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Old December 19, 2012, 01:52 PM   #1
Spats McGee
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Writing to your representatives

We're going to need to do a lot of calling and writing in the near future, IMHO. I offer up the following as a template, to be copied, pasted, modified, as each of you see fit, in writing to your senators and representatives.

Like millions of Americans, I was horrified and saddened to hear the news about the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary school in Connecticut. As the father of a school-age child, I cannot begin to imagine the grief that the famillies of the children who were killed must be feeling. I grieve with them. Our nation grieves with them.

In addition to being a father, I am a husband, an attorney, a hunter and gun owner. I have watched, for the past five days, as the mainstream media and gun-control advocates have cried out for harsher restrictions on gun ownwership. Truth be told, such entities have seemed positively gleeful at the tragedy. The Sandy Hook shooting offers the gun-control groups a chance at garnering more political capital than they have had in years.

Emotions on the gun-control front run very high right now, but I would urge you to exercise caution. Please use reason and logic in casting your votes on gun-control bills, which, I feel certain, will cross your desk in the near future. No amount of gun control, no amount of feel-good legislation would have prevented this tragedy. Please remember that the shooting at Columbine, which has become the archetype for school shootings in this country, took place in 1999, when the federal assault weapons had been in place for five years. Remember that Timothy McVeigh killed 168 people, including 19 children still in day care, using a box van, fertilizer and fuel. He used no firearms, to the best of my recollection. There were no calls for bans on box vans. The 9/11 terrorists used box cutters and airplanes to kill thousands. Not one firearm was used. There was no call for a ban on box cutters.

Please remember that restrictions on firearms only restricts those who will abide by the laws. Millions of gun owners killed no one. Millions of gun owners had no part in the Sandy Hook shooting. Millions of gun owners are just as horrified as the rest of the nation at the senseless butchery committed by a madman. Further restrictions on the law-abiding, gun-owning public only punishes those of us who will obey the law. Violent felons and the mentally ill will remain unaffected.

Further the creation of Gun-Free Zones has only served to ensure that killers can always find defenseless targets. At every public shooting, Sandy Hook, Columbine, Jonesboro, Appalachia Law School, Virginia Tech, as well as post offices, and many other public locations, killers have been able to trap their victims, sure in the knowledge that not one person in the target area would have the means to defend themselves. While the idea of a gun-free zone may seem nice at first blush, it has become apparent that a person who is willing to gun down dozens of others is unconcerned about the prohibition on firearms possession in a given area. Rarely, it seems, does such a killer plan on coming out alive. When I think of these Gun Free Zones, I cannot help but think about a phrase we used in the small town in which I grew up: "like shootin' fish in a barrel." The time has come to repeal the gun-free zones laws and allow all Americans the right to effectively defend themselves, their children, and those in their care, whenever and whereever they may be found.

Thank you for your time and attention in this matter.

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Old December 19, 2012, 03:11 PM   #2
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For those of us in districts that will soon be changing Senators and/or Representatives (both will soon be changing for my district), would you suggest that we write the current office holders, wait until the newly elected ones are sworn in, or both?
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Old December 19, 2012, 03:29 PM   #3
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Depending on who's coming and who's going, both. Write the ones leaving asking them to impart words of wisdom on the subject to those coming in...

Point out that the 1994 AWB cost the democrats the House and the Senate-Washingtonians voted out the first sitting Speaker of the House in over 100 years.

Ask the new ones if they think voting for a new AWB is wise, as a signal that our elected officials are not wise enough to prevent mentally unstable from obtaining firearms illegallly, and thus punish a hundred million Americans for having engaged in a legal hobby. That would be the equivalent of:

siezing the cellphones and computers of half the people on twitter.

Everyone on T-Mobile

Seizing the homes of everyone in Caifornia, Texas, Arizon, Florida, Nevada, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Hawaii, and the territories of Guam, U.S. Virgin Islands, Northern Mariana Is., American Samoa and more, because the levels of sunlight in those states has a hgher chance of causing cancer.
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Old December 19, 2012, 04:21 PM   #4
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I agree that we all need to write to our representatives, the following is the letter I prepared this morning to submit to representatives in my state. Feel free to copy or take some of these ideas and write a letter to send to your representatives. Responsible gun owners need to voice their opinion.


Politicians are lining up presenting ideas and recommendations to discriminate against specific members of the U.S. population; legal, responsible, patriotic gun owners. I suggest that if there is a problem to fix, it isn’t a gun problem, it is a crime problem, it is a mental health problem, it is an unemployment problem, and it is anything but a gun problem.

