Dear Congressman Barber,
I urge you to reconsider your plans to infringe on our Second Amendment rights. Your statement in the December 18, 2012 Arizona Daily Star regarding restricting access to “weapons that can fire many rounds in a short period” is chilling. This includes virtually every weapon made other than single shot weapons. Lee Harvey Oswald showed that even a bolt-action rifle meets your definition.
Like you, I grieve for the loss of innocent lives at Sandy Hook and elsewhere. Senseless killing by any means is cause for sorrow. And I respect the fact that you, especially, have every right to feel passionately about this issue. But I urge you not act on your feelings. Instead, act on your reasoned assessment of the situation. Do you really think that restricting the access of law-abiding citizens to firearms will prevent future tragedies such as this one?
I offer one idea as food for thought: imagine one or more of your party were armed when Jared Loughner opened fire. Don’t you think the carnage would have been less than with all of his victims disarmed and defenseless? Likewise, if some of the faculty and staff at Sandy Hook Elementary were armed. The brave teachers who placed themselves between the madman and the kids were all mercilessly shot down, who then went on to shoot more innocents. What if instead the teachers had been armed? There are many recorded instances when armed citizens prevent mass shootings. Isn’t this option at least worth a look?
The Second Amendment was written by people who had just fought a revolution against a tyrannical government. It was not written to protect hunting or target practice, but to protect freedom and liberty. As this is written Syria’s government is killing its own citizens by the tens of thousands. In his book Death by Government author D.J. Rummel chronicles the murdering of more than 169 million citizens by their own governments between 1900 and 1987, and he didn’t count any instances where fewer than 1 million citizens were killed. While incidents of individual acts of mass murder are deplorable, nothing can compare to the horror wrought by governments on their own hapless, helpless and disarmed citizenry.