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Don’t Assume You’re Safe

Plenty of gun owners haven’t contacted their lawmakers because they believe they are nice, safe red states. Well, my mom called yesterday and wanted to read me the letter she got from her red state lawmaker – Senator Bob Corker – that just, well, didn’t seem very convincing to her. It seemed weak to her, and I tended to agree. We laughed at the fact that whoever put the letter together – assuming it was an intern – didn’t actually put all of the promised material in the letter. The problem is that the promised material was supposedly a list of ways that Bob Corker has defended the Second Amendment. As my mom put it, “Does that mean he doesn’t actually have any record to defend?”

Interestingly, a commenter was also left with the same empty feeling from this otherwise A rated Senator:

Bob Corker’s letter was very disappointing. It was an overt form letter that could have easily been sent as a response to either a pro-gun or anti-gun letter. And it referenced an enclosure regarding the Second Amendment that it did not include. Its only saving grace was that it states support for the ownership of firearms for self-protection, without offering specifics.

Personally, I would suggest calling either the local district office or the DC office and letting Senator Corker’s staff know that you’re unhappy with the response because it does nothing to indicate he actually plans to stand up for gun owners, and they don’t even care about the issue enough to read their own letter or include the materials promised. Basically, let him know that you’re really not thrilled with this unprofessional and rather unsettling response.

This post isn’t just about Bob Corker’s fairly loathsome response to his constituents. It’s a reminder that you can’t assume you’re safe just because you’re in a red state. Keep up the pressure if you haven’t written, and make sure that any unsatisfactory responses from the lawmakers are returned with another polite contact letting them know how disappointed you are.

Here in Pennsylvania, we’re dealing with a bit of the opposite. People are saying they don’t feel like they need to contact Sen. Bob Casey because he already came out in favor of a gun ban. They don’t see any reason to bother anymore. I say they need to contact him precisely because of his sudden change in position on gun rights. If lawmakers in a position like Casey’s are bombarded with pro-gun letters, emails, faxes, and phone calls, then we could easily kill his enthusiasm for his new position. There’s a big difference between a position that a Senator will carry water for the gun ban issue in a state like Pennsylvania and having him go to the leadership and say they have his vote, but he’s not willing to make this a priority issue or do any heavy lifting for them. I don’t know for sure that he’s willing to back off from his support, but I do know that silence sends the message to him that he can campaign on hating guns all day and night for the next six years and gun owners won’t lift a finger to stop him. (For what it’s worth, Bob Casey’s staff is even more incompetent on constituent service than Bob Corker’s office appears to be.)

18 Responses to “Don’t Assume You’re Safe”

  1. Andy B. says:

    “Bob Casey. . . I say they need to contact him precisely because of his sudden change in position on gun rights.”

    Minor semantic quibble: Casey hasn’t changed his position; he has only changed what he is saying public.

    Toomey is another, possibly more extreme example, because more people believe he is pro-gun. You have probably seen the replies he is sending out. They may have been written by the same staffer that wrote the letter your mom got.

    • Bitter says:

      I have read the reply that I received from Toomey because I’ve actually written to the man. However, it is nothing at all like Corker’s letter. Corker’s letter is by far weaker with any sort of defense for gun owners.

  2. beatbox says:

    This doesn’t bother me that much. They are politicians. Their goal is to be as many things to as many of their constituents as possible. That is how you are elected and re-elected.

    just as long as they vote “correctly”

    • Bitter says:

      That is very true. But I think the issue is that Corker’s letter left even my not overly political mom wondering if he’ll vote the right way. A standard form letter that doesn’t really say much is the norm when it comes to politics, but it set off alarm bells for some – clearly.

  3. Andrew says:

    Ruger’s form letter generator now has a “responses” section where they catalog all of the responses they’ve gotten from elected officials. It puts them all on an enduring record so that they can’t recant easily next cycle, if nothing else.

    I’d urge everyone here to post up.

  4. aerodawg says:

    I always put in my communication “make sure your fellow senators/representatives understand that even though I am not one of their constituents, that I will take every legal action in my power to see them unseated next election should they vote against my interests.”

    We need to get the message out that whether we’re in their district or not, we’re coming for them should they cross us…

  5. Bryan S. says:

    Toomey’s letter to me (and everyone else) was somewhat weak… I would have preferred a stronger stance.

  6. James says:

    Corker was our mayor here in Chattanooga in the early 2000’s. He touts the GOP party line, but he is a statist and a big government supporter; he would sell his (and your) soul out if it benefits him with power or money. In other words, he’s a politician.

    I hold the same view for Lamar Alexander.

