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Old August 17, 2012, 12:44 PM   #1
GeeJ
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My PDF Template For Writing Lawmakers Simplified

=== SUMMERY ===
I'm an avid letter writer to my state's lawmakers in the House of Representatives and U.S. Senate. Normally I would write each letter from scratch; however, I decided a couple of weeks ago that I would put together a pdf template that would streamline and partially automate the process. So far, I haven't found any threads/posts in the forum where members post their letters or templates, if there is and I've overlooked it, then perhaps we can add this to it. As it is now, all this is really only focused on the federal level and not the state level, though it still may be of use. Also, I have no idea how one would write a compelling letter to a legislator who is an Anti. If you don't either, then just send them this one. Any letter is better than no letter, regardless if they will listen or not.

Ultimately, I am hoping this might make the truly important task of ensuring our lawmakers protect our rights a little more efficient, convenient, and less time consuming. This template is for everyone but my main focus is to help facilitate activism from those who DO care about the 2A but don't know how to write lawmakers or those who genuinely struggle to find the time to sit down and flesh out a well worded and compelling letter (not that I claiming mine is any better); then have to find a lawmaker's addresses, print out clean looking envelops, etc.... I'm hoping to get them active and to add even more voices to our collective identity. The template is at the bottom.

=== OBJECTIVE ===
I have two main objectives I hope to achieve in this post.

1) I want thoughts on improvements and additional eyes to proof read for errors. The biggest areas to critique are:
- Punctuation (I am particularly uncertain about my skills here)
- Any current or upcoming Federal level bills that I may not have addressed
- Testing the template's functionality and usability (ie missing fields, wrong tab order, printing mishaps, formatting error, character type issues, or ANYTHING that doesn't seem to work right.)

2) Just to simply get it out there and get more people active as well as to make it all easier for everybody.

=== THE TEMPLATE ===
I've never used Adobe Acrobat Pro nor have I ever designed a proper pdf document so I was learning on the fly. We've all seen some slick looking pdf forms....this will not be one of those. Don't bother telling me it looks crude. The end result is all that matters. The result will look simple but will also be proper. Admittedly, I pushed the limit of proper line spacing so that the body would fit on one page, but I'm already aware of it. Almost every text field can be edited so that you are free to rewrite or omit fields as you see fit.

Several fields are linked to others. Doing this allows the envelop to be automatically generated as you begin filling out the first few text fields. If you change one of those fields then the linked field will be changed also. Lastly, the buttons at the top and blue text "Zipcode" will not print. They are visible but not printable. The links at the top are for quickly finding info on who your legislator is, their mailing address, and their position on firearms.

I'll be using this template for myself regardless, so as I create more letters in the future I'll post those too. That way, anyone who is satisfied with what I have written can use it as their own.

=== CONCLUSION ===
Ummmm....well shucks, I can't think of anything else. I'm sure I forgot or overlooked something. If so, just let me know. Also, I'm out of work at the moment and in the middle of an aggressive job search campaign so if I'm a day or two slow in responding that's why. Sorry but I have a thing for bacon and need to start bringing some home.

Something to keep in mind:
Letter writing from only the individual may have no impact by itself, but the collective voice of a great number DOES HAVE AN SIGNIFICANT IMPACT and does influence the laws that govern our lives and of those we love. Don't EVER feel discouraged, belittled, insignificant, or think that you are a letter writing nobody. You ARE important! YOU ARE IMPORTANT to you, YOU ARE IMPORTANT to your friends and family, YOU ARE IMPORTANT to all of us, and YOUR LETTERS ARE IMPORTANT to the rights and liberties that are worth what it cost to attain them and are certainly worth what it will cost to retain them.

I hope this template helps everyone out. I look forward to any input you all may have. Take care everyone, be safe, have fun, and make it a good day.

- GeeJ


UPDATED: CURRENT 8-17-12
I'm still unsure as to how smoothly the envelop printing process will go but everything else works as it should. This is a work in progress
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Template Letter To Lawmakers 8-17-12.pdf (537.6 KB, 123 views)

Last edited by GeeJ; August 21, 2012 at 02:33 AM.
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Old August 17, 2012, 06:51 PM   #2
Aguila Blanca
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Here's a start. Remember, you asked, and I have worked as a paid editor and proofreader.

