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Old January 1, 2013, 09:17 PM   #26
btmj
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Here is what my buddy wrote to his senator and his congressmen... he sent it to me in an email.

Dear Honorable blank

I am not a politically oriented person, and other than voting, I have never been involved in politics. However, I will vote against any politician who supports additional gun laws. In fact, I will actively work to defeat them. I will support their opponents with money, and by volunteering my time on their campaigns.

I am a single issue voter and guns are my issue.


Not saying I agree with his approach, but it is an interesting approach.
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Old January 1, 2013, 10:18 PM   #27
Tom Servo
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Actually, almost every sentence of that letter is poison. The first sentence implies that the writer lacks reach or influence beyond any other person writing. Things like "I supported your campaign back in 2004" are far more effective, as they imply at least minor civic involvement.

Quote:
However, I will vote against any politician who supports additional gun laws. In fact, I will actively work to defeat them.
Here we have an implied threat with no real menace. "Do what I want or you'll be voted out of office" is something LC's see all day, every day. It rarely actually happens, and the letter gets dismissed as grumbling, especially considering that the author tipped his hand in the opening sentence.

Quote:
I am a single issue voter and guns are my issue.
The response? "Well, this guy probably didn't vote for me last time because guns weren't on the ballot. I lose nothing by ignoring him this time."

I once worked for a record company. They received demo tapes all day long from striving artists. There was one guy in the office whose job was to listen to them. He popped each tape in, listened for 20 seconds, and if something didn't grab him, the tape got trashed.

There's a similar atmosphere in your politician's office. They scan incoming pieces of mail quickly and rarely read past the first two sentences. Mr. Congressdude wants to know how many people support Prop 61 and how many oppose it. It's a head count.

Any letter should start with "I support/oppose Prop 61." Sentence 2 should be a list of one or two reasons why, with perhaps two more explanatory sentences.

Second paragraph should be conciliatory words of past support and thanks for leadership. Everything else gets ignored for the most part.
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Old January 1, 2013, 10:41 PM   #28
btmj
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Well, he has always been a nut. Would you be surprised to know he has been banned from several forums like this ?

Good shooter, though, and an excellent hunter. He is also a mighty fine gun smith.

Anyway I thought his note was interesting, and even a bit entertaining.
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Old January 3, 2013, 03:45 PM   #29
Gary L. Griffiths
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Here's my effort, FWIW:

Quote:
Dear Senator ,

As your constituent, I am contacting you to express my opposition to any attempt to ban so-called “assault weapons” or “high-capacity” magazines. In my view, any further restrictions on the sale or possession of these items would clearly infringe our right to keep and bear arms as specified in the Second Amendment to the US Constitution.

The “assault weapon” of the late 18th Century was the Brown Bess Musket. It had many of the same characteristics as modern “assault weapons” in that it wasn’t particularly useful for hunting, but was militarily advantageous because it could be loaded and fired rapidly, and could mount a bayonet for close-quarters combat. It was, unarguably, the weapon our Founding Fathers had in mind when they wrote the Second Amendment, because keeping and bearing it encouraged proficiency in its use, and gave the musket-armed militiaman parity with regular army troops.

Today, keeping and bearing an AR-15 rifle encourages proficiency which is militarily useful in case of a national emergency, and the skilled possessor of an AR-15 rifle with military-specification magazines has a large degree of parity with hostile military forces of an invading foreign government or our own government turned tyrannical. Further restrictions on its sale and possession would clearly violate the Second Amendment and would be futile in any case, since existing weapons, if well maintained, can easily be expected to last for more than a century.

Please do everything in your power to defeat “feel good” legislation that would infringe on our Second Amendment rights. Your efforts will not be unappreciated at election time.

Sincerely,
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Old January 3, 2013, 11:06 PM   #30
Al Norris
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I have received my first reply:

Quote:
January 3, 2013


Al Norris
Rupert, ID

Dear Al:

Thank you for contacting me to share your thoughts about the recent tragic shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. I appreciate hearing from you and welcome the opportunity to respond.

As a father and grandfather, words cannot adequately describe the profound sadness that I feel for all those affected by this senseless act of a troubled young man. On Friday, December 14, 2012, we all witnessed the unfolding scene whereby the police responded to a shooting at a Connecticut school where at least 26 lives were taken, and all far too soon. Our children are our most vulnerable members of society and it is our duty to keep them out of harm’s way.

This devastating act was a terrible tragedy that stuns the nation. As an ongoing investigation, the exact situation and motive of the shooter remain uncertain, but the devastation it has had on the community, and to citizens all across the country, does not. My sincerest and heartfelt thoughts and prayers go out to all the innocent victims and their families.

