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Posted: 5/12/2004 10:19:48 AM EDT
Does writing a representative/congressman who opposes anything gun related really work?

When S659 was hot I wrote them all as did a few of family members who frequent my family web site and read my rants. I received several replies from some who said, [paraphrasing] "I oppose this bill and will do everything in my power to make sure that gun manufacturers/dealer are help responsible..." Not once did I receive a letter syaing that they cared about my opinion enough that it would change their vote [in favor of their personal agenda].

Does someone have a positive reults story, and can you back it up with data saying they actually did vote in favor of pro-gun citizens? I like to think the letters I wrote were very well presented, and the only thing I have doubts about is that I would say something to the effect of "you will not have my vote/support in the future should you vote anti-gun..."

I'm really not convinced that elitist politicians could give a rats ass what people like us think or how we woudl like them to vote. Once they're in the seat they tune out the people and in most case logic and reality.
Link Posted: 5/12/2004 10:31:06 AM EDT
I dont know about on the national level.  But here's a story I got from our local medical society lobbyist when we asked how much impact our calls and letters were having on malpractice reform.

He related about an hour before a vote on another bill, he passed a state senator in the hall and was told, "Cant support your postion at the vote.  Ive received 4 calls in opposition."

Being a wise lobbyist, our guy went back to his office and told the staff to start calling supporters of the bill and urge them to call the senator.  About 10 minutes before the vote, the senator came up to our guy and shook his hand saying, "I'm with you.  Ive received 6 phone calls in the last hour urging me to support your bill.  Consider it done."  And he did.

Amazing how a few phone calls can change these scum bags "mind" but it happens.  In this case it was only 2 phone calls.  Remember, the driving motivation of a politician is to STAY in office, not necessarily do the right thing.
Link Posted: 5/12/2004 10:33:47 AM EDT
Link Posted: 5/12/2004 10:34:53 AM EDT
Feingold voted against adding the AWB amendment.

I'd like to think it's because he's gotten lots of letters and phone calls on the issue.

Link Posted: 5/12/2004 10:35:33 AM EDT
It does if you don't live in Kansas where the Governor vetoed CCW and did so while admitting to reporters that the majority of the correspondence she received supported the bill.
Link Posted: 5/12/2004 10:40:48 AM EDT
Short answer - not really.

I used to work on Capitol Hill.  For controversial issues like Abortion and Guns, most guys stick with the party platform - either pro or anti.  Very few are willing to come out strongly on either view.

The bulk of Congress are fence-sitters and wait for direction from their leadership before placing votes or speaking about an issue.

If they are "anti-gun" but you think they can be swayed, they probably can't, because they risk alienating thier leadership and their contributor$.

It's all about re-election.  The time to make changes is during election years.  Once these idiots fine elected officals get to DC,  they will toe the party line and will back off any "extreme" views they may have had previously.

BTW- Your letters are opened by an Intern, sorted by topic, given to another person (Legisaltive Correspondent) who picks an apprpriate form letter to send back to you.  Anything difficult gets sent to the Legislative Assistant for that topic or maybe even the Legislative Director.

If you want to get something accomplished you need to go through the Administrative Assistant (AA).  In most businesses that means a secretary.  On the Hill the AA is the power behind the throne.

Find out who your Rep's AA is and call/write to them.  Mention you represent a group of concerned, politically active, well-to-do citizens who would love to help out Rep. Porkbarrel but  have issues with his stance on Gun Control.  It may get you a little farther than just an e-mail to the Rep.
Link Posted: 5/12/2004 10:44:48 AM EDT
No.  I wrote our senators over and over.  Even though one of them calls himself a Republican, he is really a rino. Or as I referred to him in my last and final letter, a quivering mass of socialist jelly.
They have their own agenda which has absolutely nothing to do with representing you.  The government believes that if you are employed, liable for a mortgage and kids, that there is very little, almost nothing, that will incite you to revolt.  You have too much to lose.  

However, they have misread a lot of people, many of whom sign on to this board.

