Originally Posted by NapaPlinker
I wrote him and go this response back.
Dear Mr. Amadeo:
Thank you for contacting me regarding the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. There have been far too many tragic shootings this year and this particular senseless act of violence took the lives of innocent, young children and staff who believed they were safe at school.
As a father and grandfather, I am deeply shocked and saddened. The students, teachers, and the families of those killed in this tragedy are in my thoughts and prayers. As your representative in Congress, I am committed to doing more to prevent tragedies like these and have recently been named to lead a congressional task force on reducing and preventing gun violence.
I am a gun owner, hunter, former co-chair of the Congressional Sportsmen's Caucus, supporter of the Second Amendment and a combat veteran who carried an assault rifle in Vietnam. I believe law-abiding, mentally-stable Americans have the right to own legitimate firearms for legitimate purposes.
I understand guns, their purpose and how they are used. I understand that we have an obligation to make sure guns are used responsibly. I understand that there are some people who should not have access to firearms. And I believe that military-type assault weapons and assault magazines like the ones I carried in Vietnam have no place on our streets or in our communities. They serve no hunting purpose, they aid criminals, and they too often are a tool for mass shootings. Whether it's a classroom in Newtown, a movie theater in Aurora, or a shopping mall in Oregon, our nation has mourned far too many of these tragedies.
There is no set of laws that will end these horrific tragedies and senseless acts of violence, but that cannot be an excuse to do nothing. It is time to act. And we need a comprehensive approach that goes beyond just arming more people with more guns to make this happen. Congress must reinstate the ban on military-type assault weapons and assault magazines, improve our background check system to ensure that anyone who buys a firearm is a law-abiding, mentally stable individual, and figure out how to close the holes in our mental health system and make sure care is available for those that need it.
As chair of this congressional gun violence task force, I will be working on these issues as part of a comprehensive approach to reduce gun violence and strengthen our nation's gun laws. I will be working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle, mental health experts, gun rights advocacy groups, gun safety advocacy groups, school and education leaders, entertainment industry leaders, law enforcement officials and others to discuss a comprehensive approach to combating the prevalence of gun violence in our communities. All issues must be on the table and everyone must be at the table.
Together we can give our time, our hearts and our very best efforts to do everything possible to make sure this kind violence is no longer visited on our children and our nation.
Again, thank you for sharing your thoughts with me. Please continue to contact me on all issues of importance to you and to our district.
Member of Congress