Thank you for contacting me to express your concerns about our nation’s gun laws.
I understand the long history and family values associated with hunting and fishing. I believe we must respect the rights of responsible gun owners and our Constitution’s second amendment, just as we respect the rights of all Americans to life, liberty and happiness. Our founding fathers recognized that rights come with responsibilities. I believe we can protect the rights of gun owners while taking common sense steps to prevent gun violence – steps supported by the overwhelming majority of Americans, including the vast majority of gun owners . . .
I respect your views on this complicated issue, as I hope you do mine. There is no question that this is a complex subject and that we must take a comprehensive approach to protect the Constitution and keep our children and the public safe. As a clinical psychologist by trade, I strongly believe it is time for a meaningful, nation-wide conversation about mental health. We must work even harder to eliminate the stigma associated with mental illness and make it easier to access the care that will help patients get well.
I appreciate you sharing your views on this important subject with me. I am honored to serve you, so please never hesitate to write or call me in the future.
Judy Chu, PhD
Member of Congress
This is the second time you responded to my communication with the rote, cookie-cutter and patronizing “hunting and fishing” reference. The second amendment is NOT about food procurement. It is about defense. It is also about citizens having parity with military equipment. You may not like that idea, but what any of us likes does not change the nature of a law or its intent.
It appears there is much error in your operating assumptions.
First, I advise you to review recent relevant case law (and what it does and does not say – the latter yet to be determined at Supreme Court level) as much as I urge you to review our country’s foundational documents. The latter do not guarantee happiness. Neither the Constitution nor the Bill of Rights guarantee or protect that as a right. The Declaration of Independence mentions that we are born with the right to pursue happiness. That is not the same as guaranteeing happiness. There is more than a semantic difference there, but, ultimately, the Declaration of Independence is not law. It is, for lack of a better term, an announcement, a statement of belief. It holds no ground in court.
Thus, what you or I may not like (or may be unhappy about) is irrelevant as no law protects us from being unhappy.
Perhaps it’s the fact that I’m an immigrant that I seem to have a more acute sense of the distinction, having learned that as part of my naturalization process. It is probably the same background that makes me understand and value the Second Amendment for what it truly is more than you seem to. I have seen with my own eyes what happens do a disarmed populace (in a country, which I might add, now permits more gun rights than the state of California does currently, while enjoying a low crime rate – now 25th of 36 European countries, lower than in Ireland, England and Wales, Iceland, Northern Ireland, Estonia, Netherlands, Denmark, Switzerland, Belgium, Sweden and Norway).
Secondly, please stop using these tired and disproved old phrases of “common sense” and “overwhelming majority of Americans”. They are as deceitful as they are untrue.
If you really want to know what firearms owners – both, long-standing owners as well as those new to firearms (trust me, there are many of the latter) want and believe, I invite you to accompany me to any of the local L.A. area gun ranges where you will see how out of touch the statements in your response have been.
With best regards,