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The general topic of this message is Guns/Weapons:
Sen. Robert Menendez
Rep. Christopher Smith
March 15, 2013
Dear Elected Official,
It is my understanding that the President of the United States has decided to take on the issue of Gun Rights for Americans as a result of the recent tragedy in Newtown Connecticut. The President has appointed the Vice President of the United States to lead an administration-wide effort to curb gun violence in America, and has vowed to use “whatever power this office holds” in efforts to prevent “more tragedies like this” referring to the massacre that occurred in Newtown Connecticut.
The Mainstream Media continues to portray that all Americans are asking for gun control as a result of the massacre in Newtown Connecticut. That is not true. A recent Gallup Poll showed Americans feel that an increased police presence at schools, increased government spending on mental health screening and treatment, and decreased depiction of gun violence in entertainment venues would be effective in preventing mass shootings at schools. I encourage you to research this as you draft the way-ahead on curbing gun violence in America.
As my elected official, you will undoubtedly be asked to participate on committee in order to draft a way-ahead to solve the problem of gun violence in America. As my elected officials, you will undoubtedly be asked to vote on potential bill(s) that may affect my gun rights as guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States of America. Specifically, the Second Amendment which reads:
“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.”
As a law-abiding citizen of the United States of America, it is imperative that you not infringe on my right to keep and bear arms as guaranteed by the United States Constitution written by the Founding Fathers. It is your responsibility as my elected official to dutifully represent the will of The People, correctly interpret The United States Constitution, and diligently reflect on court cases throughout our proud history as you draft the way-ahead to curb gun violence.
There are approximately 65 million gun owners in the United States who enjoy the protection of our Bill of Rights. The Second Amendment protects their right and the right of every citizen to legally own and operate guns. This right has been protected in courts over the course of a hundred plus years.
The Supreme Court recognized that the right to arms is an individual right in U.S. v. Cruikshank (1876), Presser v. Illinois (1886), Miller v. Texas (1894), U.S. v. Miller (1939) and U.S. v. Verdugo-Urquidez (1990). In U.S. v. Cruikshank, the Court also recognized that the right pre-existed the Constitution. Most recently in 2010, the Supreme Court ruled that the Second Amendment, which forbids Congress from infringing the right to keep and bear arms, also applies to state and local governments.
Since our inalienable rights include life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, we cannot exercise those rights if we are not safe. Self-protection and the ability to fight against tyranny are core values our Founding Fathers believed and embedded within The Constitution. They envisioned a citizenry that must protect itself. The Second Amendment guarantees my right to protect myself and my family.
Attempts to institute a Ban on certain types of weapons is nothing short of telling the American People what type of guns they can own as it pertains to the Second Amendment. What will you do next? Tell the American People what kind of religion they can practice as it pertains to the First Amendment?
Those who oppose our Second Amendment would like for us to believe in a government that protects its people. They would like to strip peaceful citizens of their basic right to safety in an attempt to achieve safe neighborhoods. However, a vibrant democracy demands that we protect ourselves, because we are the embodiment of democracy and government is but our tool. Further regulating gun ownership only affects law-abiding citizens, resulting in criminals operating guns.
As a law-abiding citizen of this great land, it must be said that the focus should rest upon education and the enforcement of current laws. Gun safety education has lowered accidental deaths to less than 1% of all accidental deaths. Therefore, those who willingly use guns irresponsibly must be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
As it can be seen, there are choices we must face individually and as a nation. If we decide to give our government too much control, we will be making it an arbiter for determining our fate instead of helping us to determine our own fate. Restricting every citizen’s freedom is a dangerous proposition with grave consequences.
Do we want a larger government that envelopes our lives in the name of safety or do we want a smart government that helps teach us to be responsible and free? Some people believe that we can only be safe when government inhibits our basic freedom, making it harder to protect ourselves. This is a government that evades issues of personal responsibility, holds the actions of criminals against those who are law-abiding, and regulates our lives for us.
Our other choice is that we fashion a smart government that helps teach us to be responsible and free. The millions of Americans who support this view believe that we can only be safe when we are informed of the issues and make decisions for ourselves. These Americans know the danger of fashioning a powerful government and a weak citizenry. Reflect on the war that was fought against England to attain our freedom; remember what risks our Founding Fathers took to obtain a free society and a government that was not intrusive.
I ask you, which government would you rather fashion? Which government helps you to be free?
Reflect on our gun laws and future bills thoughtfully, as the consequences of your decisions will affect the civil rights of every inhabitant within our United States of America. As a constituent, I can make this promise to you…I will donate time and money for campaigns in every upcoming election. I will donate time and money to participate in every grass roots effort to defend the Second Amendment. I will donate time and money to pursue every legal course of action against those who attempt to infringe on my right to keep and bear arms.
Thank you for your time in this matter.
Freehold , NJ