In the days and weeks going forward, a number of ideas will be brought forward relating to guns and mental health. As Congress acts, it must be in full recognition that the choices we make must reflect the realities that we cannot completely legislate away risk and violence out of society. Burdening law-abiding citizens of this country with additional gun restrictions is not the answer to safeguarding the public from further attacks, and weakening Second Amendment rights is not an appropriate response to this tragic act of a lone gunman.

Let me reassure you that I do not support gun control. We must protect and preserve our constitutional right to bear arms. Our country should have a thoughtful and reasoned debate on how to address mental health issues and crime control, while still preserving our constitutional rights. The Second Amendment 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." I firmly believe this provision prohibits the federal government from denying law-abiding citizens this right.

Again, thank you for contacting me. Please feel free to contact me in the future on this or other matters of interest to you. For more information about the issues before the U.S. Senate as well as news releases, photos, and other items of interest, please visit my Senate website, http://crapo.senate.gov.

Sincerely,

Mike Crapo
United States Senator

MDC:rj
I highlighted the two relevant passages that I thought were telling.
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Old January 3, 2013, 11:25 PM   #31
Gary L. Griffiths
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From my Senator and Representative:

Quote:
Dear Mr. Griffiths:

Thank you for contacting me regarding the horrific events in Newtown, Connecticut. I appreciate having the benefit of your comments on this tragedy.

My thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families as well as with all the citizens of Newtown who were affected by this tragedy. On December 17, 2012, I joined my Senate colleagues in cosponsoring Senate Resolution 621 to honor the victims and heroes of the shooting.

It is a tragedy for the entire nation whenever a life is taken in an act of violence. I share your concern for the safety of our children in their schools, and you may be certain that I will keep your views in mind as policy changes are considered in the coming weeks. Now, we join with the families as they grieve the tragic loss of twenty children and their teachers, and we join together as a nation to honor their memories.

I appreciate having the opportunity to represent Texas in the United States Senate. Thank you for taking the time to contact me.

Sincerely,
JOHN CORNYN
United States Senator
Not really saying anything

Quote:
Dear Mr. Griffiths:

Thank you for contacting me about renewed interests in gun control following the events at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. I appreciate hearing from you on this important matter.

I, like many Americans, was saddened by the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School, where 20 children and 6 adults were killed by a gunman who ultimately took his own life. As a father of two teachers, my thoughts and prayers go out to all who were affected by this unspeakable tragedy. Although the investigation is still ongoing, initial reports suggest that the gunman was deeply disturbed and intent on leaving a wake of destruction.

As a physician, I believe that mental illness, which afflicts an estimated one in ten children and adolescents in the United States to the point of causing some impairment, is a serious health problem that cannot be ignored. The federal government has programs specifically designed to assist local schools to promoting mental health development in children and adolescents.

Immediately following these events in Connecticut, I reached out to most of the superintendents of the area independent school districts to ensure proper safety measures are in place to protect our children in school to the extent possible. You may be interested to know, that one program that are available to schools are the School Resource Officers (SRO). SROs are individuals that directly improve the safety for students, teachers, and administrators in primary and secondary schools throughout our district. You may also be interested to know that over the past two decades, the 26th District of Texas has received over $40 million from the federal COPS grant program to assist local law enforcement agencies. COPS grant have funded 378 additional police officers and sheriff's deputies to engage in community policing activities, including crime prevention, in the 26th District. Within the COPS program, an additional $2 million has been provided to the SRO program

An example of how the SRO program is specifically benefiting the 26th District is in Denton School District, the SRO program is a mutually beneficial partnership between the Denton Police Department and the Denton Independent School District. SROs perform a variety of law enforcement functions at Denton ISD schools. However, the primary purpose of school resource officers is to reduce and prevent crime by and against students, committed primarily in or in connection with area schools.

There is no denying that this event is indeed tragic; however, this event has not changed my position on the issue of gun control. I am strongly opposed to any limitations on the United States Constitution's Second Amendment rights of law-abiding gun owners. While no one condones the purchase and use of guns by felons or other high-risk individuals to perpetrate any crime, we must not improperly hamper the right of law-abiding citizens to bear or purchase arms. If we are to honor and uphold our nation's Constitution, this right cannot be infringed.

The key to curbing the unlawful use of firearms is the stricter enforcement of existing laws. There are about 20,000 firearms laws already on the books in this country. To prevent crime, we must fully enforce those laws already on the books. I am disappointed to see the proposals currently being discussed by Members of Congress are merely an attempt to make people feel more secure without providing any real security. Someone who is truly intent on using a gun to commit a crime will find a way to obtain one regardless of what laws are imposed. We cannot erode our constitutional rights in the name of crime prevention, and I will oppose any legislation that seeks to do so.

