I was at a Brooklyn Nets game tonight, and the announcer asked for a moment of silence before the game for “one of the largest school shootings in recent memory.” I don’t fault the announcer, but I am really appalled by the fact that you had to add qualifiers to that statement. The fact that 28 people died today in an ELEMENTARY SCHOOL and it is not even the most amount of people that have been killed by maniacs is ridiculously unacceptable. While I don’t think you can blame guns entirely for this disaster, I do believe limiting access to guns will dramatically reduce the likelihood of these types of disasters.
I’ve written before about gun violence and how the media is constantly hyping the violence which begets more violence in the long run. So, to try and make a difference, I wrote a letter to my congressmen, which I welcome others to copy and send to their Congressional representatives. If you don’t know who they are, click the links to find your House Representative by zip code or Senator by state.
The recommended length for letters to Congress is <1500 characters, so I tried to keep mine short:
As your constituent, I felt it was my duty to write you a letter to express my desire for comprehensive gun reform. While the 2nd amendment grants us the right to carry arms, this right is not unlimited. Guns were designed to kill things, and they do that very well, and in the hands of mentally ill people, they create disasters such as those seen in Sandy Hook, Aurora, Happy Valley (should I continue to list? I think you get the idea).
Unfettered access to guns allows deranged people to wreak havoc in our society. We should be focusing on the looming fiscal cliff, yet we’re talking about this. I urge you to immediately promote the passage of a new assault weapons ban. The criticism of the assault weapons ban is fair, as it did not effectively restrict access to semi-automatic assault weapons. I would propose a new assault weapons ban that includes the following:
- Universal background checks on all gun purchases (while most of the attackers we see do not have a history of criminal activity, it is a deterrent to those who seek access to guns for improper usage).
- A universal ban on all semi-automatic weapons with high-capacity magazines (no hunter or sportsman worth their salt needs a weapon like this to kill animals, so why do we need them in our society?)
- Microstamping of bullets (40% of murder investigations are unsolved because of missing evidence. Having identification on every bullet will improve the ability of law enforcement to track the point-of-sale for every bullet used to kill a person and aid in finding potential killers.)
I am tired of waking up each day hearing about a new shooting or killing that has happened in America. Too many innocent lives have been lost because the gun industry has more influence on elected officials than their constituents. I do not believe that you will put the needs of the citizens of __________________ above financial assurances of future election victories, so I beseech you to pursue gun reform legislation immediately. Thank you very much,
First blank is the elected official’s name, second is your state, third is your name. I’m not trying to say that this is the definitive letter to Congress, but I think it’s so much easier to copy and paste a letter to your elected official than write one yourself. So, hopefully you can help push for gun reform. And I would recommend un-italicizing the letter, but whatever it takes to get you to harass congress about this, the better.
Also, I’ve attached an Excel spreadsheet of the money donated to each Congressman by the NRA (the aforementioned lobbying arm of the gun industry). So, feel free to bring up their campaign money from the NRA in the letter if you feel it necessary. Knowledge is power. Good luck.