In the wake of the Newtown, CT massacre, I, like many other concerned citizens, wrote to my congressman to help motivate governmental action to enact sensible gun laws that would go a long way in preventing horrific events like this from happening again.
My representative, Tim Bishop, New York's First Congressional District, responded in a thoughtful letter and laid out his beliefs. Here is a portion of that letter:
"While we have witnessed tragic acts of gun violence too many times in the recent past, the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary is one of the most unfathomable events in our nation’s history. We are all deeply saddened in the wake of such a terrible crime; hopefully we can now agree that enough is enough and strong action is required.
Sensible gun safety laws can be achieved without compromising the Second Amendment just as responsible checks on certain forms of offensive speech exist that do not abridge the rights afforded by the First Amendment. Such measures should be enacted as soon as possible in order to protect our families and our communities.
We must reinstate the assault weapons ban, once the law of the land, and examine other reasonable policies such as limiting magazine capacity, strengthening laws on ammunition sales, closing the gun show loophole, and allowing comprehensive background checks for anyone attempting to purchase a firearm regardless of where it is purchased.
Simultaneously, we must ensure local law enforcement possesses the tools needed to keep guns out of the hands of those who seek to do harm in our communities. We must also evaluate the status of mental health care and decide whether we are ready to invest in efforts to close the growing divide between those who need care and those who receive it. Please be assured that I will continue to advocate sensible reforms and will keep your views in mind as the debate surrounding our nation’s gun laws continues."
Mr. Bishop, we will be watching.