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Posted: 7/1/2003 2:34:27 PM EDT
Please let me know if I should change anything and if I'm out of line or not. Sen. Maria Cantwell 717 Hart Senate Office Building Washington, DC 20510 Dear Senator Cantwell: I wanted to write and express my concerns regarding the Assault Weapon’s Ban that is about to sunset. The intent of the Second Amendment to provide citizens of the United States with a right to bear arms is not for recreation or sport. It’s basically the original “homeland defense”. Removing firearms from the citizens of the United States is similar to removing the fangs of a cobra. This leaves the law-abiding at the mercy of the unlawful. It has even been decided in courts of law that police departments cannot be responsible for the protection of everyone. Able citizens should be encouraged to take up and become trained in the safe handling and legal operation of firearms for the safety of themselves and our country. To limit the citizens to “government approved” firearms (non-assault weapons) is ridiculous. I fail to see how a bayonet lug, pistol grip, magazine capacity, or collapsible stock have anything to do with the lethality of a weapon or whether or not it makes a firearm more likely to be used in the commission of a crime. Further, I’m not aware that the Assault Weapon Ban has led to a reduction in crime. You have sworn to uphold the Constitution of the United States, please remember that the Second Amendment is not intended for sporting or recreational firearms; but firearms to be used to defend ourselves and our country. “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” Sincerely,
Link Posted: 7/1/2003 2:51:47 PM EDT
Lose the "fangs of a cobra" part.
Link Posted: 7/1/2003 3:12:24 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/1/2003 3:16:54 PM EDT by Cypher214]
Here are some tips to help make you look more intelligent. No abbreviations, "I'm" should be "I am". Also in this line "I fail to see how a... have anything to do with..." It should be "has anything to do with". If you start out singular, you keep it singular. I hate to sound like an English teacher, but you have to make sure everything's right so he can't critique your grammar when he should be getting your point. Oh, and "I wanted to write and..." should be "I wanted to write to express..." You could just make it "I am writing to express..." since you're not wanting to, you're doing it. Semi-colon after "sport" and before "It's" which needs to be changed to "It is".
Link Posted: 7/1/2003 3:17:02 PM EDT
"Fangs of a cobra" prolly doesn't convey the right image. If you want an animal analogy, use "the shell of a turtle." Change "It has even been decided in courts of law that police departments cannot be responsible for the protection of everyone" to "Courts have universally ruled police departments as NOT being responsible for the protection of individual citizens." Replace para 2 with "Given that so-called "assault weapons" are used in less than 2% of crimes, the assault weapon ban is a solution in search of a problem, at its best. At its worst, its a restriction ONLY law abiding people will follow, and a CLEAR violation of the Second Amendment." After you quote 2A, finish with "What part of "shall not be infringed" is confusing you?" Most important, make SURE you send it. It does NO good if she never receives it, cuz yer still trying to perfect it. (Let me offer my apologies. I'm an English minor, and just really get into this stuff) [:D]
Link Posted: 7/1/2003 3:18:05 PM EDT
Thanks, Cypher214, it's the English teacher part of you that I'm seeking. Anytime I write a politician, I always want it proof read (and I'd rather have other gunners do it than my co-workers)!
Link Posted: 7/1/2003 4:04:38 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/1/2003 4:07:28 PM EDT by GonzoAR15-1]
Your letter is OK...., if you were "preaching to the chior" and writing to a pro-gun Senator. But Cantwell is a a liberal, and so you need to better tune your arguments to your intended audience. Here's my stab at a revised version:
I am writing to express my opposition to any renewal or extension of the co-called Assault Weapon Ban that is set to sunset in September 2004. My opposition is based primarily upon my views of the role of government vis a viz it citizens, and my strong belief that one of the best means to assure that the government rules by consent of the people is to ensure that the people have the means of defending themselves from all threats, domestic and foreign. The Second Amendment in the Bill of Rights grants the citizens of the United States an inalienable right to bear arms. This protection is not for recreation or sport. It stands as the original “homeland defense” envisioned by the founding fathers. Semi-automatic (i.e., non-machinegun) firearms based on reliable and time-honored military designs are arguably the most effective tool we can place in the hands of law abiding citizens as a deterrent against crime, terrorism, tyrrany, and our ever growing list of international enemies. Judge Kozinski of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals recently discussed this issue with far greater eloquence than can I. He wrote that it is important not to fall "prey to the delusion . . . that ordinary people are too careless and stupid to own guns," and the delusion that we "would be far better off leaving all weapons in the hands of professionals on the government payroll." Judge Kozinski has identified, I think, the mindset behind the Assault Weapons Ban and far too many gun laws. He has also identified the flaw in such reasoning:
