January 30, 2013
Dear Rock and Glock,
Thank you for contacting me about proposed gun regulations. I appreciate hearing from you.
First and foremost, no words can adequately describe the tragedy that occurred in Connecticut. With the loss of so many innocent lives, especially the young children, our prayers should continue to go out to the families and the community around them. While a political discussion of what we in Congress can do to prevent future tragedies is inevitable, I hope these discussions will not overshadow the memory of those who lost their life that day.
As a Member of Congress I will honor my oath to "support and defend the Constitution of the United States." Since being ratified on December 15, 1791, the Bill of Rights has been one of the core pillars of our Constitution. The rights enshrined to the people there have been a beacon to the world. The 2nd Amendment states, "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed." In 2008 the historic Supreme Court case of D.C. vs Heller reaffirmed this amendment as a protection for individuals of the right to bear arms. There is no clause in the Second Amendment qualifying or limiting this right.
As the 113th Congress begins there will be extensive discussion in the months ahead concerning what, if any, changes to our gun laws or other laws are needed following the tragic events in Connecticut. I take seriously the need to safeguard the Constitutional right to bear arms. I believe that responsible gun owners should not be punished for the actions of one deranged person. I am concerned that in a rush to do something, there may be an overreaction. I think we need to take a thoughtful approach and look at all of the facts in order to avoid any unintended consequences.
As we review the facts and study this issue I hope we also review the effectiveness of current efforts to control gun use. The shooter in Connecticut, a state with some of the most stringent gun control laws in the nation, stole the guns from his mother after brutally murdering her. He illegally carried the guns into a "gun-free" zone because he knew there would be no one to stop him. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, a majority of guns used by criminals are stolen, bought on the black market, or obtained in other illegal ways. Most, if not all, of the laws being proposed by gun control advocates would not have made any difference in Connecticut.
Lastly, President Obama and Vice President Biden have both indicted they will be using executive orders to pursue gun control. Unfortunately too often this administration has used this tactic to go around Congress to achieve its agenda. This flies in the face of the design of our Founding Fathers when they established the Constitution with three co-equal branches with checks and balances. Although the President can direct various executive agencies how to do their business, the Constitution does not allow the President to make law through executive order. If President Obama wants changes to our gun laws he must bring these changes to Congress so we can have an open, honest, and transparent debate. Anything other than this is totally unacceptable.
As we as a nation continue to heal from this tragedy I hope we also look within our families, churches, and cultural institutions--for answers. Thank you once again for providing me with your concerns. For more information about my efforts on behalf of Colorado and to receive periodic congressional updates, please visit my website at Lamborn.house.gov/.
Member of Congress