This is the letter I sent to my congressman, Michael Grimm, a Republican. It's a bit of an unfortunate reminder that for the first time in my life I'm represented in Congress by a Republican thanks to redistricting. Before this, I was represented by Rep. Jerrold Nadler, a good liberal Democrat.
Dear Congressman Grimm,
I write to urge you to support the common sense proposals put forth today by President Obama. They are measures designed to curb gun violence without infringing upon the constitutional rights of law-abiding gun owners. Each and every one of us has the right to safe streets, safe schools, safe workplaces and safe public areas.
The weapons that President Obama seeks to have banned are in no way related to self-defense or hunting or any other legal and legitimate purpose. Such military-style assault weapons are designed solely for the purpose of killing and injuring other human beings. There is no reason such weapons should be legal. Similarly, high-capacity magazines are designed to fuel those weapons and make it easier to kill people. As with the weapons, there is no reason such magazines should be legal.
As for universal background checks and registration, I cannot imagine any logical reasons to oppose them. We require a similar system, including licensing, when it comes to automobiles to demonstrate proficiency and safety. Why should guns be any different?
I ask you to put the safety of your constituents, along with those of all Americans, first. That is more important than receiving a high rating from the NRA and other organizations in the gun lobby. Enough people have died over the years because their extreme points of view have too long held sway over too many of our elected officials despite the majority of Americans support common sense gun laws. Please let them know that enough is enough.