DrVino to Anti-Gun Congresscritter: Chu on This

Judy Chu (left) (courtesy nimg.sulekha.com)

Dear DrVino,

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.

In Friendship,

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,



  1. avatar Matt in FL says:

    Very nice, Doc. I hope (in vain, most likely) that your words have some impact.

    I really do wonder if some of the more moderate anti-gun politicians — and by that I mean the ones who still try to ride the fence, because they haven’t completely sold out to the gun control crowd — realize that as soon as they use the words “common sense” that an entire swath of people immediately tune them out? Do they realize that any hope of appealing to the gun rights crowd is lost as soon as they say those words, because they’re immediately assumed to be a shill for the gun control groups?

    1. avatar DrVino says:

      I think most of these legislators have staffers prepare ‘form letter’ responses that are based on some party talking points.

      1. avatar Rad Man says:

        Nicely Done, Dr. V.,
        You have the patience to respond to Chu’s condescension where I would have otherwise round filed her response and for that you should be commended. Keep fighting the good fight and I’ll try not to be so jaded and frustrated.

      2. avatar John Fritz says:

        That is exactly what I thought as soon as I finished reading her response.

        I think the odds of Judy Chu or Chuy Bravo (Chelsea Lately) having actually read DrVino’s letter are about equal.

        1. avatar Old Ben turning in grave says:

          Probably a better chance she’ll actually read the response now that it’s been published on a relatively high-traffic web site.

    2. avatar Daniel Silverman says:

      Well I tend to get the same. Dr. Vino and I are both stuck behind enemy lines.

      1. avatar Tom S. says:

        Same here Daniel. I live in Steinberg’s district and I buzz him all the time. I always get the same trite/patronizing stuff.

    3. avatar Cliff H says:

      I believe the only “common sense” ever referred to by any of the Founders in regards to the Second Amendment (in documents related to their reasoning, that is) is that it is only common sense to allow the citizens the arms which guarantee their ability to throw off a tyrannical government. All else Is bonus, including hunting and fishing.

  2. avatar crndl says:

    well said, hat’s off…where are you from originally, if you don’t mind my asking?

    1. avatar DrVino says:

      Between the Goimans and Ruskies.

      1. avatar 505markf says:

        I really hope it’s Poland. We in America like to say we brought down the Soviet Union, but it was really the Poles who showed the emperor has no clothes.

        1. avatar DrVino says:

          Yeah….. Yalta. Deals on a paper napkin…. Nothing about us without us!

      2. avatar crndl says:

        well,if ever there was an area where the citizens should be armed, it would be there 🙂

        1. avatar DrVino says:

          My uncle shoots IDPA there. He’s a big CZ fan. Members of his club have Mini14s and AR15s (standard cap mags, no bullet buttons).

      3. avatar Jeff says:

        Ah, an Englishman! Aur revowwre!

  3. avatar MDFalco says:

    Well said. What a shame it is that these Democrat drones refuse to see anything beyond the script they receive from Harry, Barry and Nancy.

  4. avatar Mk10108 says:

    Judy Chu….you ignorant s…stupid c…confused ELECTED representative. Your days of being complicit in the murder and rape of women while denying the PEOPLE the right of lawful self protection are coming to a close.

  5. avatar RockOnHellChild says:


    But, likely to fall on deaf ears.

    1. avatar DrVino says:

      This response actually made me want to extend a similar invitation to the other legislators (mostly state) with whom I’ve dealt during this past legislative cycle here in CA.

  6. avatar jwm says:

    If the overwhelming majority of American’s and gun owners themselves support these “common sense” measures then they would have become law after Sandy Hook.

    So either she’s outright lying, or too ignorant for a position of responsibility.

    1. avatar Cliff H says:

      Or both. She is from California, after all, home to Feinstein and Barbara Boxer as well.

    2. avatar Bob says:

      What, a politician lie???

    3. avatar Jeff says:

      but, the gun lobby

    4. avatar Rich Grise says:

      She doesn’t even know she’s lying. Have you all seen “The Renaming of Obamacare?”

      Pay particular attention at 0:28 and again at 0:59 .

  7. avatar William Burke says:

    Well done, DrVino!

  8. avatar steve says:

    I want to hear her follow-up on your last reply.

    1. avatar DrVino says:

      I’ll be surprised if she takes me up on it.

      1. avatar Accur81 says:

        I’ll take you up on a visit to an actual indoor or outdoor range in the LA / OC area! I’ve got some pretty decent scotch as well.

