PA Senator Bob Casey Supports the Second Amendment But . . .

Dear Mr. XXXXX:

Thank you for taking the time to contact me about the tragic shooting in Newtown, Connecticut.  I appreciate hearing from you about this issue.

As you know, on December 14, 2012, an individual in Newtown, Connecticut forced his way into Sandy Hook Elementary School and opened fire on teachers and staff in the building.  In total, the perpetrator murdered 20 students between the ages of six and seven years old, as well as six adults, many of whom heroically sought to stop the shooter and save the lives of children.  Like many Americans, I was deeply affected by the scope and brutality of this act.  My thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families . . .

The motives that led to this senseless massacre will likely never fully be comprehended.  However, I believe that all public officials have a responsibility to work to prevent such an event from occurring again.  This incident reflects a complex problem that requires a comprehensive strategy, including funding for law enforcement officers and the mental health care system.  Too many individuals with mental illness are not receiving the services they need and tragically, sometimes a small number of these individuals turn violent.  I have supported access to affordable and accessible mental health services for all Americans and I will continue to review proposed solutions to improve our mental health system.

As you may know, I am a strong supporter of the Second Amendment.  Pennsylvania has a fine hunting and sporting tradition, and I will defend the right to bear arms as it is enshrined in our Constitution.  However, I also believe that the attack at Sandy Hook Elementary School highlights very serious dangers posed to public safety by the misuse of certain weapons and technology originally developed for warfare.  According to reports, the shooter was able to kill many children and adults very quickly because he possessed a military-style semiautomatic weapon.  He also allegedly used magazines containing up to 30 rounds of ammunition and carried hundreds of rounds more.  After much reflection and careful study of the issue, I have decided to support a federal assault weapons ban as well as legislation restricting high capacity clips.  In light of what occurred at Sandy Hook, these are two measures that will lessen the chances that this will happen again soon.

Our Nation has already begun a critical dialogue as we examine what steps must be taken to prevent this type of tragedy in the future.  On December 19, 2012, President Obama announced the formation of an inter-agency task initiative, led by Vice President Biden, to study these issues and recommend possible actions.  I look forward to reviewing these proposals, as well to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to address this complex issue.

Again, thank you for sharing your thoughts with me.  Please do not hesitate to contact me in the future about this or any other matter of importance to you.

For more information on this or other issues, I encourage you to visit my website, http://casey.senate.gov.  I hope you will find this online office a comprehensive resource to stay up-to-date on my work in Washington, request assistance from my office or share with me your thoughts on the issues that matter most to you and to Pennsylvania.

Sincerely,

Bob Casey
United States Senator

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About Robert Farago

Robert Farago is the Publisher of The Truth About Guns (TTAG). He started the site to explore the ethics, morality, business, politics, culture, technology, practice, strategy, dangers and fun of guns.

90 Responses to PA Senator Bob Casey Supports the Second Amendment But . . .

  1. avatarAvid Reader says:

    Here’s my non-response from Colorado’s Sen. Udall:

    Thank you for contacting me regarding Second Amendment rights. I appreciate that you took the time to write on this important topic.

    Responsible gun ownership is an integral part of our Western heritage. The Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution provides for an individual right, and I am dedicated to protecting the rights of citizens to own firearms for personal protection, hunting, collecting or for other legal purposes.

    We can all agree that the shootings at Columbine High School and Virginia Tech, and in Aurora; Tucson, AZ; Newtown, CT; and other instances in which terrible crimes have been committed with guns are national tragedies that should concern us all. No single policy is going to be adequate in preventing gun tragedies in the future. We need comprehensive solutions that examine our culture’s glorification of violence, the effectiveness of our laws, our ability to enforce those laws and access to firearms, especially those designed for the battlefield. We must do everything we can – consistent with the Second Amendment – to keep weapons out of the hands of criminals, the mentally ill and those who would turn them against their community. As legislation related to Second Amendment rights is debated, I will carefully examine its intentions and impacts and use your thoughts to help guide me.

    I will continue to listen closely to what you and other Coloradans have to say about matters before Congress, the concerns of our communities, and the issues facing Colorado and the nation. My job is not merely about supporting or opposing legislation, but also about bridging the divide that has paralyzed our nation’s politics. For more information about my positions and to learn how my office can assist you, please visit my website at http://www.markudall.senate.gov.

    Warm regards,

    Mark Udall
    U.S. Senator, Colorado

    • avatarAlphaGeek says:

      His use of the keyword “battlefield” tells you everything you need to know. That’s code for “I will vote in favor of both AWB 2.0 and magazine capacity limits”.

    • avatarLance says:

      So he jumps back and forth on the issue CO gun owners keep alot of pressure on him will not allow him to ban modern sporting weapons and get away with it.

      • avatarAvid Reader says:

        He’s up for re-election in two years, so we have a better chance of getting his attention on this than the other senator.

    • avatarColoradoGunOwner says:

      I received that same response back as well. The designed for the battlefield is what gets me. These people are so ill informed and have no idea what they are talking about.

      • avatarAvid Reader says:

        I can’t find what I did with the one I got from DeGette, since I have the misfortune of living in her district. It basically said she was proud of introducing the “assault magazine” ban. I was so disgusted I deleted it.

  2. avatarI_Like_Pie says:

    I hope he was planning to find another job after his time is up in his current position.

  3. avatarjwm says:

    Some of the adults at Sandy Hook tried gallantly and desperately to savwe the lives of the children. And because these same adults were unarmed they, and the kids under their protection, were doomed.

    None of the laws currently being proposed by the anti’s will have any effect on the next Lanza. If you’re not proposing guns on campus in the hands of trusted people you’re part of the problem and making it easier for the next Lanza.

    • avatarDucky says:

      I am NOT in favor of this ‘solution’, but the only ‘solution’ to keeping firearms out of the hands of evil men who wouldn’t otherwise build their own weapons is a totalitarian dictatorship in which each and every type of firearm is successfully confiscated.

      This will not stop evil men from committing other evil acts.