Address line: You misspelled both "Representative" and "Senator."

RE: "Defending the 2nd Amendment and That of Life" -- What the heck does this mean? What is "That of Life"?

Salutation line: You again misspelled "Representative" and "Senator."

First paragraph: "My concern deepens even more ..." The "even more" is redundant and unnecessary. You have not yet stated that your deep concern deepens at all, so how can it deepen "even further"?

First paragraph: I don't think you should refer to a "recent cluster of shootings." There is no "cluster." There have been a few, isolated instances in widely separated locations around the country. The fact that one of them resulted in a high casualty count does not make the several shootings a "cluster." I'd suggest the last sentence could read: "The current media bias in favor of more gun control rather than more crime control, is nothing more than a knee jerk reaction to a few isolated, widely separated instances of troubled individuals who acted out their psychoses.

Third paragraph, third line: "..., and proven many times ..." The word "and" doesn't belong. How about "as has been proven ..."?

Third paragraph, end: Omit the last three words. End with "... our 2nd Amendment rights."

Fourth paragraph: Omit "truly." If the number is overwhelming, it doesn't need your "truly" to make it MORE overwhelming. At the second appearance of "truly" in the same sentence, I would use "necessary."

Fourth paragraph, second sentence: I have no idea what this is intended to say but, wghatever it is, it doesn't say it.

Last paragraph: "Loud" action? "Faultier"?
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Old August 17, 2012, 07:32 PM   #3
GeeJ
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LOL!! This is not how I expected my post to go in the very beginning ...ha ha!

Yes, I did ask and you are EXACTLY the kind of person I was hoping would proof read it. And I really do appreciate you putting in the time to reply with revisions. I am far from being a skilled writer but sheesh!! Perhaps I need to reevaluate the spell check that I'm using because I'm feel a bit silly at this point :-)

Regardless, I will hop right in and make those changes. Perhaps I can salvage what I'm trying to achieve here. Again I appreciate the revisions and your input, seriously.

Last edited by GeeJ; August 18, 2012 at 05:37 AM.
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Old August 17, 2012, 07:39 PM   #4
Brian Pfleuger
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We're going to Sticky this one for awhile.

GeeJ, please do make those corrections.

I personally suggest that people write their own coherent, well-thought out, logical letters, but using a well-written form letter that we'll have here after its corrected is also effective, I'm told by those who have been there.

Thank you for your effort sir,

Even if it didn't past muster with editor.
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Old August 17, 2012, 09:00 PM   #5
GeeJ
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I'm almost done making those revisions plus a few functional changes. I'm going to send them to Aguila just to make sure nothing else was missed. After that, I was thinking I might restart this thread since they're really hasn't been a lot of views & replies yet.
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Old August 17, 2012, 09:48 PM   #6
Aguila Blanca
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"Many hands make light work," and many eyes make good editing. Please do NOT finalize this based on only my input.
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Old August 17, 2012, 09:54 PM   #7
Tom Servo
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Tough love is the only kind of love we understand around here

You've kept it at five paragraphs, which is great. However, look at using shorter, more concise sentences.

Most representatives aren't reading this. Their overworked interns and receptionists are. They're going to skim over it, and it needs to catch their attention quickly if it's to stand out from all the other stuff they get.

This is a great idea, and if we're critical, it's because we want you to be successful!

Consider posting the text in the form of a post here, so we can make edits as we go.
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Old August 17, 2012, 11:02 PM   #8
GeeJ
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I certainly welcome constructive criticism. It doesn't really bother me. I see it as an opportunity to learn & improve so feel free to speak your mind.

At the moment, the body of the letter (for this one) has been vastly improved. Tip of the hat to you, Aguila, thank you. Feel free to play around with it however you like. The most important thing is that more people start writing more letters.

====== BODY ======
I find myself deeply concerned for the safety and security of our nation's 2nd Amendment rights. I am also troubled by the recent wave of gun control bills being brought forth for legislation. The current media bias in favor of more gun control rather more crime control is nothing more than a knee jerk reaction to a few isolated, widely separated instances of troubled individuals who acted out their psychoses.

Further limiting Americans' constitutional liberties as a means of placating this emotional, yet irrational, social inertia being generated by the few, would result in the cumulative damage of far more lives by criminal elements unaffected and further empowered by such laws.

