I got this lengthy response from my rep, Bob Gibbs OH-7, regarding gun control. While he doesn't claim to speak for his entire party, he is a hack, and I assume not alone in his opinions. (By the way, nice guy--total moron.)
Is he persuasive? Completely wrong? Please analyze.
Thank you for contacting my office regarding gun control legislation. As your representative in Congress, I appreciate your input on this important issue.
On December 14, 2012 our nation experienced an unspeakable tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut. A gunman stormed Sandy Hook Elementary School and murdered 20 young children and six adult staff members. My thoughts and prayers continue to go out to the victims and families of those affected. As a father myself, I cannot begin to imagine the pain these families are experiencing.
In response, the President and some members of Congress have called for stricter gun control legislation. On January 16, 2013 the President announced a series of executive actions and legislative proposals stemmed from a task force headed by the Vice President to curb gun violence. These executive actions, 23 in total, ranged from increased police data sharing, further studies on the causes of gun violence, and the nomination of a director to the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms.
While there is no constitutional or statutory language defining an executive order, if based on the appropriate authority, they have the force and effect of law, unless overturned by the courts or Congress. While I remain concerned about the executive overreach of this Administration, some of these actions like increasing police data sharing make sense and should have been done long ago.
However, the President's legislative proposals are what concern me the most. These include reinstating and expanding the assault weapons ban, limiting ammunition magazines to ten rounds, and requiring criminal background checks for all gun sales. These legislative proposals were vague (definition of a semi-automatic assault weapon) and included no plans on how to implement or enforce them (background checks for private sales between family members and friends).
While I agree with the President that we must identify ways to ensure that our children are safe and protected from those who wish to do them harm, I do not believe that infringing the constitutional rights of law-abiding gun owners is the way to achieve that goal. People choose to own firearms for a variety of reasons and many new gun laws end up adding burdens to law abiding citizens with no impact on criminal activity. We need to better enforce our current laws and work to ensure individuals with mental illnesses and criminals cannot get their hands on firearms.
It is important to note two major federal laws already regulate the commerce and possession of firearms: the National Firearms Act (NFA) of 1934 and the Gun Control Act (GCA) of 1968. The NFA most notably bans fully-automatic machine guns and the GCA regulates the firearms industry and firearms owners by requiring background checks and licensing for gun dealers.
As a member of Congress, I took an oath to support the Constitution. The Second Amendment clearly states "the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed." This is why I have serious concerns these proposed bills would impede the right of lawful gun owners and do nothing to keep guns off the black market or out of criminals' hands. That being said, I will closely examine any new gun legislation and be sure to keep your thoughts in mind.
Again, thank you for contacting my office. Please continue to keep me informed on the issues that are important to you. For more information on my work in Congress, or to sign up to receive my e-newsletter, please visit the 7th District's website at: http://gibbs.house.gov.