      • avatarS.CROCK says:

        there is no way to keep firearms out of the hands of evil men. the only solution to prevent or lessen these tragedies is to arm the helpless victims.
        even if he had 10 round mags, it would make no difference. if you are helpless when he is reloading, you have no effective action to stop him. if you are armed, you can neutralize the threat before he even needs to reload.

  4. avatarAlphaGeek says:

    “weapons of war”
    “originally developed for warfare”
    “battlefield”
    “military style”

    The narrative is set, the talking points have been handed out, and the disarmament supporters are cranking up the noise machine.

    • avatarGreg Camp says:

      Name one gun that isn’t based on a design that’s been used in war–other than specialized target guns, I can’t think of any. What this shows is that the gun control freaks ultimately want to ban all guns.

      • avatarKarl says:

        First firearms were developed for war. Weapons that the anti gun people say they won’t ban because they are for sporting or hunting started out as weapons of war a 100 or more years ago. There were lever guns made in the 1800′s that were the assault rifles of the day. The saying “load on Monday and shoot till Sunday” came about because how many rounds the Henry lever gun carried. Today that would just be some cowboy gun the left would not care about but when it was new it was one of the most leathal weapons out there.

        The anti’s just don’t want us to have the same weapons the military and LE’s have.

        Would love to see TAG do a bit on the history of firearms and why they were made.

  5. avatarLance says:

    Why you even post this the new was spitting this all over over three weeks ago. I never trusted him and its time to nail him in the next election. But not all Dems are jumping with Obama on the gun ban wagon. Sen Heldkamp and other say his agenda is way too extreme. Even Joe Mancin from W VA has stepped away from the pro ban statements he made just after the crime He now says he supports no ban. Any way a GOP house will kill it thought. Keep the pressure up!!!!!

  6. avatar1911moocher says:

    At least that was a better response then I received from Senator Dick Durbin from IL. I sent my email last week and this is the boiler plate response I received:

    Dear XXXXX,
    Thank you for contacting me about an amendment to the Cybersecurity Act of 2012 (S. 3414) to prohibit the transfer or possession of large capacity ammunition feeding devices.

    On July 25, 2012, Senator Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey introduced this amendment. A large capacity ammunition feeding device is defined as any magazine, belt, drum, feed strip, or similar device that has the capacity to include 10 rounds of ammunition, excluding .22 caliber rim fire ammunition. The amendment also would require any capacity feeding device manufactured after the date of the enactment to be identified by a serial number indicating when it was manufactured.

    Americans are entitled to own and use guns in a responsible manner. Strong penalties for violent crimes involving firearms should be part of an effort to reduce gun violence. Throughout my time in Congress, I have supported a variety of strong crime control initiatives and efforts to combat the illegal possession and use of firearms.

    Although, we may disagree on this issue, I appreciate having your views and hope that you will not hesitate to contact me in the future on matters of importance to you.

    Thank you again for your message. Please feel free to keep in touch.

    Sincerely,
    Richard J. Durbin
    United States Senator

    • avatarAvid Reader says:

      In other words, “Up yours.”

      So glad I don’t live there any more.

      • avatarHal says:

        Same. I am a PennsylTexan. He can go FOAD because I promise everyone reading here that even though apparently PA became a blue State at some point, on firearms it is VERY RED. He was NOT elected to enforce ANY disarmament or limitation on citizens’ arms.

        Sen Casey: Fvck off and get AIDS for clearly betraying the values that PA has *long* held dear despite being surrounded by statist sh*tholes. You are a terrible American and I hope you burn in hell for betraying your oath to the Constitution.

        I am not religious, but God Bless Texas.

        • avatarCG-23 Sailor says:

          Hal,
          Fellow Texan here, and more than enough room for you to move back here from Penn.
          We will likely (hopefully not) need all our Texas Sons and Daughters back here soon.

          After firing off a letter to My State Congressman and Senator urging them to follow Wyoming’s lead I came and saw this post about the response from Senator Casey.

          I just now finished sending him MY response, which follows…

          Senator Casey,
          In a recent letter you wrote in response to another person’s letter to you, you wrote the following;

          “As you may know, I am a strong supporter of the Second Amendment. Pennsylvania has a fine hunting and sporting tradition, and I will defend the right to bear arms as it is enshrined in our Constitution. However, I also believe that the attack at Sandy Hook Elementary School highlights very serious dangers posed to public safety by the misuse of certain weapons and technology originally developed for warfare.”

          With all due respect, You contradict yourself Sir!
          Your statement about weapons originally developed for warfare shows that you are ignorant of the reason for the Second Amendment and thus you cannot be a “Strong Supporter” of it.

          The Second Amendment does not exist so that we may hunt, or go target shooting at a range for sport.
          No.
          It exists so that We The People can be armed with the same weapons that would be used against us by a Military unleashed upon us by a tyrannical government.
          The Government protects the people from threats outside our borders and within. But who protects the people if the government itself ever becomes the threat? The Second Amendment does. Trying to remove Military or military style weapons DEFEATS THE PURPOSE of the second amendment.

          And I think you know that. You are not that stupid are you? But the alternative is not good either. If you know it and you are still for disarming the people, then you do it with malice. To Disarm the people from the government for your own ulterior motives.

          You went on to say in that letter, “According to reports, the shooter was able to kill many children and adults very quickly because he possessed a military-style semiautomatic weapon.”

          Disingenuous and misleading. Purposefully on your part or are you just that gullible?

          From the time the calls went out til the Police arrived on scene to confront the attacker, He could have killed just as many had he had a revolver needing to be reloaded after every 6 shots. The fact that his weapon was a Bushmaster Semi-Auto means nothing. It is fear-mongering on the part of Liberals to push their Anti-Gun agenda. This is not about protecting the children. You are USING the deaths of these children for your further political agenda of disarming the American People from being able to defend themselves from you.

          You CANNOT sit there and say with a straight face, that you are a strong supporter of the Second Amendment. You sir, are a bald faced liar.

          “After much reflection and careful study of the issue”?

          NO Sir! You mean after a kneejerk reaction, Using the emotions of the moment of tragedy to further your own political goals. None of these Bans, or Magazine restrictions will do a damned thing in keeping our Kids safe.