Adapting policies that make gun laws stricter are discriminatory and contradict the 2nd Amendment rights of the American people. Stricter gun laws are proven to be ineffective against criminals and people with mental problems, so why do politicians and the media continue to attempt to punish patriotic, law abiding citizens?

Stricter gun laws infringe on the 2nd Amendment rights of the American people to bear arms. The 2nd Amendment right to bear arms protects the American people against a tyrannical government. Local, State and Federal government is tightening the grip on the American people more and more each passing day, it is all about control from a tyrannical government. The 2nd Amendment right to bear arms is our last line of defense.

If anything, we the people should be fighting for nationwide conceal carry laws, because an armed society is a polite society. We the people should demand that our teachers have the ability to protect our children. We the people should demand that any business that declares their place of business a gun free zone be held accountable financially and morally for crimes committed against citizens who placed their protection in the hands of the business owners who guaranteed their customers safety in their personal gun free zone. When will we the people realize that gun free zones are exactly what predator criminals want so they can commit their heinous crimes without any fear of legal, responsible, patriotic gun owners pointing a gun at them and spoiling their morbid plans to cause pain to others?

If strict gun control laws were effective, the crime rates involving guns in Chicago and Washington DC should be a prime example of effective gun laws, unfortunately, it is the complete opposite. The crime rates involving guns in Chicago and Washington DC is out of control, citizens do not go out at night, tourists avoid these cities if possible. Every weekend in Chicago, national headlines typically read 8 dead, 23 wounded. Law abiding citizens obey the law, criminals and the mentally ill ignore gun laws.

Look at the government as a parent that wants the children to do well. As the child grows up and becomes an adult, the parent sometimes has to force the child to stand on their own two feet and be responsible for their actions and their safety. Rather than having the government attempt to control every aspect of the American citizens daily lives, expect more, demand that we the people grow up and take care of ourselves. There are teachers who would gladly step forward and volunteer for training to be qualified to conceal carry so they have the ability to protect our children. We the people don’t need every single teacher to be trained to have the ability to protect our children with force, but to have the ability for some of our teachers in every school to be trained to protect our children would be a deterrent for the criminals and mentally ill among us who prey on the unarmed or the weak.

It is a proven fact that criminals avoid victims who are or who might be armed and prefer to prey on the defenseless and unarmed. It is also a proven fact that there are large drops in overall violent crime including, murder, rape, and aggravated assault that begin right after conceal carry laws have gone into effect in population areas previously controlled by strict gun laws. People are safer around conceal carry permit holders than among the general public, it is that simple. To discriminate against legal, responsible, patriotic gun owners does not serve the best interests of the American people.

If there are any new gun laws, they should enforce responsible gun ownership, encourage conceal carry practices and promote training programs for teachers or any responsible, patriotic, law abiding citizens. We the people of the United States of America are able to provide for our own personal protection when seconds count and the police are minutes away. We the people of the United States of America do not want violence, but we are fully capable when confronted by the mentally ill or criminals who want to harm us. Our 2nd Amendment rights guarantee our right to bear arms and are a symbol of our freedom. The 2nd Amendment is our last defense against government tyranny, please stand with we the people.
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Old December 19, 2012, 04:39 PM   #5
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I woke up this morning like every other, roll out of bed, turn on the laptop and checked my email but when the very first thing plastered all over the yahoo homepage with "obama takes action on gun control" you can bet I spent the rest of my morning writing every elected official I could think of in my state. mine went a little differently though. all were pretty much the same with the exception of a few key points.

My name is Tahunua001(used real name) and I have been an Idaho resident for my entire adult life. I am a four year veteran of the United States Navy and had the great fortune of establishing a limited correspondence with you while on active duty. I have been quite disturbed by the recent bouts of unprecedented violence that this nation has faced over the last several months however I am also disturbed with the responses that they are generating. I am a firm believer in the second amendment and the freedom and responsibility that it bestows on all American citizens. Today I have read several news reports that President Obama and Vice President Biden have already established a plan to increase gun control in our nation in response to these heinous acts with an emphasis on para military style semi automatic rifles and handguns, however I feel compelled to voice my own opinions and concerns in a hope that they are heard by someone, anyone that can make a difference.