Restrictions and/or bans on magazines, carry licensing, online sales of ammunition, and semi-automatic sporting and/or self defense firearms will have absolutely no impact in stopping a committed person from carrying out a plan, as has been proven many times over in countries with a total weapons ban. Undoubtedly, none of the proposed measures would have changed a thing....nor will they in the future. I strongly implore you to act against all proposed bills that would further limit our 2nd Amendment rights.

An overwhelming number of gun owners and licensed carriers are honest, law-abiding citizens, and are voters who exercise discretion, reason, compassion, and an aversion to force unless necessary to defend life. These are the people that will be adversely affected and who will be limited in the defense their lives, their families, and those of the equally law abiding. Even those who fight against the 2nd Amendment, still deserve to have their rights preserved and protected should they feel otherwise in the future.

The most important focal point is the protection of life. The emotional sentiment of the willingly irrational would restrict the protection of life, if not criminalize it. Please stand by all of us who believe life is worth defending by opposing any action against the 2nd Amendment. The majority of America is behind you.


Most Sincerely,


YOUR NAME
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Old August 18, 2012, 12:04 AM   #9
Tom Servo
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Much better. I'd suggest dropping the second paragraph altogether, as you make your point well and factually in the third. Furthermore, don't stoop to criticizing the opposition. Assert that the facts speak for themselves, and that you are in the right.

Consider:

I find myself deeply concerned for the safety and security of our 2nd Amendment rights. I am also troubled by the recent wave of gun control bills being brought forth for legislation.

Restrictions and bans on magazines, carry licensing, online sales of ammunition, and semi-automatic firearms will have absolutely no impact in stopping a committed person from carrying out a plan. In these cases, none of the proposed measures would have changed a thing....nor will they do so in the future.

[You might want to point out that the Assault Weapons Ban had no measurable effect on crime, and that there was no increase in crime following its expiration]

An overwhelming number of gun owners and licensed carriers are honest, law-abiding citizens, and are voters who exercise discretion, reason, compassion, and an aversion to force unless necessary to defend life. These are the people who will be adversely affected.

The most important focal point is the protection of life. Restrictions on the 2nd Amendment restrict, and even criminalize, the protection of life. Please stand by all of us who believe life is worth defending by opposing any action against the 2nd Amendment. The majority of America is behind you.
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Old August 19, 2012, 12:39 PM   #10
GeeJ
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Excellent point. I couldn't agree with you more. Since the template is now proofed, people can use it as a starting point in wording it to reflect their personal voice. The entire pdf is editable and can be rewritten to suit anyone's needs.

At the moment, I am out of work and my job search consumes almost all of my time all my time. Unfortunately, it's not producing any results, but that's neither here nor there. The only part of the template that I anticipate having to go back and figure out is the envelope print out. My printer is broken so I couldn't test it myself.

Has anybody tried printing? If so, has anyone experienced issues.....issues of any kind?

Last edited by GeeJ; August 19, 2012 at 01:34 PM.
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Old September 21, 2012, 10:33 AM   #11
Spats McGee
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I just did a quick once-over. I have just a few suggestions.

First paragraph: Your first paragraph refers to "the current media bias in favor of more gun control rather more crime control . . . " That should read "the current media bias in favor of more gun control rather than more crime control . . . "

Second paragraph: You have an extra comma after the word "few" that needs to be removed.

Third: Change the first sentence from "Restrictions and/or" to read "Restrictions on . . . " As it stands, you have "and/or" appearing twice in the same sentence. For that matter, I'd get repace and/or simply with "or." Get rid of the "and" before "semi-automatic."

Fourth: " . . . . defense of their lives . . . . " Strike the comma after "Amendment."
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Old October 6, 2012, 01:03 AM   #12
Aguila Blanca
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In the first line of the address block, "Senator" is spelled "Sanator."

See Spats McGee's comment (above) regarding the first paragraph. It hasn't been fixed yet.