          Firearms exist. They will continue to exist even if you ban them. The only people who will be disarmed are those you do NOT have to worry about. The Criminals Will still have the guns.

          The School was a gun free zone correct? Lot of good it did huh?
          Had Victoria Soto had a conceal carry, how many of her kids do you think she could have saved by returning fire and possibly killing the shooter? She herself may still be alive. Do you think the gun itself has some malevolent spirit inside of it, that it would have cause Her to turn evil and use the gun on her own students? Utter Bullshit and you know it.

          Criminals do not obey the law. They will have the banned guns, they will USE the banned guns in areas where no guns are allowed. The Police cannot be everywhere. By their very nature, police REACT to REPORTED crimes. The only defense against an armed attacker is to be armed yourself, THIS is what YOU want to TAKE AWAY from the people. None of your liberal BS proposals have anything to do with stopping gun violence. In fact it will encourage it. This is not about keeping kids safe. It is about making the people vulnerable against an out of control government.

          Do you honestly think the Military and the police are going to carry out your laws disarming the people if you ever pass them?

          Self delusion is a very dangerous thing. I once heard a Liberal best described thus: a person/people who are incapable of relating to others as individuals, and instead require social/economical/racial/political boxes with which to profile them with.

          Your self delusion is that you have labelled the Military as ignorant order-followers with no ability to question authority. You would be sadly mistaken. It is our DUTY to question immoral orders or orders that go against the Constitution. Our Oath is to the defense NOT of you the government, but of the Constitution itself. Something of which your gun ban is an attack upon via the Second Amendment. Think about that.
          Think on this as well…
          Who are the Military?
          Who are the Police Officers?
          They do not exist separate from the people.
          They ARE the people.
          The very people you are trying to disarm.

          Let me ask you a question in closing.

          Senator Casey,
          Since it is a fact that a Gun ban will only disarm the law abiding citizen, and not the criminal… Is there some reason you fear the law abiding citizen?
          That is NOT a rhetorical question. I am very interested in your answer.

        • avatarHal says:

          I’m actually a native Pennsylvanian born early enough for that to mean something. However, I am glad to call Texas my adopted home, although I have now been here long enough to know that because I was not born here I may never call myself a Texan. I am at peace with that. Unlike other States, being a Texan is a birthright, and Texas has earned that special status. Perhpas not in duration or body count, but the Texian independence was far harder fought than the American Revolution and they REALLY played for all the marbles and won. I am honored to call it my home and to support its sense of liberty and ideals. I am also geting married to a Texan.

  7. avatarSteve says:

    I always thought the “Weapons that were originally designed for War are not appropriate for civilians.” line was particularly absurd. I challenge you to point to a weapon that was NOT designed for war.

    What we think of today as a “Hunting Rifle” is a direct copy of the mainline battle rifles of WWI & WWII. For example: Rem 700, Ruger 77, Browning A-bolt etc are all basically Mauser actions. The same Mauser that was (and still is) one of the most commonly used military rifles ever.

    • avatarAlphaGeek says:

      I actually didn’t learn of the Mauser lineage of most bolt-action rifles until the last few months, and I don’t consider myself to be firearms-ignorant by any stretch of the imagination. That’s the kind of historical detail that disarmament advocates couldn’t care less about.

      Look, it’s simple. “Weapon of war” is code for “any military-looking rifle like we’ve seen in pictures of US/NATO troops in Iraq and Afghanistan”. It has nothing to do with function, history, or practicality.

      It’s all about keeping effective, lightweight firearms out of the hands of private citizens because they are establishing the precedent that gun owners are guilty unless proven innocent.

      • avatarjwm says:

        That’s always been the thinking behind gun control. You can’t own a gun because at some time in the future you might commit a crime. Sorta turns the constitution upside down.

        As for the military her5itage of our weapons AG, in this country we civvies have a long history of adopting the militaries chosen guns and calibers going all the way back to the colonial days.

        .45-70, .45 colt, .30-40 Krag, all antiques and all still available. .38, .45acp, .30-06, .308 and 5.56. We civvies want what works, same as the troops.

    • avatarMauser says:

      +1

      Was about to post the same thing. The only cartridges I could think of that may not have origins from ‘the battlefield’ are rimfire cartridges. I believe .22 BB and CB caps, the predecessors or the .22LR, were designed for indoor practice and shooting galleries.

      • avatarGreg Camp says:

        Rimfire cartridges were used in the American Civil War. All firearms have some connection to military use, just as they also have connections to hunting and target shooting and high-seas piracy and any other use that guns have been put to over the centuries.

        The gun control freaks either don’t know the history or have an agenda that they refuse to admit to.

      • avatarjwm says:

        You could make an argument, Mauser, for rimfires as well. The first repeating rifles used by government troops in war were the Spencer and Henry. Both used rimfire ammo.

        • avatarMauser says:

          True. However, I was thinking mainly of .22 rimfires, not cartridges like the .44 Henry. I suppose .22 shorts may have been carried in S&W Model 1 revolvers for personal protection during the Civil War, but they were not issue weapons to my knowledge. Their predecessors, the .22 BB and CB caps, which I believe only used the primer as a propellant (no black powder), were originally designed for indoor galleries.

  8. avatarBobby says:

    What a weasel. Like many in PA, uninformed and stupid.

  9. avatarAharon says:

    ‘DOJ: 95% Drop in Youth Victimized by Guns; 6x More Likely to be Victimized by Knife; Children of Unmarried 3.8x More Likely To Be Victims’

    http://cnsnews.com/news/article/doj-95-drop-youth-victimized-guns-6x-more-likely-be-victimized-knife-children-unmarried

    — 600% greater risk for youths to be victimized (not just accidentally cut) with a knife. ‘Children of Unmarried’ is code speak for kids raised by single moms 380% more likely to be victims than kids being raised by two married parents. Gee, where have I heard stuff like this before????

  10. avatarJWhite says:

    Gotta love the “certain weapons and technology originally developed for warfare.” Uhhhhh where does he think weapons technology comes from? Wood peckers?

    • avatarChainsaw Ninja says:

      Wood peckers? No, its the Tactical Fairy. She has pals webbing on her wings and only comes around when she has the high ground or the sun at her back.

