Letter from Senator Jay Rockefeller May 30, 2013

Dear Mr. Hill,

Knowing of your interest in issues related to the Second Amendment and gun safety, I wanted to be in touch to update you on recent action in the Senate.

Making sure our children, families, and communities are safe from harm has always been one of my top priorities. The unspeakable crimes in places like Blacksburg, Newtown, Aurora, and Tucson have served to remind us of the terrible fact that American families lose loved ones every day as a result of gun violence.

Over the last several months, parents, educators, police officers, hunters, and elected leaders have worked hard to find common ground and come up with new solutions to solve the very real problem of gun violence. Too many lives have been taken from us too soon, and I believe strongly that we can do more to keep everyone safe while also protecting the important Second Amendment rights and traditions valued by West Virginians.

I believe we should consider ideas that have worked in the past as well as new ideas. I have been disappointed that some of my colleagues have not kept an open mind about solutions, but I’m hopeful that we still might be able to have honest conversations about next steps.

We should tackle all important aspects of gun violence – expanding mental health services, studying the impact of violent media on children, aggressively going after gun traffickers, reinstating previous laws on assault weapons and high capacity magazines, and closing the loopholes that exist today in the background check process.

Two of those issues that I have long supported are better mental health support services in our communities and a better understanding of the impact of violent images on our youth. I have introduced bills on both of these issues this year.

Another measure that I have supported in the past and think we should reinstate today, is the law that was in effect in from 1994 to 2004 that prohibited new purchases of a limited number of assault weapons and high capacity magazines. It’s important to note that when the prohibition was in place no one had to give up any of the guns they owned, no gun owners were placed on any government registries, and thousands of guns were exempted.

Finally, the loopholes that exist in today’s background checks are something I believe we need to work together to address. Right now there are too many ways for violent criminals and the mentally ill to buy guns, especially at gun shows – and we have to fix that. This wouldn’t result in any type of registry. It would simply mean that those who want to harm others couldn’t avoid background checks by going to gun shows.

Thank you for sharing your views with me on these critical issues. I want you to know that I work hard every day to protect West Virginians’ rights, safety, and well being.

I wish you the very best.

With Warm Regards,

Jay Rockefeller

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My Reply</strong

Senator Rockefeller,

I appreciate your attempts at a worthwhile cause but to add another burden to the
persons responsible for upholding and enforcing the law is not the answer. The only true
way to help is to enforce existing laws and leave the law abiding citizens alone.

It is a fact not acknowledged by any politician known to me, that the strictest gun laws and bans do nothing to stop crime and violence by gangs, thugs, and terrorist.

F. L. Hill

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