The entire nation has been grieving over the events in Newtown Connecticut but seems to have completely ignored that just days prior, another attempted mass shooting in Clackamas Oregon. This event took place in a mall where a man walked into the building and began firing senselessly into the crowds. It was stopped by a man exorcising his right to carry a concealed weapon. Nick Meli never fired a shot and despite 2 tragic deaths prior to his arrival on scene, managed to save the lives of countless others by showing the gunman that these people were not completely helpless by brandishing his weapon and taking cover. This is the message that we need to send to America, we NEED guns in our schools, in teachers hands and teachers willing and able to use them. In Israel, teachers are often armed, it is just a fact of life for them. In the last 10 years Isreal has suffered 8 fatalities in school related shootings. While those losses are tragic and unforgivable they pale in comparison to the 323 senseless school shooting related deaths that the U.S. has seen in the last 10 years.

We need a nation of citizens that is not being stripped of their right to defend themselves, their families and their way of life. The president and his family enjoys the protection of the secret service and their automatic weapons daily yet he sees fit to not even allow the people that placed him in office to use even semi automatic rifles to defend ours. If criminals followed laws then we would not have the epidemic levels of methamphetamine and cocaine users that this nation has. Conversely the strengthening of gun laws would only impede law abiding citizens ability to own a gun while the criminals will still be buying them out of someone's trunk and converting them to fully automatic. How will law abiding citizens defend themselves from that kind of person? Of the major metropolitan areas in the United states there seems to be a strong correlation between the amount of gun control and the heightened crime rates in those areas. Areas like New York City NY, Cook County IL, and Los Angeles CA have the worst crime rates in the nation yet also have the strictest laws against paramilitary pattern semi automatic rifles and concealed weapons.

Lastly, I would like to pose a hypothetical question. Assume for one minute that all personal protection aside, that the second amendment was written with the sole purpose to grant the ability of the citizens of our great nation to help defend against a hostile military force either foreign or domestic. would you expect a group of farmers, accountants, and mechanics equipped with low capacity, hunting rifles to be able to contend with a well trained military force equivalent to Germany or Italy, complete with tanks, air craft, artillery and automatic weaponry? then how would you expect the American people to contend with a larger, better equipped and much more likely threat like China or Russia?
all we ask for is the ability to help level the playing field in the favor of 'We the People'

I thank you for your time.
Tahunua001(used actual name)
ignore my complete lack of capitalization. I still have no problem correcting your grammar.
I never said half the stuff people said I did-Albert Einstein
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Old December 19, 2012, 05:07 PM   #6
Brian Pfleuger
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Sometimes we are our own worst enemies... There's nothing "unprecedented" about recent violence.

It's not new, it's not unusual, it's not uniquely American and its not gun related.

Those are the points we need to get across.
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Old December 19, 2012, 05:08 PM   #7
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Did you cringe at multiple iterations of "tyrannical governement" with visions of a compound in Idaho as well? If you're going to poke the bear, don't ask if you can borrow his stick...
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Old December 19, 2012, 05:22 PM   #8
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Thanks to those of you who posted your letters above. I will borrow elements from each of them as I write to Rep. Welch and Senators Sanders and Leahy of Vermont in the next couple days.

I can't emphasize enough how effective direct and honest communication with your elected representatives can be, and encourage everyone on this board to do so.
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Old December 19, 2012, 05:35 PM   #9
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Phone calls? You don't actually talk to a real congressman, do you? (all mine are congressman, no women) Its usually just a secretary/aide? Or do they have voicemail just for constituents?
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Old December 19, 2012, 06:45 PM   #10
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Keep the letters short and to the point, but DO write them.

Other pertinent factoids possibly worth mention:
  • At Columbine, the guns were the back-up plan. The primary weapons were two bombs that didn't explode. If they had detonated, they would have killed hundreds.
  • The worst school massacre in U.S. history was in Bath Township, Michigan, in 1927. The toll was 45 killed and 58 wounded/injured. No guns were used. The weapons were THREE bombs.
  • In 1964 in Cologne, Germany, 10 people were killed and 22 seriously injured by an attacker using a home-made flamethrower.
The problem isn't what weapon the attacker chooses. The problem is the attacker. For someone who really REALLY wants to kill a lot of people, if he can't get a gun he'll make a bomb, or drive an SUV through a crowd of kids at a bus stop. All this hysteria about guns is distracting us from addressing the problem ... or even identifying what the problem is.
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Old December 19, 2012, 06:55 PM   #11
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All very well written letters with great points thanks.
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Old December 19, 2012, 07:44 PM   #12
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Phone calls? You don't actually talk to a real congressman, do you?
No, you generally get an aide, but that is their job to interface with constituents. They will generally take down you comments and collate everything for the Congressman at the end of the day. However, I actually left a message once and said I would like to speak with my Representative and he actually called me the next day, so you never know.
A major source of objection to a free economy is precisely that it ... gives people what they want instead of what a particular group thinks they ought to want. Underlying most arguments against the free market is a lack of belief in freedom itself.
- Milton Friedman
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Old December 19, 2012, 08:06 PM   #13
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Those letters are good, but there are a couple of problems.

