Ren's Ramblings & Writings

Contemplations on things tangible and intangible

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Letter to editor re: A Whole Lot of People for John Morse (recall attempt in Colorado)

I am a veteran and a gun owner who grew up in a hunting family and, I am terribly embarrassed by the extremism and vendetta pursued by a small but vocal group of gun rights activists.  A former law enforcement officer, to include the Police Chief for the City of Fountain, Sen. John Morse understands the realities of public safety, and has the courage to make tough decisions and to act on those decisions. 
I am a gun owner and want to give recall fanatics something to think about before provoking more hysteria and fear-mongering, under the guise of “protecting” 2nd Amendment rights.  Gun owners have a responsibility to be part of the solution and help write sensible laws. 
‎People generally think “gun control” means an opposition to guns. More accurate is the belief that we should limit the situations in which people can use guns, limit who can access them, and limit the types available to certain people.  For example, should a child should be able to carry a firearm? What about a known mentally handicapped person?  A felon convicted of a violent crime?  If you want to limit the use of guns by people like this then technically, you support “gun control.”

The 2nd Amendment is a CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT, a change to the text of the original written Constitution.  In our case, it was ratified by three fourths of the congress and signed in to law by the president.  Your right to own a fire arm was written when fire arms took almost a minute to load a single round. The whole concept of the amendment process is to grant our government the power to adapt to changing times.  Amendments are NOT written in stone. They can be changed and updated with the times. Thomas Jefferson called the Constitution a "living, breathing" document.  It's time for us to have real discussion about our gun culture and the how the laws manage that culture (or not).
Conservative Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia has stated that there are "undoubtedly" limits to a person's right to bear arms under the Second Amendment,” and this conservative Supreme Court justice authored the Supreme Court's 2008 opinion in District of Columbia v. Heller, which ruled that the 2nd Amendment protects a person's right to bear arms and struck down a D.C. ban on handguns, but also ruled, that "the right secured by the Second Amendment is not unlimited."
Here is more information for the single-issue voters- the special interest groups who are trying to get revenge for votes they simply don’t agree with (which is an abuse of our democratic process):  
·         there are still thousands of guns and accessories for you to buy.
·         You DO NOT speak for the majority of the Coloradans.  Most Colorado voters, which includes gun owners, believe in sensible legislation, to include extensive background checks.
·         Recalls exist so we can remove corrupt legislators from office, NOT because we disagree with a vote.
·         Your irrational beliefs and pursuit of a recall will force all of us to foot the bill for an expensive taxpayer-funded recall election that we cannot afford. It is more important to pay for your personal vendetta than to ensure there is funding for critical programs.
I feel this mindset is truly selfish and is inconsistent with the Constitution that I swore to support and defend while I was in the military. It is time for gun advocates, including my former colleagues and friends, to place the welfare of the country first and take a cue from an Army adage: “selfless service” –support sensible legislation.
We CAN preserve the 2nd Amendment AND keep people safe, if we are smart, responsible, objective, and reasonable.
Rev. Renee L. Ten Eyck

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