FWIW, I think this is a commendable idea. A long time ago I either read or was told by a friend who used to work as a legislative aide that there is a definite hierarchy to constituent comments. Phone calls count for the least. Faxes and e-mails (and pre-printed form letters that you just sign) count for little more than a phone call. But a real, live LETTER, that you wrote or typed on real paper and put into an envelope, and bought a stamp for -- those count for a lot.
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Old December 14, 2012, 09:52 PM   #13
GeeJ
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Template Update 12-14-2012

It's been awhile since I've been back. My job search has kept me very busy and very distracted. After hearing about these two most recent shootings, I wanted to take moment to make sure this template is still squared away. Spats and Aguila.....I've included your corrections. Also, it looks as though I cannot edit the attachment on my original post.......
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Template Letter To Lawmakers 12-14-2012.pdf (546.1 KB, 53 views)

Last edited by GeeJ; December 14, 2012 at 09:53 PM. Reason: Adding the last sentence.
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Old January 17, 2013, 12:19 AM   #14
sugar land dave
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Perhaps this might help someone to quickly reach your representatives.

Here is a tool, which allows you to quickly send your comments to your state and/or federal representatives.

You can choose E-mail or send a printed letter

You can say what you want. It's not so "form-lettery."

http://www.capwiz.com/nra/issues/?style=D&%20%E2%80%A6

I used it to send the following thoughts:

Honorable Statesman,

Recent events have once again brought sadness to this country as dozens found injury and death at the hands of monsters. While I suffer the emotions just as my fellow Americans do, I recognize that over one million American soldiers have died protecting the human rights recognized in the Bill of Rights and the Constitution. I realize it is popular among some groups these days to refer to these revered documents as "just another piece of paper," but I assure that I am not one of those people, nor do I call friend any who would think such of writings which were the foundation of our country.

My father, fighting for our country, sought to protect our rights as so many have through history. Now some statesmen try to erase with a vote or other questionable actions some of the human rights which tyrants of history have been unable to destroy by force. It must not be allowed to happen.

Statesmen like numbers and I respect that since I understand numbers too. For instance there are about 350 million people in the USA. That is a big number and it means that about 12000 new Americans are born each and every day of the year which is a little over 4 million each year. That fact makes it difficult for an enemy to easily defeat us, as does our second amendment right to keep and bear arms without fear of infringement from our own government.

Respectfully I ask that you remember these things when groups ask you to take a human right from us, especially one which was established and protected by our Founding Fathers and by the blood of patriots throughout the history of our country.

Thank you for your time and consideration in reading this.
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Old January 17, 2013, 04:44 PM   #15
Magnum Wheel Man
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a copy of my letter to my senator & representatives...

I hope you are not swayed by the new gun bans / magazine capacity reductions, & crazy new regulations proposed by our east coast friends... unfortunately, none of these are going to bring back the dead, or have any effect on future horrific events...

I feel that we as a society are sick, we have kids that can't hardly work, as they ate "happy meals" their whole lives, & never got the nutrition they needed as they developed ( I run a manufacturing plant in Albert Lea ) I've seen 1st hand, these young kids coming into the work force, with bad joints, & no muscle mass... they end up unemployed & sitting home all day playing video games where they kill people, often these games are quite graphic... I think there is an "auto game" where it's required that you run over & kill 2 police officers to move up to the next level... when I had one young guy tell me this, I was horrified, yet he saw nothing wrong with it... these young people are growing up in homes with a single parent, & seem to be lacking role models, & not attending a church...

Unfortunately I don't think the "tools" are the problem... if someone was determined to kill more school kids than the last guy, he need only buy an old station wagon, sit parked a block from school, & wait for the buses to line up... I'm quite certain, by punching the gas, at the right ( wrong ) time, that person could in effect kill way more kids... it would be crazy to ban old station wagons...

So...I hope you'll be progressive in helping find a cure for the sickness our society has come down with, lack of morality, lack of spirituality, & not punish legal, moral, working persons of our society...

BTW... I am a fire arms enthusiast, but rarely shoot anything semi auto, so I doubt I really have a "dog in this fight", other than I know our American RIGHTS are being trampled on, & I do understand that some concessions may need to be made, but pushing paperwork through so fast, that all members are not allowed to vote, & by not including people that at least understand the legal limits, & the correct terms of what was being banned or regulated, they've only un-necessarily taxed our legal system, & complicated it for regulatory personnel
I hope that the great state of Minnesota can remain a great place to live & work, & grow business, & not get caught up in needlessly punishing the 99.9% that would never do the things these others have done to punish society or their mothers, or get their name in the news, or whatever possible motivation they might have for justifying their totally unsocial agendas
Mike
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