July 25, 2012, 11:05 PM
Join Date: November 15, 2007
Location: Outside KC, MO
I just posted this in "Has your voice been heard?" in this forum...
... but it bears repeating here.
The following is a response from my representative in Missouri, to a note I'd sent him about my concerns about possible pushes for new gun control legislation; it provides a lot of ammo for our side in a debate:
Thank you for contacting me regarding the tragic shootings in Aurora, Colorado, and a potential ban on assault weapons. I appreciate hearing from you and welcome the opportunity to respond.
Let me first say that as a lifelong gun enthusiast, I will continue my steadfast support of our Second Amendment rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution.
I swore an oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States upon taking office. As such, I am committed to preserving the right of law-abiding citizens to purchase, own, and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment.
Semi-automatic firearms were introduced more than a century ago. They account for about 15 percent of the more than 250 million privately-owned firearms in the United States, and are used for the same purposes that other firearms are, including self-defense, hunting, and recreational and competitive target shooting. Semi-automatics fire only one shot when the trigger is pulled. Contrary to some reports, semi-automatics can't "spray fire," and aren't easy to convert into machine guns.
A ban on new manufacture of assault weapons and ammunition magazines that hold more than 10 rounds was imposed from 1994 to 2004. Crime reports and felon surveys showed that assault weapons were used in only 1-2 percent of violent crimes before the ban, while crime victim surveys indicated the figure was 0.25 percent. In the 10 years before the ban, murders committed without guns outnumbered those with assault weapons by about 37-to-1. Additionally, there are now more assault weapons and magazines that hold more than 10 rounds than ever before, and the nation's murder rate is at a 47-year low, having decreased 52 percent since 1991.
Throughout my tenure in Congress, I have strongly opposed every attempt to infringe upon our Second Amendment rights. I have always considered myself a friend and supporter of responsible and law-abiding gun owners, and believe the rights of these individuals needs to be preserved. It is no secret that President Barack Obama and his liberal anti-gun activists would like to see added regulations on the gun market and decreased access to firearms for all Americans. Rest assured, however, that I will actively and aggressively oppose them at every turn. Simply put, we do not need more anti-gun regulations for law-abiding citizens.
Again, thank you for contacting me regarding this important issue. Please feel free to call my office at (202) 225-7041 should you have any further questions or concerns about this or any other issue, or visit my website at http://graves.house.gov for more information.
Member of Congress
Congressman Sam Graves