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Peter D. Rosenstein Headshot

Mr. President Don't Blink or Retreat on Gun Control

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Mr. President we join you in mourning the children and teachers who lost their lives in the senseless shooting in Connecticut. We joined you in mourning after Aurora and after Tucson as well. We still remember well the lives lost at Columbine. But now you must do more than mourn and shed a tear, you must act forcefully and swiftly.

We support your call for change. We join you in saying that the time is now to begin the process of getting guns off our streets and it should start with reinstating the Brady Bill banning assault weapons. One such weapon is the Bushmaster 223 which was used in mowing down the teachers and those 6 and 7 year old beautiful children in Sandy Hook elementary school. It is unconscionable that the gunman's mother legally had this weapon in her home along with other semi-automatic and automatic weapons. We ask that you speak to the nation with a clear voice that there is absolutely no reason for any private citizen to have such firearms. Whether it is the mall shooting in Washington State, or the other senseless acts of gun violence we see every day it is clear the time for action is long overdue.

Mr. President in the short time you gave Vice President Biden to come up with suggested legislation and recommended actions on this issue you must tell the Congress exactly what you want them to do. You must order government agencies to enforce existing laws more aggressively and prosecute people who lie on gun applications. You can and must insist that the data base that is used for background checks is kept up to date and continue the fight for legislation to close the gun show loophole on background checks.

Even if you don't get all the legislation you want you should remind the American people that your requests are not disrespectful of the 2nd amendment of the Constitution. It is clear that Congress can act legally to start keeping certain weapons out of the public's hands. The Supreme Court has said there are reasonable restrictions allowed under the 2nd Amendment and it is time for all those reasonable restrictions to become law.

You should stand up to the National Rifle Association (NRA). They had as their goal in the last election to defeat you. They lost and thankfully you won. It is now time to see that they lose again if they oppose these reasonable actions.

As you have said calling for this legislation and taking executive action are only the first steps. The majority of Americans appear to be ready to join with you and say ENOUGH of this senseless killing! As we continue to shed tears over the loss of these precious children and their heroic teachers our monument to them must be to get these guns off our streets.

As you have said we must also look at dealing with mental illness and helping families with members who are ill. We need to make these services more readily available in schools and communities and even more importantly take away the stigma of using them.

We all recognize that no legislation will stop every tragedy from happening. People against gun control bring up the horrific case in Norway where 77 people were killed in a country with strict gun control. But that is no reason to not have reasonable gun control. The numbers of killings in the United States from accidents when a gun is in the home to easy access for mentally ill people like the Connecticut shooter is more than enough reason to act.

We are a generous and caring people and pledge our allegiance to "One nation under GOD". But there is a certain obscenity when someone like former Governor Mike Huckabee speaks out after this latest incident and says it is caused by us taking GOD out of our schools. What I think of that comment is not printable here. My GOD is everywhere and it isn't his/her job to stop that young man from taking his mother's gun and mowing down 27 people it is ours. Mike Huckabee and those with sentiments like his will share responsibility for future deaths if they prevent legislative action now.

Mr. President we can do this now if you lead the fight. We will join you in pressuring the Congress to act. We can each make a difference if we truly believe that at least weapons of war must be immediately taken off our streets and then move to take other weapons off the streets and out of our homes. The passage of the assault weapons ban is only a start but it will make clear to the NRA that they will not control this debate, we the people will! Swift action is needed NOW Mr. President and we look to you not to blink or retreat.