  11. avatarMatt says:

    “According to reports, the shooter was able to kill many children and adults very quickly because he possessed a military-style semiautomatic weapon.”

    Having 20 minutes to commit the crime helps as well. It’s been mentioned time and again here before, he could have killed as many as he did with a revolver or other ‘low capacity’ weapon when you have 20 minutes to do it. I’m not knocking on the police here, because I have no idea why the response time was 20 minutes. You do, however, have to look at the totality of the circumstances and admit that the response time helped Lanza achieve the number of deaths that he caused.

  12. avatarbontai Joe says:

    That is the EXACT same form letter I got from Sen. Casey in responce to my letter to him. I wasn’t surprised at his position, as he has been a liberal loyal Democrat thru out his career.

    • avatarJim says:

      I got the exact same form letter. The dude is a weasel. And we’re stuck with him for six more years…

      • avatarOld Ben turning in grave says:

        Same letter I got as well. Have to admit, he hasn’t lost anything where I’m concerned. I didn’t vote for him in Nov. anyway.

  13. avatarDrewR55 says:

    I’m waiting to see what sort of response I get from Inhofe and Coburn here in Oklahoma. I really don’t expect either of them to say anything other then that they’ll fight tooth and nail to prevent any new bills from ever seeing the light of day.

  14. avatarCTGuy says:

    The response I received from Joe Courtney was about the same in CT – except he actually cited DC vs. Heller to bolster his case:

    Thank you for contacting me regarding gun legislation in light of the tragic shootings in Newtown, Connecticut. I appreciate your comments and having the benefit of your views.

    I am deeply saddened by the loss of over two dozen lives, including the lives of 20 young children, in this senseless act. In the days since the attack, we have heard the powerful stories about Principal Dawn Hochsprung and the brave teachers that acted selflessly to protect their students. This senseless tragedy has touched all Americans and has once again raised concerns about the issues of gun safety here in America.

    Let me be clear, I am committed to protecting the Second Amendment rights of responsible, law-abiding gun owners. I also believe that there are many areas where we can find agreement on commonsense approaches to improving gun safety laws in our country. In the days following the shootings in Newtown, I have been contacted by many people on this issue – including gun owners who support ways to improve gun safety for our communities.

    While I appreciate the concerns that you and others have expressed with any changes to our nation’s gun laws, it should be noted that even in upholding the constitutional rights of responsible gun owners the United States Supreme Court has also upheld the ability of our government to place restrictions on the use and sale of firearm. For example, in his majority opinion in the District of Columbia v. Dick Heller case, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia emphasized the following:

    “Like most rights, the right secured by the Second Amendment is not unlimited… nothing in our opinion should be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms.”

    The majority opinion in the case, which supported the right of individuals in the District of Columbia to be able to keep firearms in their homes, also reaffirmed the right to restrict the purchase and sale of dangerous and unusual weapons.

    As you are aware, a number of legislative proposals are being considered that address the issue of gun safety. The scope of these bills varies from rules regarding purchase of guns and ammunition over the internet to the ability of individuals to purchase large magazines capable of holding multiple munitions, among other proposals. In addition, the Obama Administration – led by Vice President Joe Biden – has convened an inter-agency task force to determine how the federal government can improve gun safety.

    In the days and weeks ahead, we must commit ourselves to strive for a better nation and never forget these innocent souls. The best way to honor the memory of those who senselessly lost their lives in Sandy Hook is to make it harder for this to ever happen again.

    As President Obama so eloquently stated Sunday night, the test of a nation’s values is whether we protect our children from this unspeakable violence. I stand ready to work with him to create a stronger system of public safety and mental healthcare.

    Again, thank you for sharing your views on this issue with me. Should you have any additional comments or suggestions, please do not hesitate to contact me in the future.

  15. avatarRopingdown says:

    Casey’s last major legislative effort was to try and foist off on the US taxpayer liability for the (somehow unsurprising) shortfall in the Teamsters’ Central States Pension Fund. I think he’s made yet another impolitic choice. Time will tell. He’s also (according to a letter I received) fine with uncontrolled illegal Mexican labor, so long as it helps “small businesses” keep their margins up. Apparently he’s trying to turn Pennsylvania into Chicago.

  16. avatarThrownunderabusinWV says:

    Here’s an excerpt of Manchin’s about face from WV MetroNews:

    The Senator’s comments earned him praise from many circles, especially liberal ones, but also produced howls of protest from conservative gun owners in his home state, of which there are tens of thousands.

    “So the election’s over and the REAL Joe Manchin is coming out,” wrote one e-mailer. “If Manchin doesn’t know the people who own semi-automatic firearms, then he doesn’t know his constituents,” wrote another.

    By Wednesday, Manchin was walking back his comments. On Talkline, he heaped praise on the NRA, said he opposed a renewal of the 1994 assault weapons ban, and indicated he had problems with Senator Diane Feinstein’s proposed gun control legislation.

    What changed?

    Manchin says nothing changed, although he did admit to being more “articulate” about his position on Wednesday than Monday. And he added that his goal all along has been to have a national dialog about all the contributors to gun violence.

    “I’m not supporting a ban on anything,” Manchin told me. “I’m supporting a conversation on everything.”

    I suspect Manchin did get stung by the negative reaction and is now trying to move back to a safer position. During his days as Governor, that would have been easy enough. He used the force of his personality to tamp down most controversies and missteps.

    The entire story is here: http://wvmetronews.com/manchin-walks-back-gun-comments/

  17. avatarGreg Camp says:

    Whatever they say in their form letters, they’ll be reluctant to vote for bad legislation if they keep getting reminded that their jobs depend on complying with the intent of the voters.

  18. avatarJesse says:

    Neither of my Senators or my representative in MD bothered to email me back which is depressing. I hate this state.

  19. avatarRingoMD says:

    Mary Landrieu’s non-response:

    Dear Xxxxxx:

    My prayers and greatest sympathy go out to the families and community of Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut, and to all families that have been affected by gun violence. On December 14, 2012, twenty-seven innocent lives were taken from us in a heartbreaking tragedy. As the nation grieves over this senseless act of violence, it is more important than ever that we come together to address the issues affecting American communities.

