Writing to one’s state or U.S. representatives is quite easy, thanks in part to Algore’s internets/tubes, and it is often an important thing to do. They need to know what we’re thinking, whether or not they agree. More importantly, they need to be reminded of their duties in upholding the state and/or U.S. constitution, as they are so prone to (eh-hem) forget. Soon after writing my WA state senators, cc-ing the house, thusly;
Sent: Monday, January 18, 2010 4:29 PM
To: Schoesler, Sen. Mark
Cc: Fagan, Rep. Susan; Schmick, Rep. Joe
Subject: Stop This Nonsense
HOUSE INTERNET E-MAIL DELIVERY SERVICE
SENATE INTERNET E-MAIL DELIVERY SERVICE
TO: Senator Mark Schoesler
CC: Representative Susan Fagan
Representative Joe Schmick
BILL: 6396 (Against)
SUBJECT: Stop This Nonsense
Senate Bill 6396, the “assault weapon” bill is not only an affront to the Washington state and federal constitutions, it cannot possibly do anything to “keep guns out of the hands of criminals”. Criminals by definition don’t obey such laws, and if certain guns are outlawed, criminals will be the only ones using them.
Further, it is well known that the federal “assault weapon ban” of 1994 (expired in 2004) did nothing to reduce or prevent crimes.
This new state bill can only be described as gun owner harassment, and an attack on the very concepts of liberty and self defense.
I point out that the AR-15 style rifle has recently become the most popular rifle platform in the U.S., and it would be outlawed by SB6396. Millions of handguns carried for defense would become illegal under this bill also. Is this how we are to fight crime– by disarming or harassing the potential victims?
I urge you and your colleagues to stop this in its tracks, by any means necessary. Further, I expect you to take decisive action within both the House and Senate against any law-maker who so brazenly attacks our personal liberties. We will be watching.
I received the following response;
From: Schmick, Rep. Joe [mailto:Schmick.Joe@leg.wa.gov]
Sent: Tuesday, January 19, 2010 4:22 PM
Subject: RE: Stop This Nonsense
Thank you for your comments. I have heard an overwhelming objection to this bill from others in the 9th legislative district.
I oppose any gun regulation. I fully support your second amendment rights to bear and keep arms and rest assured, I will vote accordingly.
Good for Joe Schmick. Just one little bone to pick; he makes no mention of going after law makers “who so brazenly attack our personal liberties”. No big surprise there. This is a new concept. Even pro-liberty politicians (or is that an oxymoron?) are accustomed to playing defensive holding actions 99 to 100% of the time. We’ll let that one go for now, though at some point this will have to change. Your team will never make it to the SuperBowl with the greatest defense and no offense. I replied;
Thank you very much for your response. If it helps to convince others who may be on the fence, I invite you to recall that state initiative 676 back in the 1990s, which was a sweeping weapon restriction scheme, failed overall by a margin of about 69 to 31. Washington citizens may be evenly split on some issues, but [this] is certainly not one of them.
No one else responded for about a week. Then came this bit from state rep Susan Fagan (oh boy);
Thank you for contacting me to express your concerns and comments. I appreciate your taking the time and effort to share your views with me.
I am humbled and honored to represent our constituents in the 9th District. As legislators, we have hundreds of issues to consider. We need to be fiscally responsible and work towards stimulating the economy. We also need to help protect our most vulnerable citizens and maintain individual rights and freedoms.
Please know that I am working hard to make the best decisions possible towards responsive and efficient state government. Your input alerts me to issues of major concern and helps me to effectively serve our district.
9th Legislative District
439 John L. O’Brien Building
P.O. Box 40600
Olympia, WA 98504-0600
It’s a form letter, designed as a blanket response, no matter the issue, no matter the position. The only clue in there as to any sort of a position is that the term “individual rights and freedoms” appears. A hard-core communist revolutionary probably wouldn’t say that, but then again a hard-core communist revolutionary is also a chameleon, or a liar, by definition. Not much to go on as part of a universal “I don’t have the time to respond to you directly so here’s some crap for you to chew on. Now go away and don’t bother me” letter. A bit insulting. She could have at least hired a junior high school delinquent to send a form letter addressing this particular issue as part of his public service requirement. Such is life. Very few politicians have the courage to actually say things. No one else responded, but they did get my letter and that must count for something (so I tell myself). If nothing else, the sheer volume can tell them a lot, and volume they have been getting.