To Congressman Sarbanes on Gun Control

Last night I received another communication from the Congressman from my district, John Sarbanes. The communication and my response follow. (Here is a post on my response to an earlier communication.)

Congressman Sarbanes’s communication:

Dear Friend,

Please take a moment to tell me your opinion.

Earliers this week, a proposal to expand gun safety measures failed in the Senate. In the wake of the mass shootings in Tuscon (sic), Aurora, and most recently Newtown, do you think Congress should continue efforts to update our Nation’s gun safety laws?

( )Yes ( )No

If so, what safety measures do you think the legislation should include?

[ ]Universal background checks
[ ]Assault weapons ban
[ ]Ban of high-capacity gun magazines
[ ]Increasing penalties for people who purchase guns illegally
[ ]Increased funding for mental health services
[ ]Other

My reply, in a textbox his site provided for the purpose:

Preliminarily, please don’t address me as “Friend.” The term is grossly inaccurate for our relationship.

This is in response to your email inquiry about gun control legislation.

I admire your skill in slanting the question: “[D]o you think Congress should continue efforts to update our Nation’s gun safety laws?”

“Update” nicely suggests that what we have are out of date and hence in need of improvement by modern legislators such as yourself. And “gun safety laws” slyly obscures what worries huge numbers of Americans about these laws: their restrictions on freedom. We believe law-abiding citizens should be free to buy the weapons we choose.

“Gun safety laws” … speaking just for myself, all my guns have safeties in good working order. And they are all safely locked up in my gun cabinet. My only concern about their safety is that impertinent legislators such as yourself want to take the country in a direction that would put them in danger from you.

Finally, in the choice box next to “Select the issue which best describes the topic of your letter,” I was sorry not to see an entry for “Freedom,” or “Limiting the size and scope of government.” Perhaps you would like to update your choice list to include those two. They matter to some of your constituents.

Yours sincerely,

Howard Baetjer

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