First off, you need to mention your reason for writing within the first two sentences. These things get skimmed, and nobody's going to spend time reading a preamble.

Second, it needs to be terse and quick to read. Keep it to five paragraphs or less, and keep those paragraphs short.

Third, choose one specific issue and stick with that only. Don't mix CCW with an AWB with mental health. Write a letter on one of those issues.
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Old December 20, 2012, 11:18 AM   #14
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Good info, thanks Tom
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Old December 22, 2012, 10:55 AM   #15
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Sent emails to my Senators . The following is what I sent.
I would like to start out by saying like all Americans I was sickened and upset over the recent mass shooting in CT. Mine and my families thoughts and prayers goes out to Newtown and the families of the lost.

In light of what has happened I know that any ban on weapon type and or magazine capacity would not have saved one person nor will it save any in the future. I am sure you know that the AR-15 and other military style firearm sold to civilians Are no worse than any other type sold.

I have heard reporters say they are the same ones our wonderful soldiers us in defending this great country of ours. We know this is not true. Our soldiers use fully auto or select fire weapons and not something that requires you to pull the trigger every time you wish to fire a bullet.

My family and I are hoping and praying that you do everything in your power to stop Obama in his tracks on the issue of gun control. Also I hope you support any measure to place people whether it be teachers, police or volunteers in our schools to be a barrier to those who wish to harm our children. I want to thank you for your stance and for your service .
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Old December 22, 2012, 07:20 PM   #16
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I emailed Senator Schumer (NY D) today. I'll see if he responds, beyond a generic form letter.
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...they just don't plan not to.
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Old December 22, 2012, 07:32 PM   #17
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Have already called and e-mailed both senators and congressman. Will continue doing so.
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Old December 29, 2012, 01:48 AM   #18
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Hello friends. I am a long time reader, but rarely post. I've drafted my letter and would like to submit it to you all for review. If anyone would like to use or borrow from it, by all means fee free. Thank you for your feedback.

Dear Senator/Representative/Governor,
In the wake of our most recent national tragedy in Connecticut, I address you as your constituent, to express my concern regarding what is likely to be a wave of proposed firearms legislation in the near future. I strongly urge you to oppose any proposed legislation that would seek to restrict or erode the law abiding citizen’s rights under the second amendment to the Bill of Rights of the United States Constitution beyond their current state, including but certainly not limited to: proposed magazine capacity bans, firearms registration, and bans on semi-automatic firearms (the single most common type of firearm not only in America, but in the world).

In recent weeks I have seen throngs of politicians, celebrities, talk show hosts and representatives from special interest groups advocating restrictions or bans on semi-automatic rifles, labeling them as “assault weapons” or “weapons of mass destruction”. Such misnomers are either the result of ignorance regarding the very item that said proponents are campaigning against or, more likely, sensationalist tactics designed to influence the uninformed. I have heard the claim that “these types of guns are designed for no other purpose than to slaughter the maximum number of people possible as quickly as possible”. To this I would reply that there is a reason why every single police department in America uses semi-automatic, magazine fed, intermediate caliber rifles. It is not because the police are regularly in the business of wholesale slaughter, rather it is because such firearms are versatile, and are the single best tool for defensive use. Civilians keep these rifles for the very same reasons. I would further point out that all types of rifles, semi-automatic or otherwise, account for approximately 2.75% of homicides in the U.S. and are exceeded in use by knives (13.11%), blunt objects (4.16%), and hands and feet (5.73%). While our murder rate in the U.S. is around 4.2 per 100,000, rifles account for approximately 0.12 per 100,000 of said murders (Federal Bureau of Investigation Uniform Crime Reports: Murder Victims by Weapon 2001 – 2005 and 2006 – 2010).

