Thursday, December 3, 2015

ENOUGH! AN OPEN LETTER TO MY CONGRESSPERSON


Dear Congressman:

Because, once again, blind allegiance to the Second Amendment has trumped the right to life for several more innocent citizens, I have regrettably become one of those single-issue voters you probably dread.  To garner my vote in the future, I will expect you to step forward with actions that can serve to reduce the likelihood of continued firearms casualties in this nation. 

I urge your immediate consideration of the following:

1.            Repeal the Dickey amendment (1996), which prohibits the Centers for Disease Control and the National Institutes of Health from researching the causes of gun violence. [Even former representative Jay Dickey (R-Arkansas) regrets his role in passing the law. (Santa Rosa Press Democrat, December 3, 2015)]

2.            Insist that any legislation relating to firearms restrictions or liberalization be subjected to a straight up or down vote as opposed to concealing such legislation in amendments to other bills as was the case with Dickey.  

3.            Take all necessary measures to ensure that firearms related laws “already on the books” are fully funded and enforced.

4.            Begin the process of repealing the “well-regulated militia” clause of the Second Amendment since that section of the Constitution is universally ignored.  [Either that, or insist on that clause’s enforcement.]

5.            Require universal background checks for all individuals seeking to purchase a firearm under any circumstance.  [An overwhelming percentage of Americans agree with this requirement.]

6.            Require the following of any gun owner:
  1. The individual must successfully complete a comprehensive firearms safety and training course.
  2. The individual must successfully pass a psychological examination no more rigorous than that required upon entering our armed forces.
  3. The individual must be licensed to own and operate a firearm, as is the case with a motor vehicle.
  4. Such licenses must be renewed periodically with requirements 1 and 2 (above) updated.
7.            Require individuals to show cause prior to acquiring large capacity magazines, similar to many states’ “concealed carry” regulations.

8.            Initiate a nationwide buy-back program targeted toward those military-style firearms generally unnecessary for the average trained homeowner’s use in protection of family, property or self.

9.            No longer accept contributions from the National Rifle Association as it currently functions. Extend this lack of acceptance to any other so-called gun rights groups or gun industry lobbyists.  [If you’d be willing to tell them to stuff it on my behalf, that’d be okay, too.]

These steps may be viewed by some as an infringement on the rights of the citizenry to own firearms; but they are intended to ensure that all Americans can secure the blessings of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness while at school or the movie theater, or the grocery store, at work or in their neighborhoods.

The data is clear.  Citizens of the United States have access to and possess more firearms than any other developed country in the world.  Civilian deaths through gun violence are greater than any other developed country in the world.  If you cannot agree that this should be of paramount national concern, and if you are unwilling to take steps to rectify the situation, you do not deserve to sit in a legislative body because, evidently, you have chosen to represent a culture that promulgates fear and produces firearms over the desires of the majority of those whom you are sworn to represent. 

If that is the case, because of your dereliction of duty, you will not receive my vote.

Enough.

Sincerely,

The Church of the Open Road

References:

Text of the Second Amendment: “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.”



Firearms Buy Back Program in Australia: http://loc.gov/law/help/firearms-control/australia.php

National Rifle Association contributions to elected officials: http://www.opensecrets.org/orgs/recips.php?id=D000000082&type=P&state=&sort=A&cycle=2014


4 comments:

  1. Well said. My favorite take on the gunfire issue is by Jim Jefferies, an Australian comedian. I am on my iPad and it won't let me paste the link, but you can find the 15 minute clip on break.com.

    If you can't find it let me know and I will link it from the big computer.

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  2. You mentioned not one thing about holding the monsters who attack us responsible. You are part of the problem.

    I almost hate to say this, but guns don't kill people, terrorists do.

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    1. Hey Dan,

      I appreciate your comment. I figured I'd covered your concern (which I hold as well) in point 3 (above) regarding "already on the books," but clearly, I didn't make the point strongly enough.

      And, no, I am NOT part of the problem any more than you are - so long as good folks (like you and me) are willing to discuss issues, those issues will ultimately be resolved. The real problem occurs when good folks cannot discuss issues, resorting instead to name-calling and finger-pointing and shouting one another down. Sadly, this is what our once-great nation is becoming.

      Somebody is profiting from this behavior. Just not you or me.

      Ride safe, friend.

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