I have made up my mind already that if the President signs a renewal of the AWB or just orders it, it will be the end of my Republican voting record. Without gun owners, the Republicans cannot win.  With democrats in control of the house, senate and the White House, this country will quickly drift into a socialist hell.  Then we'll have a lot of reasons to revolt.  The economy will tank under the weight of all the deadbeats on the government dole.  Employment will fall off sharply, and with it stability.
Link Posted: 5/12/2004 11:13:52 AM EDT
Well said rn45.  My sentiments exactly.
Link Posted: 5/12/2004 11:51:21 AM EDT
Yes it does work. Russ Feingold is an example of that. He recieved so much mail from gunowners that he dicided he should take a closer look at the AWB and eventually decided that it was a pointless law that did not do what it was writen to do and he no longer supports the AWB or it's renewal.

Now if only we could get him to see that about other gun issues.

It's a start.
Link Posted: 5/12/2004 12:04:44 PM EDT
In my experience, No. Of course I'm dealing with Feinstein and Boxer. Their form letters all end with "we agree to disagree". (no we don't!!)
Link Posted: 5/12/2004 12:07:54 PM EDT
George Allen and Elizabeth Dole are two examples of Senators who had publicly stated support for an assault weapons ban in the past and who changed their position and voted against it in March.

Mike DeWine of Ohio got shelled with phone calls the first day of debate when he was a co-sponsor to Boxer's gunlock amendment. He continued to vote anti-gun; but did take the unusual step of asking his name be removed from the legislation.

Sounds to me like something changed their minds...
Link Posted: 5/12/2004 12:34:34 PM EDT
The only time that a politician's position on an issue might be affected is if enough people express a particular point of view that is contrary to their own. If the politician perceives this group as large enough to swing an election against them, they will look for ways to mollify that group in order to stay in office. The really dogmatic leftists will, because of their own elitest attitude, even go so far as to ignore the will of the  people if that will is in direct opposition to their own particular agenda. It's not a question in the minds of these leftist politicians of honoring the will of electorate, but rather that the electorate is not enlightened and "right minded" enough to understand that the leftist viewpoint is the only "reasonable" point of view. These are the truly hopeless and dangerous types. The Feinsteins, Schummers, Kennedys, Clintons, and Kerrys, are just a few who come to mind. Can you imagine any of them being persuaded by the impassioned pleas of firearms owners - even if these firearms owners represent a majority of their constituents? Betting on that is as naive as betting on the compassion and intelligence of an Islamic Fundamentalist.
Link Posted: 5/12/2004 12:36:35 PM EDT

Well said rn45.  My sentiments exactly.

Its been my exactly my expierence also.
Link Posted: 5/12/2004 12:44:34 PM EDT
Only if your family name is Bin Laden , or you are an illegal immigrant, or you are an unmarried mother with 6 kids, or you are living in 90210........capish?
Link Posted: 5/12/2004 12:46:20 PM EDT
A secret from someone who is involved in politics at the base level (county party committee, local office) and is friendly with county and state level office holders.

The really powerful political office holders have 'core values', but 90% of those are flexible.

A schumer or feinstein is always going to be anti at full bore, because that is what they are known for. McCain is always going to be for cleaning up politics for the same reasons. Most pols, even if they are anti, will be anti to degrees that come and go.

A  rep that I know is anti-'assault weapons' and anti-general public CCW (but fully supports police and retired police CCW). He shut up and toed the line when the calls started coming in for CCW reform and reform part II.

Another state level pol that I know is pro-envro, until jobs are being lost and calls come in, at which point he supports a 'deal' to keep people working.

The people that are not 100% invested in a position can be swayed to shut up and vote correctly unless they are brought under control by the party (or bought off by the party)
Link Posted: 5/12/2004 12:50:42 PM EDT

It is 100% effective - in accomplishing your DUTY as a citizen.   Seriously.

And from personal experience, I wrote a letter to BATF scorning their silly decision to make illegal the Steyr copy muzzle brake on the DSA FAL. They reversed their decision within a few months.

I won't be-labor you with other examples, but remember this -

The squeaky wheel gets the grease. Squeak dammit squeak!!!!!!!!!