    The Second Amendment to the Constitution guarantees the rights of all Americans to own and possess guns. While preserving the rights of honest gun collectors, sportsmen and owners who possess firearms for traditionally lawful purposes, we must also continue to ensure that we protect innocent unarmed citizens. I am sure you can agree – like any right guaranteed to a free people, the right to bear arms must be exercised responsibly.

    Unfortunately, in the past year, we have seen instances where this right has been abused in tragic fashion. The theater shooting in Aurora, CO, the Sikh temple shooting in Oak Creek, WI, and the school shooting in Newtown, CT, were terrible and unnecessary tragedies. Occurrences such as these remind me of the important role that government plays in upholding statutes that aim to limit such tragedies.

    We must do more to target the causes of mental illness and determine the most effective ways to treat it. I support and will continue to strongly advocate for expanded and improved mental health coverage so that the mentally ill can obtain adequate treatment to not only overcome their struggles, but to lead more productive and fulfilling lives.

    I also support strict adherence of federally licensed firearms dealers to the requirements laid out in the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). The NICS determines the eligibility of an individual to purchase a firearm and explicitly prohibits those who have been legally determined to be mentally ill or committed to a mental institution from purchasing any weapons.

    Currently, there is no gun control legislation scheduled for a vote. However, I believe that when evaluating future proposals, we must find a balanced way to address the safety of American citizens while ensuring Second Amendment rights granted under the Constitution. Please be assured that I value your input and will keep it in mind as we continue to address this issue in the 113th Congress.

    I appreciate hearing from you on this matter, and I trust that you will continue to contact me on matters of mutual concern. Please feel free to visit my website at http://landrieu.senate.gov for more information on my legislative priorities.

    With warm regards, I am

    Sincerely,

    Mary Landrieu
    United States Senator

  20. avatarShire-man says:

    I got the same sort of “but…” responses to my letters.

    They cant even take a firm position with a constituent who obviously wants them to anymore out of fear of the response going viral so every single communication whether written or face to face is going to be a pointless blast of politiking.

    I dont know how these people can have any sort of conversations with their friends or families.

  21. avatarOregonGunOwner says:

    Two boilerplate responses from Oregon representatives, clearly ignoring the fact that I contacted them from the Pro-2A side of the argument:

    Dear XXXX,

    Thank you for contacting me about gun violence and the need to reform
    gun laws. I appreciate hearing from you.

    Unfortunately, the recent tragic shootings in Colorado and Wisconsin
    only added to a long list of gun crimes committed in this country each
    day. These glaring examples remind us how much remains to be done to
    keep guns out of the hands of those who would inflict harm while
    respecting the Second Amendment. Please know that I will keep your
    input in mind as Congress considers proposals to reform gun laws,
    including proposals to close the gun show loophole and ban assault
    weapons. We also need to work on prevention by making mental health
    care more accessible.

    Thank you again for writing to me. If you would like to know more
    about my work in Congress, please sign up for my newsletter at
    http://bonamici.house.gov or visit my Facebook page at
    http://www.facebook.com/CongresswomanBonamici.

    Sincerely,

    Suzanne Bonamici
    Member of Congress

    Dear XXXX,

    Thank you for contacting me with your thoughts about events that have
    recently occurred in Oregon and Connecticut. I have heard from many
    Oregonians who have shared their thoughts and prayers as we process,
    both individually and as a nation, what happened and try to heal.

    I am deeply saddened by these senseless shootings and the loss of
    innocent lives. As a parent, I was horrified to learn of these
    heartbreaking events, and I am at a loss to make sense of it all.
    Mary and I are holding in our thoughts and prayers the victims, their
    loved ones, the communities, and all who have been affected by these
    terrible acts of violence.

    The tragedy in Newtown affirms that, as a country, we must no longer
    accept complacency or the unwillingness to discuss gun violence.
    Massacres like this have occurred all too often across this country.
    They raise questions that need thorough examination, including the
    types of weapons and ammunition, the securing of weapons in the home,
    the application of background checks, and the accessibility of
    treatment for mental illness.

    I fully support President Obama’s call to action to prevent these
    tragedies from continuing to happen. Furthermore, I plan to work with
    my colleagues in Congress and engage in productive dialogue to answer
    the question of what strategies can effectively address the epidemic
    of gun violence.

    Please know that I will keep your views and the memory of the lives
    lost due to gun violence in mind during these discussions.

    Thank you for participating in this national dialogue. I hope you
    will continue to send your thoughts and observations my way.

    All my best,

    Jeffrey A. Merkley
    United States Senator

  22. avatarWilliam says:

    People had to be RUNG into that school. It’s exactly the same as at my grandson’s school, at schools all across this once-great land of ours. I mean theirs.

    SOMEONE RANG HIM IN; it’s as simple as that. That all there is to it. A wacko-looking kid with body armor, a mask and an AR… er, I mean two handguns. The present story.

    I’m SICK of “buts”. I’m sick of HIS butt. Someone should kick HIS butt. Jackass.

  23. avatar.9mm says:

    The response I received from NC Senator Kay Hagan (D)

    Dear Friend,

    Thank you for contacting me regarding the horrific tragedy that took place at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. I appreciate hearing your thoughts on this issue, and my thoughts and prayers remain with the victims and families of this senseless and appalling act of violence.

    In the wake of the shooting in Newtown, which left twenty-six innocent members of the community dead, many of them young children, Americans across the country are searching for answers on how we can prevent such tragic events from happening in the future. I believe we must do all we can to put laws and policies in place to prevent future tragedies such as this one. Doing that will require a common-sense debate on a comprehensive approach that examines all relevant issues, including access to firearms, mental healthcare, and the prevalence of violence in video games and media. Additionally, Senator Feinstein has stated her intent to introduce legislation concerning access to firearms at the start of the 113th Congress. To date, that legislation has not been introduced. As always, it is important that we not unnecessarily infringe on the legitimate Second Amendment rights of responsible gun owners.