    Keep your eye on both of them; they are not 2A absolutists in any regard. They’ll compromise your rights away so fast, your eyeballs will spin.

    • Bitter says:

      You may view Alexander as such a squish, but the commenter I linked above actually says that his response to constituents is much friendlier to gun owners. He noted that it surprised him since he’s known more as the moderate, but it’s not surprising given the political history of the two men. Corker doesn’t have a background dealing with lots of gun owners as grassroots forces. Alexander does according to his Wikipedia profile.

      Unless you have a different view of the two letters? At least, I am assuming you’ve heard back from your lawmakers by now.

  7. Matt R. says:

    Sent a physical letter to Debbie Stabenow and Carl Levin of Michigan, two anti-gun senators. We’ll see what happens with that.

    –Matt R.

  8. Right Wing Wacko says:

    While I sent a letter to both of my Senators, I have no hope they will do the right thing. Even though it’s hopeless, it’s worth a mail.

    Patty “Bagdad” Murry and Maria Cant(vote)well

    I will also be sending mail to my congress critter, but He’s one of those that pretends to be pro-2A but only when it’s convenient.

  9. Andy B. says:

    Here is Toomey’s reply to me. I have bolded phrases I felt were significant:

    “Thank you for contacting me about gun control. I appreciate hearing from you.

    “As you may know, January l0,2CJt3, President Obama announceo a variety of gun policy measures in response to the Newtown, CT killings. I therefore value knowing your views on this
    important issue, which is important to me as I carefully review the President’s proposals. Like many Pennsylvanians, I believe that Second Amendment rights are important and must be protected, but there may be areas of agreement with the White House that can be addressed to improve public safety. I also believe that people who use guns in an illegal manner or harm others with them should be punished to the fullest extent of the law.

    “That said, we have consistently observed that mass killings are the result of serious mental illness. We therefore need to better protect ourselves from mentally ill individuals who seek to carry out such atrocities, including improved background checks. We also need to review and improve how we take care of the mentally ill. As I continue working with my Senate colleagues on both sides of the aisle on public safety, please be assured that I will keep your views about firearms in mind.

    “Thank you again for your correspondence. Please do not hesitate to contact me in the future if I can be of assistance.”

    I do not find it encouraging that our rock-ribbed Republican senator finds merit in [unspecified] proposals by the president, or, that he has already stated his support for expanded background checks.

  10. SPQR says:

    You have to write them all letters. Sure, it feels futile but its necessary.

    Even the politicians obviously not on our side need to have some heat applied to at least slow down their enthusiasm for the more outrageous legislation like New York’s.

  11. TigerStripe says:

    I received a somewhat similar weak letter from my Senator, John Cornyn – TX. I get his newsletter every week any he never addresses gun rights in it. We need to contact all of our representatives in whatever level of government they “serve”.

    TS

  12. wasntme says:

    I wrote Udall, Bennet and Lamborn from Colorado.

    I got a letter back from Lamborn, probably a form letter but it was a good one and at least it addressed what I wrote. He’s Pro Constitution.

    Bennet sent a form letter referencing Frankenstein’s proposal that made me think they didn’t even read my letter. I wrote a letter back stating that I already knew Frankenstein’s position on the matter, that I wanted to know his position, and the letter he sent didn’t address any of the concerns I had. I got another form letter back from him that didn’t answer any of my questions, again. He’s Anti-Constitution.

    Udall never responded. I guess I don’t qualify for any of his staff’s time. Evidently he’s afraid to state his position so I will for him until he grows a pair. He’s Anti-Constitution.

    • Andy B. says:

      Having written to both of PA’s U.S. Senators; my rep. in congress; my state senator and state rep.; and the governor, several weeks ago, I have received a reply only from U.S. Senator Toomey. Maybe I should give him points for that.

  13. Jeff S. says:

    I wrote to Corker and Alexander. Corker’s reply was a disappointment, Alexander’s only slightly better. I don’t trust either of them as they both voted to confirm Eric Holder.

  14. Zermoid says:

    I sent Emails to all my representatives, state and federal, Monday, so far all I’ve gotten back is ONE automated response that they will respond to me shortly……..

    It’s now Thursday…….

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Safe Red States « My Constructed Reality - [...] Bitter says, “Plenty of gun owners haven’t contacted their lawmakers because they believe they are nice, safe red states.” …
  2. SayUncle » Corker on guns - [...] Don’t assume you’re safe. I’ve seen his canned letter a few times. It’s nothing earth-shatteringly in support of gun …
  3. Rep. Scott DesJarlais Response to Gun Control Efforts | Guns, Cars, and Tech - [...] Compare that response to what people are getting from Senator Bob Corker. [...]
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