        [email protected]

        1. avatar DrVino says:

          Check your email.

        2. avatar Ralph says:

          Sorry I can’t join you guys, but it’s a long drive from MA to CA and I wouldn’t be able to bring my guns.

          Not that you invited me or anything . . . .

        3. avatar Gyufygy says:

          Hell, A81, you’re one of the Chosen Few. Maybe going along if the Congresswoman takes Doc up on his offer would help give some more “credibility”. Dunno if invoking your LEO status would cause work related troubles, though.

  9. avatar Excedrine says:

    You’re a better man than me at keeping things polite and simple, Doc.

    Though, I fear your words will only greet deaf ears, blind eyes, and mute mouths. Such is the way of all politicians of every stripe it seems — especially those who infest Capitol Hill.

  10. avatar Jethro says:

    Heh, the more things change…

    I wrote one of those to Daniel Patrick Moynihan (D-NY senator ’77-’01, deceased ’03) back in ’93 (Clinton AWB) and got a similar reply.

    …the more they stay the same.

  11. avatar JamesCA says:

    I live in her district and I’ve gotten those types of responses too. David Dreier used to be my rep but then he retired. At least he respected the 2nd amendment more than she did.

    1. avatar Cliff H says:

      The problem with Liberals, IMO, is that they get elected by whatever means they can, then get a little taste of that fame and notoriety that comes with being a Congresscritter. I think they get addicted to that illusion that they are somehow suddenly someone who MATTERS and soon learn that the only way they will continue to be able to taste that drug is to toe the Democrat party line.

      She knows full well that she’ll be snubbed by the party elites in D.C. if she dares to go against the “gun control” talking points, but if she plays along she will get national DNC support for her re-election campaign every two years.

    2. avatar DrVino says:

      I live in her district as well. Who knows, we may be neighbors (stay off my lawn!). Or we may have rubbed elbows at Burro Canyon.

  12. avatar C says:

    “Americans to life, liberty and happiness.”
    First, Oxford comma.
    Second, you do not have a right to happiness. You have a right to PURSUE happiness. But I do not believe that this misquotation was a mistake. Being a leftist, she believes that there is a right to happiness. Just like the right to not be offended. I don’t have the time for a dissertation at the moment, but i hope you can smell what i’m stepping in. A right to be coddled, to be taken care of, to be owned by government. She digs on the idea of a right to be infantile.

    1. avatar Peter says:

      DrVino makes that point quite clearly in his letter

      1. avatar C says:

        Yeah, i was in a hurry so i kinda slipped into TL:DR mode.

  13. avatar ensitue says:

    It’s like trying to convince Obama that Islamo-Fascism and American values don’t mix: Obama will act confused by the subject but is in the bag for the destruction of America

    1. avatar Drew says:

      Fascism of any kind dose not mix with American values. We have dealt with such things almost continuously for well over 200 years and the people we have had to deal with have typically looked a lot like us and even prayed to the same god as most of us.

  14. avatar Ralph says:

    Nice job, Doc. Wanna wager that if you hear from Chu again, it will be in another form letter?

    1. avatar DrVino says:

      You may be right. But one of my unofficial mottos is?
      “Faith CAN move mountains…. but you have to bring a shovel.”

  15. avatar Leadbelly says:

    Guy’s, that…stuff… Is all you’re ever going to get from any politician. They are never going to actually SAY anything. In fact, they never even see the…stuff…sent out in their name, let alone letters written by the bootless and unhorsed. I’m not saying give up, just that this route doesn’t work without some sort of introduction to the person you’re trying to communicate with. They’re very well insulated – “public servants” barely aware the public exists. It’s probably more productive to ally with a large enough group to compel her attention, with money, lost votes, or unwelcome publicity of some sort.

    Take it from somebody who payed attention in the sixties. You don’t get one on one attention unless you are a NAME, in the arts, in the money, in the game some way.

    There’s strength in numbers, if we can all push in the same direction.

    1. avatar Jus Bill says:

      So very true.

    2. avatar Jeff says:

      what if I have a pair of boots AND a horse?

      1. avatar Leadbelly says:

        Then you are a lucky man. A thousand years ago, though, if you owned boots, a horse, and a sword, you WERE a “name”, and part of the power structure.

  16. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

    You are very eloquent. Well written Sir.

    The replies I get from senator merkley don’t even seem to address what I ask him.
    At least in her reply, you can figure out where she stands.