    Like you, I have always been an advocate for Second Amendment rights. My family, like the great state of North Carolina, has a long tradition of hunting and gun ownership, and I take great pride in that heritage. During my tenure in the North Carolina Senate I continuously supported the responsible use of firearms. As your United States Senator, I will always be committed to protecting these fundamental, constitutional rights.

    Again, thank you for contacting my office. It is truly an honor to represent North Carolina in the United States Senate, and I hope you will not hesitate to contact me in the future should you have any further questions or concerns. If you would like to stay informed on my work in the Senate, you can sign up for my e-newsletter, follow me on Twitter at @SenatorHagan, or visit my Facebook page.

    Sincerely,

    Kay R. Hagan

    • avatarMatt says:

      Same one I received from her. The GOP needs spend a lot of money here in NC to get this woman out of office.

      • avatarAlphaGeek says:

        That’s a mixed message. She’s on the fence, as she should be as a Democrat representing a blended red/blue state like NC.

        Matt, ,9mm, I strongly recommend that you find out if there’s anyone organizing the grassroots 2A pushback on your Reps and Senators and do whatever you can to support them. Unlike some of the other responses Hagan does not seem like a lost cause if you fight hard.

        • avatar.9mm says:

          (GRNC) Grass Roots North Carolina has announced they got a permit to hold a rally on Wed Jan 23, at noon at the general assembly in Raleigh. Unfortunately I live several hours from Raleigh and have to work that day so I won’t be able to attend. Just putting this out there for others that may not be aware and may be able to attend.

        • avatarAlphaGeek says:

          I threw up a little in the back of my mouth at the phrase “they got a permit to hold a rally”.

          Pretty sure this is NOT what the Founding Fathers intended.

          Glad to hear there is action, though. Hopefully there will be a coordinated message directed at Sen Hagan specifically. Manchin in WVa is a good example of how this can work.

  24. avatarmindflayer says:

    Weapons of war?

    So, axes, bats, bow and arrow, all firearms, fireworks, flares, etc. etc. It’s just an inane term for marketing their case.

  25. avatarRyan says:

    I ain’t vote for him. But this is what I got from Pat Toomey:

    Dear Ryan,
    Thank you for contacting me about the killings in Newtown, CT. I appreciate hearing from you.

    Like all Americans, I was horrified and sickened to learn about the mass murder in Newtown, CT on December 14, 2012. As you know, Adam Lanza murdered 26 people that day, including educators and young children at Sandy Hook Elementary School and his mother at her house, before committing suicide. My thoughts and prayers are with the victims and the families who were affected.
    In response, we need to come together as a nation, carefully reflect on what happened, and have a thoughtful dialogue on how we can improve public safety and protect our children. Of note, this atrocity in Newtown was the direct result of serious mental illness – something we have consistently observed in other mass killings over the years. We therefore need to better protect ourselves from mentally ill individuals who seek to carry out such atrocities. We also need to review and improve how we take care of the mentally ill. I therefore value your input on this issue and look forward to I therefore value your input on this issue and look forward to Congressdebating which policies should be implemented to improve public safety.
    Thank you again for your correspondence. Please do not hesitate to contact me in the future if I can be of assistance.

    • avatarPascal says:

      At least he is focusing on the right issue of mental illness.

      Anytime I see some politician speak these days, its about citizen disarmament first and mental health is either last or not at all.

      Even in CT Gov. Malloy’s speaches, he mentioned citizen disarmament first and many times and mental health issues only once and in passing.

    • avatarChowley_1 says:

      I got a response from Casey, but nothing from Toomey, I wonder why. Anyway, I wonder if it’s a good thing that he didn’t even mention guns in his letter. Probably not.

  26. avatarTim says:

    Senator Casey,

    The pro-gun voters that voted for you in the last election called, and would like their votes back.

    Thank you.

  27. avatarDamon says:

    i like how he essentially admits that these stupid ideas won’t stop these sort of things, only that they will(might) keep them from happening again SOON. they know their rediculous restrictions won’t keep crazy people from commit mass atrocities.

  28. avatarNick says:

    Crap. Wasted that vote.

  29. avatarRalph says:

    PA Senator Bob Casey Supports the Second Amendment But . . . He’s a F^cking Democrat POS.

    Finished it for ya.

  30. avatarJerryboy says:

    support the 2nd Amendment, or do not, there is no “sort of”.

  31. avatarChas says:

    Why do these jackwagons always say “An assault weapons ban will reduce the number of mass shootings”, but they never, EVER can cite any evidence that it does, in fact do just that?

    • avatarRalph says:

      They know it’s not true. It’s not about gun control; it’s about control. Once you understand that, everything else makes sense.

  32. avatarLarry says:

    For those of you in PA. There’s a march on the Harrisburg State Capital Building planned by the Pennsylvania Firearm Owners Association (PAFOA) for Jan 23rd.

    http://forum.pafoa.org/pennsylvania-10/197003-harrisburg-23-jan-2013-1100-start.html#post2228856

    If you happen to be in PA or nearby we would love your support. I’ve already scheduled my vacation day to ensure that I can be there. Check the forum to register.

    See you there I hope.

  33. avatarSmaj says:

    I got the same platitudes from Cornyn down here in Texas (Cruz’s staff is failing him as he has no website as of yesterday). We are on our own- do not count on anyone in DC (with very, very few exceptions) supporting our 2A rights.

  34. avatarMartin says:

    Here Is my Pathetic response from Sherrod Brown:

    Dear XXXXXX:

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts on the tragic shooting in Newtown, Connecticut.

    My thoughts and prayers are with the victims, their families, and loved ones grieving in the wake of this merciless and random act of violence. No words can describe our horror at the murder of these innocent children and their educators, just as words fail to express our gratitude for the heroism of those teachers and law enforcement officers who responded in the morning hours of December 14, 2012. The school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary demands that we engage in a serious national discussion about gun violence, not just in terms of weapons and bullets, but also including mental health access, public safety officers, and our responsibility both as individuals and a society. We can and must act to make such tragedies less likely in the future.

    This is a complex issue and we must work together to uphold our Constitution while at the same time ensuring that our communities are safe. When our children and families are no longer safe at our schools, in our malls, and in our movie theaters, then we as a country must take action.

