, much of which was derived from Vice-President Biden's taskforce. I am disappointed that the President's proposals did not include a National Commission on Violence that I had recommended along with several of my colleagues on both sides of the aisle. This commission would have closely examined all the issues around mass violence, specifically looking at the role of mental illness and violence in the media.





We must examine, among other issues, whether states are reporting data on mentally ill individuals found to be a danger to themselves or others to the national background check system designed to prevent gun purchases by such individuals. As was the case in the Connecticut, Colorado, and Arizona shootings, mental illness is a salient factor in many of these tragedies. The national dialogue should evaluate how we as a society can better identify and care for troubled individuals who pose a threat to themselves and others. We must also take a deeper look at the possible role played by the glorification of violence in our media and video games while at the same time respecting First Amendment rights.



I also believe that Congress should examine school safety. You may be interested to know that I am the lead Republican cosponsor of S. 146, the School Safety Enhancement Act. This legislation would provide matching grants to help cover the cost of security measures in schools including metal detectors, training for students, teachers, and administrators, and coordination with local law enforcement.



Thank you for contacting me on this important matter. I will keep your views in mind as the Senate addresses the President's recommendations, and other proposals relating to firearms and violent crime in this country.


<br / > Sincerely,


Susan M. Collins
United States Senator

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Bartholomew Roberts
February 6, 2013, 10:01 PM
Senator Collins has supported every previous ban on semi-auto weapons; but has not yet agreed to support this ban. So the prognosis isn't great; but there is still hope.

goon
February 6, 2013, 10:57 PM
So she supported semi-auto bans in the past... but why not just come out and say she is supporting this one?
I wonder if you guys in ME made her aware of the fact that she could be replaced.

mcdonl
February 7, 2013, 08:57 AM
Goon, I have made it perfectly clear. As a matter of fact I have a scheduled phone call with her to remind her that voting for this bill or any other bill that infringes on our rights in anyway will result in my using all of my influence to make sure she is voted out the next time we hit the polls.

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