I received the following email from Anna Eshoo, my representative in Congress. This was a response to a request to her not to support the gun bans that are before congress right now.
After this letter I have posted my response.
February 4, 2013
Dear Mr. Jorgensen,
Thank you for contacting me to express your concern about calls for increased federal gun control in the wake of the unspeakable tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut. I appreciate the time you took to write to me, and while we may not agree completely on this issue, I welcome your thoughts on it.
Like you, I respect the U.S. Constitution as the foundation of our great democracy. The Framers supported the right of colonists to defend themselves against the British Empire, and at the time of the Second Amendment’s drafting, they were concerned that the absence of a “well-regulated militia” could jeopardize the entire American democratic experiment.
Our founding fathers never contemplated, however, whether the open availability of modern military hardware would be necessary to ensure individual liberty in the 21st century. High-capacity ammunition magazines, high-powered assault rifles, and even semi-automatic weapons had yet to be invented, so it now falls upon us to determine the place of modern, highly lethal weapons of war in civil society.
The right of responsible citizens to keep and bear arms must be carefully weighed against the right of all Americans to live in a safe society—and as such, responsible steps can and must be taken to protect the latter without infringing upon the former. Closing the “gun show” loophole, banning high-capacity ammunition magazines, and improving the system of background checks for gun purchasers will do nothing to infringe upon the right of citizens to keep and use firearms for recreational, subsistence, or even self-defense purposes.
Please know that while we may not agree on the effectiveness of particular gun control policies, I profoundly respect your views and will keep them in mind as Congress considers these matters.
If you have any other questions or comments, let me hear from you. I value what my constituents say to me, and I always need your thoughts and benefit from your ideas.
I’ve created an ongoing e-newsletter to keep constituents informed on a variety of congressional issues and legislation. Many constituents tell me how much they value reading it, and if you would like to as well, you can go to my website at http://eshoo.house.gov and click on Sign Up for ENews. Your email address will never be used by anyone except my office to communicate with you, and your tax dollars will be conserved by using electronic communications rather than traditional mailings.
Anna G. Eshoo
Member of Congress
Here is my response:
Dear Congress Woman Eshoo,
You are mistaken on the constitution. The framers did not contemplate radio, television, and the internet yet the first amendment still applies. This is because the principles remain the same. The second amendment secures the fundamental human right of self defense. If the weapon is good for self defense then it is protected. That was the principle they were trying to secure. Read the Heller vs DC SCOTUS decision and you will see that is exactly what it says.
Please note that semiautomatic guns were known to the framers. They existed in the form of very powerful air rifles that could shoot repeatedly with the pull of the trigger. One was prominently used in the Lewis and Clark expedition to protect them from Indian raids (self defense use)
With respect to assault rifles, they were essentially banned in 1934 and can only be obtained in the US by very wealthy people in very limited numbers and very tight federal control. They are not used in crimes. What you call an assault weapon is merely a standard rifle with a bit of plastic added. No military would equip their troops with these rifles because they would be sure to lose in battle without full automatic capability. The semiautomatic rifles that you want to ban are perfectly suited for self defense There is an added benefit of the 223 cartridge that is the most common on these rifles. This cartridge has less wall penetration than handgun ammunition and is therefore safer to use with less collateral damage.
What you call high capacity magazines are what I call standard capacity magazine. Modern pistol magazines hold 15 to 20 rounds and typical modern rifle magazines hold 20 to 30 rounds. It is a fact that when the average non combatant is in a self defense situation there shooting accuracy diminishes substantially. This is because the normal adrenaline reaction that all humans encounter in a crisis situation. This means that what you think might be an obvious number of rounds for protection is likely not enough especially in a attack against multiple people as we see occur so often in home invasions. So 10 rounds is likely not enough for self defense. Again the SCOTUS Heller decision makes it very clear that what is in common use for self defense is protected by the 2nd amendment right and the limits you are calling for are unconstitutional.
You say there is trade-off between our rights and a safe society but again this is in error. There is no trade-off. More good people capable of defending themselves makes us safer. Take a look at John Lott’s research. More guns in the hands of good people actually makes us safer; the data is quite clear.
Please do not let your emotions on these issues steer your voting direction. Facts are what are important and the facts are not consistent with your feelings.
Regards, John Jorgensen