Dear Mac: Step up on gun violence

Congressman Mac Thornberry:

I’m not one to write “open letters” to public officials, but I’m making an exception with this note. A lot of your supporters read this blog regularly and my sincere hope is that one or more of them will forward it to you.

Congressman, I want to join millions of other Americans who are calling for some action from you and your congressional colleagues on this sickening, maddening and tragic issue of gun violence.

I won’t belabor what you already know about the latest spasm of violence that erupted on Valentine’s Day in Parkland, Fla.

But you’re a big hitter in the U.S. House of Representatives these days. You no longer are a back-bencher. Your high profile as chairman of the Armed Services Committee gives you a louder voice than some chump who’s been in Congress for far less time than you.

Hey, we go back a ways together … you and I. I started my job at the Amarillo Globe-News the same week you took office after your stunning election in 1994. I’ve supported you while working for the Globe-News. I also have opposed you on occasion.

I am acutely aware of the constituency you represent. You are elected to one of the nation’s most reliably Republican congressional districts, even though it’s been redrawn considerably since you took office. Your constituents by and large are big Second Amendment proponents. They don’t much like any idea that monkeys around with the gun amendment.

Surely, though, you must understand that slaughtering school children and their educators is not normal. This is not how a civilized society should behave. Civilized societies should tolerate this carnage. Not for an instant! But, for God’s sake, we do!

Tougher background checks? Yes. End of those “bump stocks” that turn semi-automatic rifles into fully auto killing machines? By all means. How about a ban on assault rifles? Yes, I know many of your constituents are hunters, but who needs an assault rifle to shoot deer, turkeys or feral hogs in the Texas Panhandle?

Just for the record, though, I oppose arming teachers. My thought is this: More guns do not create a safer environment.

Given that you are now a member of the congressional leadership team, I want you to speak out clearly about what you think should be done to prevent recurrences of these tragedy.

I am tired of the canard that “no legislation would prevent” a madman from shooting someone. I will not tolerate a lame notion that there is nothing to be done that doesn’t tear the guts out of the Second Amendment. You can find a solution and you must communicate your ideas to those you represent in the halls of power.

Silence won’t do it for me, congressman. It shouldn’t do it for your other constituents, either.

Seize the moment, Rep. Thornberry.

4 thoughts on “Dear Mac: Step up on gun violence”

  1. WOW Finally a person who advocates the things I am for plus one more. 1 Ban assault rifles 2 Tougher background checks 3 Ban bump stocks and other accessories and 4 Which I hope for is a limit on the size of the magazine and limit them to no more than 10.

    1. I’m unsure of what you are proposing because folks are using the same words to mean different things and different words to mean the same thing.
      On 1: What are the exact features of what you are calling an assault rifle that set it apart from, say, a Marlin 30-30 lever action with a scope attached?
      On 2: What additional features would an appropriate background check have? What safeguards for personal privacy, and screening for false reports would you demand and how would you assure these over time? Background checks are not supported well or at all by a majority of the States. Adding more stuff with out more support is counter productive.
      On 3: “While bump stocks up the ante in terms of firepower, experts told ABC News they sacrifice accuracy.” Also “From a personal experience, it is very difficult to maneuver,” Anthony Cooper, owner of Maryland-based Gun Monkey’s Armory.. In other words, a bump stock makes the shooter run out of ammo sooner, while hitting fewer folks. So, net effect of banning them? More folks are hit.Not that a crook would mind breaking the law to use one.
      On 4: Please note the Constitution’s 2nd amendment was put in to enable individuals to resist a tyrannical government militia (or standing army). How many do they have in their clips?.

Leave a Reply