April 18, 2013
Honorable Max Baucus (D-Montana)
Honorable Mark Begich (D-Alaska)
Honorable Heidi Heitkamp (D-North Dakota)
Honorable Mark Pryor (D-Arkansas)
Honorable Marco Rubio (R-Florida)
United States Senate,
I am writing to express my disappointment, indeed, my sorrow, that you could not find the courage to support expanded background checks for gun buyers in yesterday’s Senate vote—even though polls show that 90+% of Americans favor them. I fear that you and the forty other senators who voted against this sensible measure to reduce gun violence have paved the way for more mass shootings—more Newtowns, more Auroras, more Tucsons, and more Virginia Techs. Furthermore, I believe that your collective votes have exacerbated the notion that members of Congress are excessively beholden to (and cowed by) the gun industry and its various dependent special interest groups, like the National Rifle Association. How sad that you have allowed the profit-driven and extremist priorities of these entities to trump the cause of public safety.
Please know that although I am a lifelong Democrat, I will henceforth engage with legitimate political action groups—such as Gabrielle Giffords’ Americans for Responsible Solutions, Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s Mayors Against Illegal Guns, and The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence—toward defeating members of Congress (be they Democrat, Republican, or Independent) who, as today’s New York Times editorial so aptly put it, seem to think that:
“…the carnage at Sandy Hook Elementary School is a forgotten tragedy. The toll of 270 Americans who are shot every day is not a problem requiring action. The easy access to guns on the Internet, and the inevitability of the next massacre, is not worth preventing.”
In closing, I can only echo the sentiments of Patricia Maisch, who survived the 2011 mass shooting in Tucson, and shouted her dismay from the gallery after yesterday’s Senate vote; indeed, the outcome of that vote was truly shameful.
Jack A. Urquhart
Mount Dora, Florida
Dear Blog Readers: You can find contact information for your Congressperson here (U.S. Senate) and here (U.S. House of Representatives). If you have not already done so, I urge you to contact your Congresspersons and to share with them your beliefs (whatever they are) on gun violence as a vital issue of public safety.