View Full Version : Jackie Speier response

09-25-2013, 6:31 PM
My comments in bold.

Thank you for contacting with your concerns regarding proposals aimed at curbing gun violence particularly banning "assault weapons" and "large" ammunition magazines. Like you I believe in protecting Second Amendment rights, but I respectfully disagree that a commonsense approach to strengthening our woefully inadequate gun safety laws impedes on this right.

As a survivor of gun violence (1978 in Guyana - how does this have anything to do with the USA?) and a Vice Chair of the House Democratic Gun Violence Prevention Task Force, I believe it is my personal and professional responsibility to advocate for the smartest, most rigorous (oxymoron?) gun safety measures. Those solutions include a federal ban on assault weapons (I agree. Full-auto assault weapons do not belong on the streets - oh, you really mean scary looking guns, don't you?) and high capacity ammunition magazines, a stand-alone federal statute to crack down on gun trafficking (Excellent - The DOJ really needs to be held to task for Fast and Furious - let's indict and try Holder, shall we?), and a universal expansion of the background check system – a commonsense fix that 9 out of every 10 Americans support, including most gun owners. (And where are you getting these numbers from?)

As you may be aware, the prominent Republican strategist and pollster Frank Luntz conducted a poll that found NRA members and gun owners overwhelmingly support common-sense gun safety measures (the key words are common sense - not knee-jerk). The poll found that 87 percent of NRA members agree that support for Second Amendment rights goes hand-in-hand with keeping guns out of the hands of criminals and 74 percent of NRA members and 87 percent of non-NRA gun owners support requiring criminal background checks of anyone purchasing a gun.

Following the horrific mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, which claimed the lives of twenty innocent children and six adults, many of us felt that the time had finally come for Congress to act (to use their blood for our own ends). Unfortunately, as demonstrated by the Senate's failure to pass even the most basic gun safety reforms, too many lawmakers remain in thrall to special interest groups such as the National Rifle Association, even after last week's Navy Yard shooting right here in Washington, and choose to put politics ahead of what is right and appear out of step with their membership. (Perhaps they are putting their constituent’s desires ahead of their personal lust for power? Can you say, "Colorado?")

The United States has the tragic distinction of accounting for 80 percent of all gun deaths out of the 23 wealthiest nations in the world. The U.S. firearm homicide rate is 20 times higher than the rest of those countries combined. While many other countries similar to our own suffer from a relative handful of shootings, in the United States, more than 30,000 Americans die every year in gun crimes, accidents and suicides. (and in 2010, 32,367 Americans died in automobile accidents - let's ban killer cars)

An average of 8 children and teens are killed by guns every day. Behind these statistics are the faces of our colleagues, our friends, our family members, our loved ones. The suffering behind these numbers is simply unacceptable, and it is not inevitable. (Cars kill more people...)

I am committed to not only upholding the Second Amendment, but also proposing and supporting gun safety measures to protect the citizens of this country and reduce the thousands of needless deaths from guns each year. Whether we agree or not, I value your thoughts on this important issue and thank you again for taking the time to contact me. I hope you will continue to call or write me in the future on any matters important to you.