I recently wrote to my new freshman congressman, Mr. Scott Peters. I wrote on the issue of gun rights and I was pleased to receive the following reply from him.
Dear Mr. Hughes,
Thank you for writing to me with your views on the gun violence debate. I appreciate hearing from you.
In the wake of the horrific tragedy in Newtown—and Aurora, Tucson, and Columbine before that—we must do what is in our power to prevent not only these massacres, but the horrific acts of violence that plague families on our streets every day. These events demand that we engage in a rational and nonpartisan discussion that leads to lower rates of gun violence.
California already has some of the nation's strongest gun laws. We can improve our national laws to promote greater security for families around the country. We should implement an effective system of background checks that gives law enforcement the tools they need to ensure that guns are available only to responsible, law-abiding citizens. We should prioritize improvements to our mental health system. And we should ensure that gun traffickers are punished to the fullest extent of the law.
We can do this while at the same time respecting Second Amendment rights. Through reasoned discussion and debate, Congress should take steps to improve the safety of our children and families. I am looking forward to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to achieve the common goal of a safer America.
Thank you again for writing to me. In San Diego, we know what kind of results we can achieve when we move past party politics and work together. That is the approach I am bringing to Washington. To stay updated on the gun debate and other matters I am working on, please visit scottpeters.house.gov to sign up for my e-Newsletter, like us on Facebook, or follow me on twitter @RepScottPeters.
Member of Congress
I responded to his Email with the following:
Dear Congressman Peters,
Thank you for your reply to my prior message regarding gun rights. Respectfully, I disagree with many of the positions in your reply. First, you site as justification for action on gun control the "horrific tragedy in Newtown". While everyone is saddened by the deaths of children under any circumstance, it does not justify any efforts by the Federal government to restrict our rights under the Second Amendment. Your argument is strictly emotional, and it is sad that you would react emotionally here rather than reflecting on your duties to the citizens of your district and work to defend our rights. Remember that these are inalienable rights that come to the people from God, and are not the government's to restrict or take away. I hope you were as pleased as I to hear Sen. Feinstein questioned about the "slippery slope" of rights restrictions by her Senate colleague. And she agreed that restricting the First Amendment's right of free speech was illegal, while standing by her conflicting position that restricting rights under the Second Amendment was OK.
You state that "California already has some of the nation's strongest gun laws." You need look no further than Connecticut, which also has strong anti-gun laws and registration requirements to see that it is a fallacy to conclude that strong control laws makes us more secure. Certainly the death rate in Chicago, and the crime rate in Washington D.C. also demonstrate this sad fact. Regardless, my rights to own guns are not the federal government's to control.
You state that we need more controls "to ensure that guns are available only to responsible, law-abiding citizens". Need I remind you that in 1935 Mr. Hitler implemented gun control in his country, and that was the for-bearer to the deaths of over 30 million people worldwide. Six million of those were murders of unarmed citizens of countries under Hitler's control in his murder factories. History shows over and over again that gun registration leads to gun confiscation and to tyranny. James Madison wrote in Federalist Paper No. 46 that the reason the US citizens are armed is to defend our rights, ourselves and our States from a tyrannical federal government. It is not to hunt deer. We are guaranteed the right to own guns in the 2nd Amendment, without infringement.
You state that we "ensure that gun traffickers are punished to the fullest extent of the law". I respectfully suggest that the Congress spend its time getting to the bottom of the "Fast and Furious" scandal as a start, and to the international arms running that was reported to have been taking place in Libya (leading to the deaths of our Ambassador). Please remember that you are my representative. You have sworn to uphold the Constitution (as have I). Please act to preserve the rights given to all men by God, and prevent the government from acting to restrict them.
Very truly yours,
Henry Arch Hughes, Jr.
I hope the Congressman changes his minds and votes to leave our gun rights alone.