Link Posted: 5/12/2004 1:02:00 PM EDT
I don't know if it helps, but I do it anyway. It has been my pleasure to vote against Gephardt, and I wrote to him explaining why. I got a reply that he doesn't share my beliefs, but wanted to thank me for writing to him. (Same as I got from Gov Holden).  
  I feel it's a duty, just like voting, because of all the Americans who have fought and/or died to secure this right for me. I e-mail President Bush pretty regularly also, telling him what I think is being done correctly, and what I think needs to be taken to "the next level".
Link Posted: 5/13/2004 7:06:58 AM EDT
This will "depend".

Since John Kerry and Ted Kennedy are my two Senators (and Barney Frank is our Rep), NO amount of letters, phone calls, etc. will shake their irrefutable goal to ban all guns (except for their body guards)! Kennedy is dead set against LEOs CCW'g anywhere in the US as well.

None of the above stand any chance of getting voted out of office, and htey know it, no matter what they do/don't do. So they can be "brave" and stand on their principles. <barf>
Link Posted: 5/13/2004 9:53:28 AM EDT
If you are one of the 5% Repubs in a 95% district, your spitting against the wind.  If you are in a district that is 45% 45% and 10% undecided, then you may may have a lot of clout especially if they get a lot of mail and phone calls indicating that there is a lot of interest and maybe enough to toss them out or keep them in.
Link Posted: 5/13/2004 9:57:20 AM EDT
My representative is the 'Honorable' Dennis Kucinich.

Do you think he will vote pro-gun if I ask him to?  
Link Posted: 5/13/2004 10:01:30 AM EDT
Feistein agreed to drop the AWB at my request!
Link Posted: 5/13/2004 10:12:59 AM EDT
Only if you give them enough money. Then they will vote for anything.
Link Posted: 5/13/2004 10:40:43 AM EDT
So, if you send them form letters, say printed/copies from a website, does it have the same effect as if you write it yourself?

I would think that it would depend on someone's communication skills and knowledge of the subject to the level of being able to cite laws/reg/etc. I'd venture a guess and say that a good majority of people that oppose anti-gun legislation couldn't accurately/correctly cite a lot of the shit on the books. Based on that, is it safe to assume that the more the reader/recipient can pick apart a letter that you write, the more it detracts from the purpose/goals and effectiveness as well as the credibility of the group? If they keep getting letters from illiterate yokals I would think it would galvanize their opinions that all gun owners are a bunch of uneducated, illiterate red necks that shouldn't be allowed to make any decisions regarding the welfare of the country... even if one out of every twenty letters is written like this, those tend to stand out as the majority to liberal types who intrinsicly oppose our views.

Does anyone think that a new forum or tacked thread for this sort of thing would be effective? One where the guys who are better versed in the laws and in effectively verbalizing a viewpoint to certain types of audiences can post letters as attachments or set up some sort of java scripted form where people plug in their name and the state/district they live in and it produces a finished letter?  Hit the print/e-mail button and off it goes. Have a couple of different form letter to allow for ome variety.

It might be perceived to some people as a tool for the lazy man and for others a good way of pushing someone off their fence and becoming a little more proactive instead of just bitching about it in here but never following through with the talk. or people who don't believe it's worth the time because they don't think anyone actually listens... if they had something like this, where a few keystrokes and they're done, it might prompt them to at least try.

Personally I think this is a good idea... and if I possesed the writing/indepth knowledge/web skills to do it I wouldn't even be asking. Since we have a vast resource right here on this site, it seems like a shame to let it go to waste. Strength in numbers and teamwork will improve our odds of getting the squeaky wheel oiled.

When I was ranting on my family website about S659 I posted the list of opposition and a form letter for them to copy & paste into an e-mail. It seemed to get more people to do it that way than just slapping a list of names in front of them and expect them to write about something they have a limited knowledge of.

Link Posted: 5/14/2004 1:40:30 PM EDT
Apologies to NYPatriot.... I don't know how I missed this tacked thread

I read the first few words and figured it was the larger of the AWB thread that had been tacked so there wouldn't be any dupes.

Link Posted: 5/14/2004 2:42:27 PM EDT
nope, it does not work, but it does have the possibility of clogging the email of those supporting dumb legislation
Link Posted: 5/14/2004 3:23:50 PM EDT
I email, I send postal mail, and I call.

If they never heard from me how could they be expected to know how much I HATE them for voting against my wishes?!
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