The Thirty Minute Blogger

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Thursday, January 24, 2013

One Congressman's Response to Gun Control Concerns

Not long ago, I wrote my Congressman with concerns that something be done legislatively to control gun violence in the United States, following the President's executive orders. I give him kudos for his rapid and polite response (both much appreciated). The language is respectful and carefully couched. It seems to me it could be interpreted in a variety of ways depending on your perspective. I offer it up as a small notation in the ongoing dialogue on this subject following the Sandy Hook massacre. The fourth paragraph appears the crux of the matter to me, in case your time is limited.


Thank you for your contacting me regarding your thoughts on gun control.  I appreciate the opportunity to respond. 

As you may know, in the aftermath of the school shootings in Newtown, CT, Vice President Joe Biden was charged with leading a task force including members of advocacy groups, teachers, elected officials, and sports and wildlife conservationists to prepare recommendations for President Obama on how to reduce gun violence. 

On January 16th, President Obama unveiled this broad package of measures that range from legislative proposals to ban assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition clips to Executive Orders to improve incentives for states to contribute records to federal background check systems established under existing law.  I look forward to the President bringing these plans to Congress where I hope to have an open and honest discussion with my House colleagues and constituents about how to protect the constitutional rights of law-abiding citizens while, at the same time, preventing those who lack the ability and competency to responsibly use firearms from obtaining and using them to harm innocent victims. 

Let me make it explicitly clear that my policy positions and votes on legislation are driven and determined by what I believe will be in the best interests of the over 700,000 constituents who I represent in the Sixth Congressional District of Pennsylvania.  Our constituency is made up of individuals with a diverse range of opinions and beliefs on all issues, including polarizing and sensitive topics such as gun control, and it is my responsibility to take into consideration all of these thoughts and opinions before making any final decision as to how I will vote on legislation. With that being said, during my tenure in Congress, I have supported legislation to preserve and protect the constitutional rights of our citizens, including those rights provided under the Second Amendment.  However, as is the case with every bill that comes to the House floor, I will evaluate each piece of legislation and weigh the costs, benefits and expected impact of such legislation against the concerns and views of my constituents and one's Second Amendment right to bear arms. Thank you for contacting me regarding this important issue. 

Please let me know if I can be of any assistance to you or your family in the future. With kind regards, I am

Sincerely,

Jim GerlachMember of Congress

So, how do you read the response from your perspective?


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