15 January 2013

Form letter to all Oregon law makers and their responses

There have recently been a few shootings in well populated areas. These shootings have given rise to activists trying to destroy the constitution and demonize law abiding citizens. They want to strip the rights of innocent people that have followed the law.

Recently, I ran across a form letter with links to send it to Oregon lawmakers. Of course, now I can't find the link. I decided to send it to all of them.

The letter reads:

“Subject: Gun free schools? How about a gun free capitol?


Since the murders in Sandy Hook there has been a rush to enact new restrictions on law abiding gun owners. When Representative Dennis Richardson suggested allowing school employees (who we trust with our children) to have the tools to protect those children, he was ridiculed. One legislator called his plan "goofy," another said he did not think "adding guns to the equation" was the answer. If you agree with that assessment can you tell me when you plan to introduce legislation to remove the many armed men who protect you at the Capitol? Or are politicians more important than children? I look forward to your response. “

The responses started coming in rapidly. Interns must have gotten their new laptops and phones recently. Below are the responses I have received so far. Most I am happy to read, a few are from elected officials that need to be removed from office for failure to defend the constitution. I'll post more as they come in.

·        Thank you for your email and thoughts regarding possible upcoming gun legislation. I oppose any further restriction on possession of firearms and actually oppose many of those already in place, both at the State and Federal levels.

Best regards,

Sen. Doug Whitsett

·        Are you in my District?  If you are then you should know we’ve had law enforcement officers in many of our District’s schools exactly like Rep Richardson suggested.  Some of those funded by federal grants.  The Academy’s position is an active shooter will either flee or commit suicide upon sighting the first armed opposition.  If that means arming a teacher or other administrator if the District or LEA cannot afford an officer in the school then so be it.  Many States are moving this direction.

Sen. Brian J. Boquist

·        Nick,  I support our Second Amendments rights.

Rep. Bill Kennemer

·        Good Nick. Thank you for taking the time to write Rep. Roblan such a thoughtful email in response to the recent massacre of 26 people in a Connecticut school and responses relating to Rep. Richardson’s suggestions to said massacre.

Rep. Roblan agrees that Sandy Hook has led to a rush of judgment on both sides.  In recent days, the facts have revealed that the Connecticut shooter had no prior criminal record, was an honor student who stole the guns from a collector – his mother and was medicating with antipsychotic drug for his severe mental psychosis.  This is also true with regards to the shooters of the last several high profile shootings around the country. 

In the spirit of Bipartisanship – a model of co-governance that marked our historical last two sessions (Roblan/Hanna) - Senate-elect Roblan hopes to work closely with Rep. Richardson to find that nexus where legislators on both sides of the aisle can work together to find sensible solutions to keep our communities safe.

As for the questions you raised below, they are predicated on agreeing with an assessment that is related solely to stricter gun laws, but avoid the tougher questions relating to the mental health system and improved access to drug treatment programs.

Again Nick, thank you for your thoughtful email.  I will print a copy for Rep. Roblan’s review.  I’m sure you understand that  the issue of gun violence/regulation is a complex one, not easily resolved via email.

Rosie Shatkin
Legislative Policy Advisor
Sen. Elect Arne Roblan SD 5
(Coos, Newport, Tillamook)

·        Thank you for your email. 

I am opposed to any new restrictions on law abiding gun owners.  As both a retired cop w/ 31 years in law enforcement and a Democrat, I frequently remind my legislative colleagues that law abiding gun owners pose no threat to public safety.  I have opposed, and will continue to oppose, efforts to ban CHL holders from K-12 and higher educational campus, so called "assault weapon" bans, and any other unecessary restrictions on Oregonians' 2nd Amendment rights.


Rep. Jeff Barker

·        Thank you for taking the time to write Rep. Hanna with your concerns.  Much of the conversation around gun laws, post Sandy Hook, is among people who have never learned how to safely and properly handle a gun, let alone shoot one.  It’s unfortunate that so many of these folks rush to conclude that guns must be banned or otherwise restricted in order to achieve a safe environment for the public.  That’s akin to banning forks because of the obesity epidemic.

Rep. Hanna is both a responsible gun owner and an active support of our Constitutional rights to bear arms.  He does not plan to introduce or support any legislation that would restrict these rights for law-abiding citizens.


Ruth Miles, Legislative Assistant

Representative Bruce Hanna, 7th District

·        I have not and will not support any legislation that further erodes our God given, and Constitutionally guaranteed rights and freedoms.

I will be working with Rep. Richardson during the coming months to present a balanced, common sense approach to school safety.  I, like Rep. Richardson believe every Oregon school has employees who are ex-police and ex-military that already have some training and would volunteer for regular/continued training to be a  school protector.   Or, possibly retired police officers that would like to do some volunteer work or work part time for a small amount of money to patrol a school.  We believe these are possible options for consideration.   Additionally, we realize that we need to consider other factors like mental health, and access to weapons by mentally unstable people.

I recently talked to the chief law enforcement officer in one community that is developing a plan with business people and employees within a two block area of the local school to be trained and act as school protectors.  We can figure out how to keep our kids safer at school, and do it safely and cost effectively without banning guns and stripping law abiding citizens of their Constitutional rights.

The Clackamas Town Center incident shows the power of one trained citizen with a CHL.  Certainly, any plan needs to be well thought out but I believe we can develop a plan that allows local school districts and communities to keep their kids safe without the foolish thinking of disarming citizens.


Rep. John Huffman

·        Whoa!!  Perhaps a little research would prove beneficial before you fire off a letter like this-do your homework. Not only do I support Rep Richardson I fully and whole heartedly agree with his Concept.

Once you've done a little research you will likely find that I am a lifetime member of the NRA, co chairman of the oregon sportsman caucus and serve on the executive council for the National Legislative sportsman caucus.

Needless to say I fully support the second amendment and will defend it with my life-so what exactly was your concern.

Rep. Esquivel

·        Thanks for writing regarding gun violence at Sandy Hook Elementary School. It is a tragic loss. I agree that we must be careful not to overreact and pass restrictive laws that will not solve the problem. I have read that Maricopa County in Arizona has enlisted volunteer deputes to guard schools as unpaid “posse” members. I have also heard of a school district in Texas that armed and trained teachers who voluntarily offer to guard their schools. These are promising moves, I believe. As a gun owner, I too value my Second Amendment rights and I will be careful to guard them.


Sen. Betsy Close

·        Thank you for your email about gun free schools.  I believe that individuals should have the right to purchase certain types of firearms for self defense.  I also believe that carry concealed permits should be an option for some people.  However, I do not agree that allowing school employees to bring concealed weapons to school is an effective deterrent against school shootings. 

The biggest problem I have with this plan has to do with how teachers store their firearms once they bring them to school.  If teachers choose to lock up their firearms in order to keep them away from their students, these weapons lose much of their value as a tool for protection.  However, if teachers do not keep their weapons under lock and key, they may be an effective deterrent but there is a danger that students will be able to access them.
Once again, thank you for your email.  Though we may disagree on this issue, please do not hesitate to contact me again with your ideas or concerns.
My best,
Sen. Elizabeth Steiner Hayward MD