Pops, who is in a different district than me for the moment, just got this in response from Rep. Westmoreland...
Thank you for contacting me regarding Second Amendment rights and gun laws in this country. I sincerely appreciate the benefit of your views.
On January 16, 2013, President Obama signed 23 Executive Orders relating to the problem of gun violence in America. Ranging from federal background checks, gun seizures, and mental health parity regulations, the President has once again decided to circumvent the role of Congress. The Constitution dictates that we must have a transparent and open discussion on issues of national importance, a discussion that allows the voices of all Americans to be heard rather than the sole voice of the Executive Branch. After situations such as the horrible tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, millions of U.S. citizens have indicated that they want to be able to protect themselves and their families. The fundamental right to bear arms cannot be trampled upon.
After the President's Executive Orders were outlined, I signed onto two letters with my colleagues to the President to express our strong dismay that he is attempting to infringe upon the second amendment rights of our nation. The first letter, circulated by Rep. Todd Rokita (R-IN) emphasizes that, as the Supreme Court has affirmed, we have a duty to ensure that law-abiding citizens are not stripped of their constitutional rights by an overreaching federal government. The second letter, circulated by Rep. Dan Benishek (R-MI) urges a respect for human life and human dignity and encourages the President to work through the legislative process rather than pursuing action solely determined by the Executive Branch. In regards to legislation put forth in the House or the Senate relating to gun control, I must emphasize that I cannot support any bill that would infringe upon our fundamental Second amendment rights.
When our Founding Fathers adopted the Bill of Rights, they specifically included a right for individuals to keep and bear arms. They wisely knew that if the people were armed, there would always be a built-in protection against criminal activity and tyranny. As an avid supporter of the Second Amendment and a gun owner, I have consistently fought to protect the right to keep and bear arms.
While many call for more gun laws, we need to enforce the laws that are already on the books. The true solution to gun violence is not creating more laws, but rather in something Congress can't do—changing the basic values people cherish. The solution to violence lies in our homes, schools, and places of worship as people learn the value of the lives of others. We can all work toward addressing those basic attitudes.
Along these same lines, it is important to protect firearm manufacturers from groups that try to shut them down through legal means. Gun makers, just like manufacturers of kitchen knives, make a product, and should not be held liable when that product is used in criminal activity. People make decisions to misuse products—the product itself does not cause the crime.
Hearing from my constituents allows me to better understand your perspective, and how they impact the future of Georgia and the nation. As your representative in Congress, I will continue to take your views into consideration as legislation moves through the process for votes. Thanks again for letting me know your thoughts. For additional information regarding current legislation and my representation of the Third District, I invite you to visit my website at http://www.house.gov/westmoreland
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Rep. Westmoreland is a good man. He was my congressional nomination to West Point, until I failed calculus.