With recent hype for gun control, I’ve been kinda down. Kinda worried about the future of gun ownership. Worried about the future of our freedoms. And it doesn’t help that Virginia’s senators are democrats.
So I decided to be proactive and write to them. Well, today Senator Mark Warner (or maybe one of his assistants, I mean you never really know) responded to me. Unfortunately since I wrote to Warner through the Senate’s website I don’t have my original message to include.
In it I basically just asked him to carefully consider any new legislation on gun control after what happened in Newtown before he acts. I assured him that most Virginians own guns and since he is there to represent the people, he should avoid restricting our constitutional rights if at all possible. Below is his response in it’s entirety:
“Dear Mr. Kennedy,
Thank you for contacting me to share your thoughts on the tragic events in Newtown, Connecticut and your views on gun control.
On December 14, 2012, 20 innocent children and six adults lost their lives in one of the worst, most tragic shootings to ever occur in the United States. As a parent of three daughters, this was the ultimate nightmare. Like the Virginia Tech and Columbine shootings, t his tragedy unfolded in what was once regarded as a safe haven free of crime and violence: a school.
I am a strong supporter of the Second Amendment constitutional right of law-abiding citizens to keep and bear arms . I own firearms and I have an “A” rating from the National Rifle Association. However, I also recognize that, like with many of our constitutional rights, our Second Amendment rights are not without limits. It is unfortunate that a tragedy of this magnitude is what is needed to prompt action, but we need to have a serious discussion on how to best avoid these kinds of mass shootings in the future. The status quo is not acceptable.
I believe our discus sion should cover many issues. We can start by improving the existing criminal background check system. Currently, the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) is woefully incomplete, with many states failing to submit available records on persons who may be disqualified from purchasing or possessing firearms. With a more complete background check system, we can keep firearms out of the hands of those who have been deemed unfit to possess them.
In addition, we can take common sense measures such as passing the CAMPUS Safety Act (S. 3682), which I introduced last year. That bill would establish a national center for campus public safety within the Department of Justice to serve as a resource center and assist schools and universities in developing campus safety plans and threat assessment tools. We also need to look at changes to our mental health system so we can provide help to those with dangerous mental illnesses before it is too late. There will not be a single solution, but all of these issues and others need to be part of the conversation and I urge you to continue to express your views as we move forward.
Again, thank you for contacting me. For further information or to sign up for my newsletter please visit my website at http://warner.senate.gov .
MARK R. WARNER
United States Senator”
It sounds like a pretty generic response that he’s probably sending to anyone who inquires about his stance on gun control, but it does shed at least some light on where he claims to stand. And it’s reassuring to know that the NRA gave him an A as well (I double checked this after reading his email). Unfortunately Tim Kaine was given an F.
Just before Christmas the NY Times website updated their interactive NRA rating chart and I suggest you head over and give it a look if you’re unsure of where your representatives stand. Keep in mind this is from data provided before the Newtown shooting.
So, where do your senators stand? Have their positions shifted in recent weeks?