    Many Ohioans have already written in with comments, suggestions, and concerns. I will continue to pay close attention to each of your letters, calls, and emails, and on behalf of all Ohioans, I offer my continued prayers and condolences to the Newtown community. Thank you again for writing.

    Sincerely,

    Sherrod Brown
    United States Senator

  35. avatarColoradoGunOwner says:

    Here is the B.S. response I just received from Congressmen Ed Perlmutter:

    Thank you for contacting me about the shooting in Newtown and gun safety legislation. I appreciate hearing from you on this issue because it enables me to better represent the beliefs and values of our district.

    My position on this issue is consistent. I support responsible and legal gun ownership. At the same time, incidents like the Connecticut school and Aurora Theater shootings are horrible tragedies, and I support reasonable crime control laws.

    Since the Aurora Theater shooting in July, I have been coordinating closely with members of the House and Sen. Dianne Feinstein to prepare a responsible bill to enact an improved assault weapons ban and assault clips ban. I will introduce this bill with Sen. Feinstein and Rep. Carolyn McCarthy at the beginning of the 113th Congress in January. This bill will strengthen the assault weapons ban which expired in 2004. This effort will outlaw the future sale of assault weapons while respecting the 2nd Amendment rights of responsible gun owners by exempting many firearms used for sport, hunting and personal defense. Additionally I am a cosponsor of H.R. 308, the Large Capacity Ammunition Feeding Device Act, which bans the sale of a magazine or similar device which has a capacity of more than 10 rounds of ammunition. I am also a cosponsor of H.R. 6241, the Stop Online Ammunition Sales Act, to prevent individuals from purchasing large amounts of ammunition over the Internet.

    It’s time to do more than have a conversation about crime control and mental health issues. It is Congress’s responsibility to lead, and it’s time for me to take action. This is about crime control and doing what we can to deter and ultimately prevent the kinds of tragedies we’ve experienced all too often in the last few years. This effort must include a discussion about treating mental illnesses and other ways we can reduce violence in our communities. We may agree or at times disagree on these different issues, but I believe Congress should come together to enact responsible changes. Rest assured I will keep your thoughts in mind as debate on these issues continues in Congress.

    I encourage you to continue to contact me about the issues important to you. Please visit our website http://www.perlmutter.house.gov where you can also sign up for my electronic newsletter, and receive periodic updates on my activities as your Representative in Washington.

    Sincerely,

    Ed Perlmutter
    Member of Congress

    I wish all the liberal transplants from CA would move back and stop f***ing up my state. I want to see my state turn RED again on the map and not blue.

    • avatarAlphaGeek says:

      No coded language there. Proud co-sponsor of both bills.

    • avatarAvid Reader says:

      I was really disappointed to see that Coors didn’t do better in the election. Then you wouldn’t be having this problem. Here in the first district it’s a lost cause.

      • avatarColoradoGunOwner says:

        and her is Sen. Michael Bennet:

        Thank you for contacting me regarding Senator Feinstein’s assault weapons ban proposal. I appreciate hearing from you.

        The numerous tragedies that our nation has had to face over the past year have been staggering. My own family, like all Americans, has been repeatedly shocked and deeply saddened by the violence we have witnessed, and my heart continues to be with the victims and their families. As Coloradans, we know how this type of tragedy can shake a community to its core and in the aftermath of these abhorrent acts our priority should be on supporting the survivors and families, and healing our communities.

        We must have a real discussion in this country about finding ways to stop these senseless shootings. I believe a combination of improved access to mental health services, restrictions on certain weapons intended for the battlefield, and elimination of the gun show loophole are sensible steps that can protect our communities and particularly, our children. In Colorado, we support the right to bear arms and the ability of people to recreate, hunt, and protect their homes, and we want to keep the wrong weapons out the hands of the wrong people. I believe our state can come together to have a civil discussion that addresses these issues and as the President’s taskforce releases its recommendations to prevent and reduce gun violence, we will ensure that Colorado’s voices are heard.

        Senator Dianne Feinstein of California plans to introduce a bill in the 113th Congress that will prohibit the sale, transfer, importation and manufacturing of assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition feeding devices. The ban will include 120 specifically-named firearms and will apply to large-capacity ammunition feeding devices capable of accepting more than 10 rounds. The bill will also require grandfathered weapons to be registered under the National Firearms Act and will include a background check of the owner and any future transferees. Although Senator Feinstein has not introduced the bill, she has indicated that she will do so at the start of the legislative session.

        I look forward to reviewing Senator Feinstein’s proposal, along with others brought before Senate. Let us all continue to keep the communities affected by these tragic acts in our thoughts and prayers.

        I value the input of fellow Coloradans in considering the wide variety of important issues and legislative initiatives that come before the Senate. I hope you will continue to inform me of your thoughts and concerns.

        For more information about my priorities as a U.S. Senator, I invite you to visit my website at http://bennet.senate.gov/. Again, thank you for contacting me.

        Sincerely,

        Signature

        Michael F. Bennet
        United States Senator

        Weapons for battlefield is a trending topic with these guys and if they haven’t figured it out yet I’m sure they never will but all weapons are designed for the battlefield right down to my bolt action hunting rifle. We cannot budge an inch with these guys because as the old saying goes if you give a mouse a cookie…hell keep on asking for more and more till we have no 2A rights.

  36. avatarWiregrass says:

    Yeah, that’s the exact letter I got from Casey too. What an ass. Gets by on his old man’s name. As a political friend from Harrisburg once told me, “Bob Casey was born on third base, but he thinks he just hit a home run”. If there is any hope for this state left, he’ll be out at the plate next time.

  37. avatarAzimuth says:

    It couldn’t be any clearer you honor. It should be obvious to the court that the Senator has had a serious break from reality, as evidenced by his recent public statements. He has clearly lost the capacity for rational thought, and shows many indications that he suffers from an unacceptable lack of impulse control. It is the opinion of the State, that the Senator currently poses a serious risk of harming himself as well as others. It is with these issues that we feel the Senator should be remanded to a state approved psychiatric facility for a 3 month evaluation to determine his mental competency, and we would also ask that a legal guardian
    be immediately appointed to look out for his welfare. Upon completion of the 3 month evaluation, a board will review the recommendations of the attending physicians to determine if the Senator should remain in the protective custody of the State.