The Second Amendment was written for the express purpose of ensuring that the American citizen is empowered with the ability to protect himself or herself from threats up to and including that of an oppressive government, and that that right cannot be taken away. It has nothing to do with hunting or target shooting as some would propose. In recent years we have seen Supreme Court rulings in D.C. v. Heller which upheld that the Second Amendment does in fact protect an individual’s right to possess a firearm for lawful purposes, and McDonald v. Chicago which upheld that the Second Amendment extends to the states. We have also see a systematic erosion of civil rights resulting from legislation hastily passed in the wake of national tragedy. I strongly urge you, in a time when emotions are understandably running very high, not to support any legislation that will infringe on the rights of law-abiding citizens, Second Amendment or otherwise. I will be watching you and your successors with a very keen interest over the next several months and will surely hold you to account in future elections.

Yours very truly,
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Old December 29, 2012, 11:22 AM   #19
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Yeah, writing letters to King George in 1770 really did a lot of good didn't it? They're not listening. They don't care what you think. The current situation is exactly the same.
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Old December 29, 2012, 08:10 PM   #20
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This falls under writing to your congressman. If it is not appropriate here please delete it and let me know where I can post it. I feel it needs to be done.
Also there is a letter to the AG of the United States.

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Old December 30, 2012, 12:06 AM   #21
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Sample Letter... cut and paste into this form, it can't be any clearer or easier than this:


Due to the recent events at Sandy Hook elementary school we now face renewed threats to our Constitutional rights. While I understand how painful the loss must be for those touched by this tragedy, blaming firearms or their owners and punishing them is not the answer to the challenges we face as a nation.

We already have laws that were violated by a man who was likely psychotic and heavily medicated. This man was stopped by the mandatory background check from purchasing firearms. He then decided to murder his mother and take her legally owned firearms to commit this tragedy.

If your true goal is to protect our children, then enact legislation that will do that. Banning firearms that are rarely used in crime (less than 1% of the time) is not going to stop such tragedies, that was proven in 1999 when the Columbine shooting took place under the 1994 ban. Do something meaningful, please. Make committing the insane easier. Put armed security guards in our schools. But do not strip us of our rights and property by passing additional anti-gun laws that have historically had no positive effect on crime in our nation or others.

Thank you.

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Old December 30, 2012, 10:19 AM   #22
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I looked at Sweet Shooter's link. That looks pretty handy, but I was amused by this:
Impact Meter:
Research has shown that shorter messages are more effective. Use this meter to keep your message to a good length!

0 characters 1.5K characters 3K characters 5K characters
I can't post the picture, but based on the reasoning above, and the accompanying graph, the most effective message possible will be one with ZERO characters!
I'm a lawyer, but I'm not your lawyer. If you need some honest-to-goodness legal advice, go buy some.
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Old December 30, 2012, 09:46 PM   #23
Al Norris
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The link is very useful.

I modified Sweet Shooter's message and sent this:


Due to the recent events at Sandy Hook elementary school we now face renewed threats to our Constitutional rights. While I understand how painful the loss must be for those touched by this tragedy, blaming firearms and/or their owners by punishing them is not the answer to the challenges we face as a nation.

We already have numerous laws that were violated by a man who was likely psychotic. This man was stopped by the mandatory background check from purchasing firearms. He then decided to murder his mother and take her lawfully owned firearms to commit this tragedy.

If your true goal is to protect our children, then enact legislation that will do that. Banning firearms that are rarely used in crime (less than 2.5% of all firearms crime - FBI UCR 2004-2011) is not going to stop such tragedies. This was proven in 1999 when the Columbine shooting took place under the 1994 ban.

Do something that has a real chance of working. Allowing those teachers, administrators and other school personnel that already have concealed weapons permits to carry on the job, if they desire. Allow the NRA Shield program to work. Fix the mental health "loophole." But do not strip us of our rights and property by passing additional anti-gun laws that have historically had no positive effect on crime in our nation.
Spats? As you type (or cut-n-paste) the meter moves to show where on the line you are. My modified message was well below the 1.5K "good" at 1.2K.
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Old December 31, 2012, 09:32 AM   #24
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This man was stopped by the mandatory background check
I thought he was stopped by the waiting period. He was too impatient to wait for the period to end and pickup his firearm.
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Old December 31, 2012, 10:40 PM   #25
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I use the link above to contact all of my reps and the White House all at once.. I will be honest I have written them a few times. Thanks everyone for the links.
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