Senator Menendez,

Thank you for taking the time to reply to me. I strongly believe that we as Americanís have the right to own, carry and to defend ourselves and family with a firearm. I also agree with you that the goal is to keep these weapons out of the hands of criminals. The issue is that gun legislation does not accomplish this goal, in actuality it has the opposite effect. It keeps weapons out of the hands of legitimate buyers and continues to allow the criminal to illegally obtain these firearms. An all out ban will not have the desired effect either. If you look at the UK as an example, it is impossible to purchase a hand gun and extremely difficult to purchase a long gun. Hand gun violence is currently on the rise in the UK.

There are several things I see that need to occur. The first is the media needs to be more ďfactĒ oriented and less sensational based. If the media was to run a story about a home invasion, and the home owner used a firearm the news cast would go something like this. A man was shot while attempting to rob a home today. Then the story would go into the gun, the bullets, the home owner all in an attempt to move the viewers to almost feel bad for the thief and rage against the home owner for defending himself / family with a weapon. The news media needs to brought back on track and report facts, not opinions, not to have an agenda. When was the last time the media ran a story discussing that more lives are saved by a weapon then taken? Although radical, here is an interesting experiment. Have the media stop running any stories about automobiles including traffic reports and accidents. Then start only reporting on accidents, eventually tossing the idea out that we should not be allowed to own autos and that we must use mass transit, autos are dangerous and causing deaths throughout the country. I would bet that you could persuade some people that this is a good idea.

Next our leaders need to stand up and say we do have the rights to own firearms (hand guns and long guns), we do have the rights to carry them anywhere in the U.S., we do have the rights to defend ourselves and love ones.

Finally all the energy being focused on gun legislation needs to be redirect at our criminal justice system. Keep the criminals in jail, stop releasing them. If you are caught using a weapon as an offensive weapon life in prison.

How much of our history could have had a different outcome if people did own weapons, did carry them, did protect their love ones. Could the Minnesota Mall shooting have turned out differently? If a teacher at Columbine would have been armed, would that have turned out differently? What about 9/11? If a single passenger had been armed on those planes, could 3000 lives have been saved?

We won our freedom from the British because our citizens were armed, now the government created by these citizens is attempting to unarm us.

A firearm is a tool, it is not the problem. Take one tool a way, the criminal will find or make another tool to suit their needs. Fix the problem, not the tool.

--
Rich

Www.milchman.us



From: Senator Robert Menendez <Senator_Menendez@menendez.senate.gov>
Date: Wed, 18 Mar 2009 1754 -0400
To: Rich Milchman <rich@milchman.us>
Subject: Re: From Senator Menendez's Website


<http://menendez.senate.gov>
Dear Mr. Milchman: Thank you for contacting me to express your support regarding the S. 160, the "D.C. Voting Rights Act of 2009" and your support of the Ensign Amendment to repeal the gun ban in the District of Columbia. Your opinion is very important to me, and I appreciate the opportunity to respond to you on this vital issue. You will be pleased to know that I voted, along with 60 other colleagues, for this legislation. The D.C. Voting Rights bill will provide the District of Columbia a voting seat and the State of Utah an additional seat in the House of Representatives and would rectify an injustice that has existed for far too long by providing all Americans representation in Congress. Our country was founded on the precept that the power of government is derived from the people it governs. Even before our nation was founded, American colonists were outraged that they were taxed without representation, culminating in the famous Boston Tea Party of 1773. Yet today, hundreds of thousands of Americans, in our nation's capitol of all places, are denied some of the basic rights we declared independence and fought a war over. This is simply unacceptable and cannot stand. When considering the Ensign Amendment, we are faced with an issue that has two sides with both pros and cons. As your Senator, I strongly defend the rights of citizens to use firearms responsibly for recreational purposes or protection of one's home and family. At the same time, I vigorously support efforts to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and gangs that wish to use them against society. In order to ensure the safety of our communities, we must prevent criminals from purchasing firearms. The ability to separate criminals from law abiding citizens would not only keep our streets safer, it would also ensure that we can protect the rights of responsible, legal gun owners, while vigorously pursuing those who commit violent crimes. It is each state's individual responsibility to decide how this safety can be protected while respecting second amendment rights. For this reason, the District of Columbia must decide how they wish to uphold these values. Please rest assured, I will continue to advocate on behalf of voting rights for all Americans, as well as the residents of the District of Columbia. Again, thank you for sharing your thoughts with me. I appreciate your support. Please do not hesitate to contact me if I may be of more assistance. I invite you to visit my website (Senator Robert Menendez | Standing Up for New Jersey Families <http://menendez.senate.gov> ) to learn of other issues of importance to New Jersey.