  38. avatarJohn Bergmann says:

    I wrote Both CA and MT(where I grew up) Reps and Senators…not a single reply.
    I have some faith in the two jokers from MT though: Tester would kill his career if he backed anti-2A laws as would the rep, I’m not certain about Baucus….depends on if he wants another term or not.

  39. avatarspeedracer5050 says:

    This is the letter I just received from one of our Arkansas politicians(only one so far that doesn’t seem like a prestamped copy and paste letter)!!

    Dear Mr. Carey,

    Thank you for contacting me to share your thoughts on the Second Amendment. I am committed to putting the needs of my constituents first, and it is important that I have a direct line to you and other residents of the 1st District of Arkansas. Your correspondence plays a vital role in the legislative process, and I welcome your views and ideas.

    In light of the recent tragedy that occurred at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut there have been calls for more stringent gun laws and restrictions for gun owners. While I share in the Nation’s grief over this senseless act of violence, I do not believe that just passing additional gun control laws is an appropriate solution. The Second Amendment of the United States Constitution states “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.” This passage clearly establishes the basic right of Americans to own firearms. I do not believe the federal government should compromise that right, whether for hunting, for protection, for sport, or for any lawful use.

    I fully support the initiation of thoughtful dialogue on how to prevent similar tragedies in the future. It is imperative that we identify ways to improve early identification, diagnosis, and treatment for those living with serious mental illnesses. In addition, there must be a national dialogue addressing violence that is showcased on movies, video games, television and the internet. Lastly, we need to promote responsible gun ownership to ensure that common sense measures are taken by those in possession of firearms.

    My thoughts and prayers continue to be with the families who lost their loved ones, and I hope you will join me in praying for the victims’ families so they might find peace after this shocking tragedy. As always, please do not hesitate to contact me should you have any additional questions or concerns.

    Sincerely,

    Rick Crawford

  40. avatarRandy Drescher says:

    He’s going to take weapons to show his support for the 2nd? Is this the beginning of a stand up comedy routine? I hope some gangbangers take the wheels off his car to show their support for his transportation needs. Oh well, Randy

  41. avatarmountocean says:

    Since we’re sharing, From Mark Begich (D-Alaska) and I’ll be doing my best to hold him to his word….

    Dear Mr. X:

    Thank you for contacting me about the tragic shooting in Newtown, Connecticut.

    I was shocked by this horrifying event, and my heart goes out to the victims, families and the Sandy Hook community as they face this tragedy. This was a terrible, senseless crime against some of the most vulnerable.

    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.

    I believe this tragedy, and the shooting earlier this year in Aurora, Colorado, illustrate a pressing need to improve mental health services in this country. The Sandy Hook shooter was in early adulthood, a time when mental illnesses frequently develop. I have introduced a bill, S. 3325, the Mental Health First Aid Higher Education Act of 2012, to improve mental health services on college campuses. This legislation would establish a program to provide training to faculty members, dormitory resident advisors, and other members of the college community to recognize the signs of mental illness and safely address crisis situations.

    We must do more to keep our communities and families safe, and legislation like this is an important step in the right direction. I will continue working with my colleagues in the Senate to promote mental health services and prevent violence.

    Thank you again for contacting me about this tragedy. Please continue to be in touch with your thoughts and concerns.

    Sincerely,
    Mark Begich
    U.S. Senator

    • avatarAlphaGeek says:

      Right on. Begich has his head on straight.

      I’m cautiously hopeful that his kindred soul Jon Tester (D-MT) will agree.

  42. avatarLevi B says:

    I live in PA. We need to give Philadelphia to NJ, and then we could have a senator who agrees with >80% of the landmass of the state.

  43. avatarjoe says:

    If these asswipes are so concerned about “battlefield weapons”I guess they’ll outlaw Mauser K98′s and Springfields,etc.What a collection of puppets

  44. avatarA Reasonable Man says:

    My reply from Mark Warner (Virginia)

    Dear Mr. XXXXX

    On December 14, 2012, 20 innocent children and six adults lost their lives in one of the worst, most tragic shootings to ever occur in the United States. As a parent of three daughters, this was the ultimate nightmare. Like the Virginia Tech and Columbine shootings, this tragedy unfolded in what was once regarded as a safe haven free of crime and violence: a school.

    I am a strong supporter of the Second Amendment constitutional right of law-abiding citizens to keep and bear arms. I own firearms and I have an “A” rating from the National Rifle Association. However, I also recognize that, like with many of our constitutional rights, our Second Amendment rights are not without limits. It is unfortunate that a tragedy of this magnitude is what is needed to prompt action, but we need to have a serious discussion on how to best avoid these kinds of mass shootings in the future. The status quo is not acceptable.

    I believe our discussion should cover many issues. We can start by improving the existing criminal background check system. Currently, the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) is woefully incomplete, with many states failing to submit available records on persons who may be disqualified from purchasing or possessing firearms. With a more complete background check system, we can keep firearms out of the hands of those who have been deemed unfit to possess them.

    In addition, we can take common sense measures such as passing the CAMPUS Safety Act (S. 3682), which I introduced last year. That bill would establish a national center for campus public safety within the Department of Justice to serve as a resource center and assist schools and universities in developing campus safety plans and threat assessment tools. We also need to look at changes to our mental health system so we can provide help to those with dangerous mental illnesses before it is too late. There will not be a single solution, but all of these issues and others need to be part of the conversation and I urge you to continue to express your views as we move forward.

    His response is better than some of the others in my opinion, because he doesn’t even mention magazines or “assault weapojns”. Strictly Campus Security (armed guards?), and Mental Health.

  45. avatarBHirsh says:

    Senators, the arms used at Lexington were also “designed for the battlefield”….

    • avatarbarbara hennon says:

      i want our second amendment rights protected. i think the nra is doing a great service. none of those men are evil or satan or any of that garbage. they speak for the majority of people. why do you think so many people are running out to buy guns in case our esteemed president and his cronies try to take our constitutional rights away.

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