Please be assured that I will continue to pay very close attention to the continuing debate on gun ownership rights and the mental health issues. As these developments continue, you may be assured that I will keep your views in mind should legislation relating to gun rights and mental health be considered by the full House.

Again, thank you for taking the time to contact me. I appreciate having the opportunity to represent you in the U.S. House of Representatives. Please feel free to visit my website (www.house.gov/burgess) or contact me with any future concerns.

Sincerely,

Michael C. Burgess, M.D.
Member of Congress
I got the impression that someone on Dr. Burgess' staff actually read my letter!
__________________
Violence is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and valorous feeling which believes that nothing is worth violence is much worse. Those who have nothing for which they are willing to fight; nothing they care about more than their own personal safety; are miserable creatures who have no chance of being free, unless made and kept so by the exertions of those better than themselves. Gary L. Griffiths, Chief Instructor, Advanced Force Tactics, Inc. (Paraphrasing John Stuart Mill)
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Old January 9, 2013, 12:54 PM   #32
Isk
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Response from Senator

I e-mailed my legislators on Monday regarding my opposition to any further gun control, specifically in response to the Sandy Hook incident. I received a detailed response from Democratic Senator Mark Begich's office that included the following information:

"In the aftermath of this awful crime, we must be vigilant about addressing future threats to public safety. There is no simple solution, but I do not believe more restrictive gun laws will prevent criminals from committing acts of violence. I have always been and continue to be a strong defender of Second Amendment rights for law-abiding citizens."

He goes on to state that he considers this a mental health problem and has introduced a bill to help colleges recognize signs of mental illness and safety issues.

Anybody else know if we have other supporters from across the aisle?
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Old January 16, 2013, 07:09 PM   #33
Al Norris
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I finally received a response from Senator Risch. Not an email, but an actual hardcopy letter.

Quote:
Mr. Norris
Rupert, Idaho

Dear Mr. Norris:

Thank you for your message.

All of us are saddened by the tragic events in Connecticut. Our hearts and condolences go out to the families of the victims.

On the matter of gun control, you should know I am an avid hunter and frequently engage in sport shooting. I am deeply committed to Second Amendment rights.

I really value your effort to get in touch with me to share your thoughts, as many Idahoans do. Please do not hesitate to contact me in the future on this or other issues.

Very Truly Yours,
James E. Risch
So I guess I'm supposed to be impressed?

He left me his fax No. ... heh heh ... I will have another message for him shortly.
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Old January 16, 2013, 07:29 PM   #34
Tom Servo
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Quote:
He left me his fax No
Fax? 1978 called: they want their technology back!

From my Rep, Phil Gingrey, via electronic mail:

Quote:
Thank you for contacting me to express your views on the Second Amendment and the Obama Administration's attempt to implement gun control measures via executive order. As your Congressman, I appreciate hearing your thoughts and welcome every opportunity to be of service.

The right to bear arms is a constitutional guarantee that ensures law-abiding citizens the right to protect and defend themselves and their families. In its announcement on January 16, 2013, the Obama Administration's attempt to implement radical gun control policies through executive order is a gross violation of our Second Amendment rights. Let me assure you that I will work with House Republicans to oppose these measures in their entirety.

Safeguarding our Second Amendment rights is of paramount importance, and throughout my tenure in Congress, I have worked – and will continue working – to preserve those rights. The National Rifle Association (NRA), of which I am a member, has consistently graded my voting record "A+." Over a 10-year period, I have supported Second Amendment and sportsmen's rights legislation 38 out of 38 times.

Since taking office, I have authored or co-sponsored 56 bills to protect or strengthen our Second Amendment rights.
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Old January 16, 2013, 08:53 PM   #35
Al Norris
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Here's what's funny, Tom:

Senator Crapo replied with a thoughtful email. He has a webpage that lists his accomplishments. He sends out a monthly newsletter. You can contact him via email, by phone (in DC or several satellite offices in Idaho). The same with Rep, Simpson.

Senator Risch, on the other hand, has little to no info on his .gov site. You may email him from there, but the software vets your physical address (yes, you must give that). His Senate watermarked stationary list his DC office phone and fax numbers and his satellite offices. He sends out a quarterly newsletter that is devoid of any meaningful legislation he has worked on or with.

Senator Risch is up for reelection.
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Old January 16, 2013, 09:20 PM   #36
Tom Servo
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IIRC, Crapo has been quite proactive on the 2A on a couple of occasions.
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Old January 17, 2013, 01:39 AM   #37
jason_iowa
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I call and email my reps on most every issue. They work for us and if we don't push them in the right direction then they will do whatever they want.
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