[i]The simple truth—born of experience— is that tyranny thrives best where government need not fear the wrath of an armed people. Our own sorry history bears this out: Disarmament was the tool of choice for subjugating both slaves and free blacks in the South. In Florida, patrols searched blacks’ homes for weapons, confiscated those found and punished their owners without judicial process. See Robert J. Cottrol & Raymond T. Diamond, The Second Amendment: Toward an Afro Americanist Reconsideration, 80 Geo. L.J. 309, 338 (1991). In the North, by contrast, blacks exercised their right to bear arms to defend against racial mob violence. Id. at 341- 42. As Chief Justice Taney well appreciated, the institution of slavery required a class of people who lacked the means to resist. See Dred Scott v. Sandford, 60 U.S. (19 How.) 393, 417 (1857) (finding black citizenship unthinkable because it would give blacks the right to “keep and carry arms wherever they went”). A revolt by Nat Turner and a few dozen other armed blacks could be put down without much difficulty; one by four million armed blacks would have meant big trouble. All too many of the other great tragedies of history— Stalin’s atrocities, the killing fields of Cambodia, the Holocaust, to name but a few—were perpetrated by armed troops against unarmed populations. Many could well have been avoided or mitigated, had the perpetrators known their intended victims were equipped with a rifle . . . . If a few hundred Jewish fighters in the Warsaw Ghetto could hold off the Wehrmacht for almost a month with only a handful of weapons, six million Jews armed with rifles could not so easily have been herded into cattle cars. Judge Kozinski continued: The prospect of tyranny may not grab the headlines the way vivid stories of gun crime routinely do. But few saw the Third Reich coming until it was too late. The Second Amendment is a doomsday provision, one designed for those exceptionally rare circumstances where all other rights have failed—where the government refuses to stand for reelection and silences those who protest; where courts have lost the courage to oppose, or can find no one to enforce their decrees. [b]However improbable these contingencies may seem today, facing them unprepared is a mistake a free people get to make only once. [/i][/b]
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I believe Judge Kozinski has it exactly right. Restrictions on ownership of weapons, particularly as in the case of aesthetic criteria as with so-called "assault weapons" also leave the law-abiding citizens at the mercy of the unlawful. The courts of law in our country have decided that police departments cannot be responsible for the protection of everyone. Able citizens should be encouraged to take up and become trained in the safe handling and legal operation of firearms for the safety of themselves and our country. Finally, Senator Cantwell, I want to urge importance of enforcing vigorously all of the protections in the Bill of Rights, lest the entire instrument lose its effectiveness as a bulkward for liberty and freedom. This is an issue where, I think, the Democaratic party -- while appealing to me on other issues -- has been particularly disappointing and generally loses my vote. As the protectors of freedom and individual rights, you should consider how the persistant disregard of the Second Amendement has eroded the rest of our fundamental protections. If the type of legislation currently applied to firearms were applied to free speech under the First Amendment, then we would be seeing bans on high-capacity newspaper vending machines. Or, we would be seeing legislation against printing presses that are any more modern than the type of presses used by the founders. Computers and the internet, which as I remember stand as the source of much of your own personal wealth, would be viewed as simply too powerful for "mere citizens" to use, and would be restricted to government and law enforcement use only. Already, the other amendments in our Bill of Rights are losing vital strength. I wonder, Senator, whether John Ashcroft's justice department would have been able to so broadly expand its powers, purportedly in the interest of fighting terrorism, if not for the already draconian gun laws in this country. Please vote against any efforts to extend, add to, replace, or reenact the so-called Assault Weapons Ban in any form. The original 1994 enactment was an uncommonly bad and outright unconstitutional law that has done not a single thing to impact crime. It is high time that the absurd law be allowed to pass into obscurity whence it belongs. Very truly yours, ________________________ Constitent
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Link Posted: 7/1/2003 4:14:24 PM EDT
I wouldn't worry too much about grammar and composition. Most politicians are illiterate and can't speak a complete sentence without drooling on themselves.
Link Posted: 7/1/2003 7:11:13 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Sharkman_75: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”
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Be sure to give credit to the origin for this or any other quote.
Link Posted: 7/1/2003 7:37:29 PM EDT
THe first three replies to your post are EXCELLENT. Heed the advice. Great job on the letter though. We need to do this more often. We need to be extremely intelligent, calm and come directly to the point in all correspondence with Senator's. All the anger and threat's have absolutely no place in a letter to a member of Congress. That does more harm than good. Just call me master of the obvious!
Link Posted: 7/2/2003 8:23:04 AM EDT
Gonzo's is too long... you definitely want to keep it down to one page.
the anger and threat's have absolutely no place in a letter to a member of Congress. That does more harm than good.
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Also don't forget to add "or I'll kill ya!" to the end of it for effect [}:D]
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