Friday, December 21, 2012

Response to My Letter on Gun Law Reform from Washington State US Senator Patty Murray

United States Senator Patty Murray has responded to my letter urging the US to adopt Australia's gun laws :

"Thank you for writing me regarding the tragic shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.  It was good to hear from you.
As a mother, grandmother, and former preschool teacher I was shocked by the tragedy that unfolded in Newtown.  My thoughts and prayers go out to the families and loved ones of the victims whose loss is difficult to comprehend.  

Unfortunately, this horrific tragedy was another in a long line of gun violence episodes that have ranged from places like Columbine, Virginia Tech, and Aurora to coffee shops in Lakewood to the corner of South Byron Street and McClintock Ave South in Seattle.  These episodes have plagued our cities, our schools, and our shared sense of security.  This cannot go on.  As a society we need to come together to begin a real conversation on all the factors contributing to those horrific instances of gun violence, but we also need to take specific action to bolster our current gun safety laws.
There is no question that we can and should limit access to the assault style weapons of war that are on our streets and that are too often being used to kill innocent people indiscriminately. I have repeatedly voted for an assault weapons ban and will do so again as soon as we can get a bill to the Senate floor. 
But preventing tragedies like the one in Newtown will take more than just common-sense gun policies and enforcement. It will also take a renewed commitment to understanding and dealing with the root causes that lead isolated individuals to carry out these atrocities.  At this moment, everything needs to be on the table for scrutiny. 
Our nation is at a crossroads moment, and we must take the path that protects future generations from re-living these gun violence tragedies over and over again.  It will take the courage of people with opposing views but a common purpose sitting down with one another and agreeing that the status quo is unacceptable.
Please be assured I will keep your views in mind as I work with my colleagues and please feel free to share with me your ideas on how to address this crisis. Thank you for contacting me, and please do not hesitate to contact me again".

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