  17. avatar dph says:

    PhD in this particular case must equal Phucking Douchebag.

    1. avatar WayneMHK says:

      I was taught that it meant “Piled Higher and Deeper”. And, working in academia, I can confirm.

  18. avatar ropingdown says:

    DrVino, I enjoyed that. I laugh when I hear politicians talking up the “better mental health care” angle. Obviously the states can’t afford it today, and the feds have other priorities, from bankrolling failing solar power companies to researching the role of mud in Minnesota farm life. When the bills from psychiatrists and clinical psychologists started to pile up in ’89, the feds offloaded most Medicare ‘psychotherapy’ to social workers. They’re certainly not going to do better by the very ill young castoffs. However, they really would like to know the social-security numbers of those that come in contact with the system.

    We could do better. Good luck with your range-time offer.

  19. avatar ErrantVenture11 says:

    I recently responded to robo-replies from my Representative (Kildee) and Senator (Stabenow) in similar fashion. I’ve been meaning to submit to TTAG…maybe I’ll go ahead and do that now.

  20. avatar Nelson says:

    Actually, a correction; you’re wrong about the following:

    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.

    That, along with the “Supremacy Clause” is one of this most misunderstood aspect of constitutional discussions. In point of fact, The Declaration of Independence IS the Law of the Land.

    Check the Federal Register.

    In fact, it was THE very First Law to be recorded into the Federal Register.

    So in fact, when a govt becomes tyrannical, and its servant bitches delude they’re the masters, it is your DUTY to…

  21. avatar Federale says:

    The 10th Amendment checks the Supremacy Clause. In any event, immigrants like Chu are part of the problem. Immigrants overwhelmingly vote for gun grabbing politicians. That is just a fact. People of the gun need to get in the immigration fight or their guns will be history.

    1. avatar TheDabbo says:

      Ummm…. She’s not an immigrant. She was born in Los Angeles to an American man and a Chinese woman. The author of the letter ( DrV) IS an immigrant and is most definitely NOT part of the problem.

      Maybe you meant to say “…politicians like Chu are part of the problem. Immigrants like DrV are part if the solution. “

      1. avatar DrVino says:

        I think that the core of our national identity may be the undoing of our foundational liberties.
        That is to say: Our country is one of immigrants, and as many people come to this country from very different places where our tenets of liberty do not exist they bring with them a different social scheme and a different set of principles of society and justice.
        Many of these ideas are contrary to what defined the essence of liberty in our republic.
        While in this new country, they may still operate with these old principles, however subconsciously. And it’s important to note that the vast majority of people who immigrate to the US do so for material benefit, not for ideological reasons.

        As such, these people (as they become citizens, or are simply herded into voting booths) will not question the agenda of those who would prefer to overturn the nature of our republic.
        Secondly, because their point of reference is a normalcy of statism, collectivism, repression, etc they will gravitate to, embrace, espouse and promulgate those principles which are their normal. This, I expect, permeates into subsequent generations, born here. After all, the childhood home is one’s first school…

        The power of those ideas attenuates with each generation, sure. But once any residual effect is gone, the country may have been fundamentally transformed away from its original and intended essence.

        1. avatar Totenglocke says:

          You just won the internet today. That is a perfect explanation of our main problem in this country.

        2. avatar John Dennis says:

          I feel that that is also one of the reasons why obama is so keen on legalizing the status of so many illegal immigrants in the United States. It will vastly expand his voting base and also win sympathy from the millions of illegals while at the same time, transform America from it’s original and fundamental values. How many politicians of Asian descent do you see supporting the 2nd Amendment? Or am I just too focused on that b*st*rd leland yee?

  22. avatar Cubby124 says:

    Wonderful,Dr Vino is right on.Too bad the mental health issue is California’s lawmakers.They are complete arrogant ignoramuses,so reasoning with them is like reasoning with spoiled teenagers!

  23. avatar Peter says:

    Our Founding Fathers recognized that there will always be those who wish to enslave us, always in the name of the greater good of course, and so gave us the Second Amendment.

  24. avatar Mark says:

    Great response although you are having a battle of the wits with an unarmed person.

  25. avatar Kyle says:

    Why wouldn’t the Declaration of Independence hold any ground in court? I mean wouldn’t it count to helping determine the thinking the Founders had regarding certain aspects of the Constitution? I mean to figure out the meaning of the Second Amendment means having to look to non-Constitutional sources.

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