Tuesday, August 19, 2008

A Letter From Senator Hutchison

On June 20th I wrote Senator Hutchison an email. I can't remember if I followed this email up with a fax, I do not believe that I did.

Today I got a response:

Dear Mr. *JR*:

Thank you for contacting me regarding gun control in the District of Columbia. I welcome your thoughts and comments on this issue.

The District of Columbia -- through the Firearms Control Regulations Act of 1975 -- instituted some of the most restrictive gun control laws in the nation, denying residents their fundamental and constitutional right to own a firearm for defense of self and family. While the Mayor and the D.C. Council have the authority to pass laws that regulate the sale of handguns, they do not have the authority to pass laws that undermine the Constitution. Prior to the gun ban's implementation, the murder rate in the District was in decline. Following the ban, the murder rate began to rise and had tripled by 1991, while violent crime decreased nationally.

In order to correct this inequity and injustice under the law, I introduced S. 1001, the District of Columbia Personal Protection Act, to repeal the District's existing handgun ban and to restore District residents' constitutionally guaranteed right to protect themselves. My legislation garnered the support of 46 cosponsors in the Senate.

On March 18, 2008, the U.S. Supreme Court heard an appeal from the District of Columbia in the case District of Columbia v. Heller. On June 26, 2008, the Supreme Court affirmed the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals's decision that the District's gun ban was unconstitutional. I submitted an amicus brief to the Court in support of the D.C. Circuit Court's decision, and was joined by 55 Senators, 250 House members, and the Vice President of the United States. The Court's decision to strike down D.C. law will likely have broad ramifications for other gun control laws across the country.

Rather than usurping the rights of law-abiding citizens, I believe that we should vigorously prosecute those who use guns to commit crimes. I have worked to enact federal anti-crime legislation to impose tough minimum sentences on those convicted of using firearms to commit crimes, to prevent early parole for violent criminals, and to provide federal funds to build new prisons and fund local law enforcement. I am pleased that the recent Supreme Court decision upholds the individual right to keep and bear arms, and I will continue to support legislation that fights crime while upholding our Second Amendment rights.

I appreciate hearing from you and hope you will not hesitate to keep in touch on any issue of concern to you.

Kay Bailey Hutchison
United States Senator

284 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
202-224-5922 (tel)
202-224-0776 (fax)
Very nice letter Senator, and I do appreciate your support of gun rights in Washington DC and much of the work you have done in support of your constituents. The only problem is that this form letter does not address my issues.

The letter I sent:

Senator Hutchison;

Towards the end of your presentation at the Heritage Foundation on DC v Heller and the Congressional Amicus Brief that you sponsored, you were asked about your views of an Assault Weapons Ban.

You stated:

"I support the Assault Weapons Ban and I think that has been clarified just as shouting fire in a crowded theatre clarifies the right of free speech..."

There are currently two proposed Assault Weapons Bans in the House of Representatives. HR 1022 and HR 6257. HR 6257 was introduced by Congressman Mark Kirk, a Republican from IL. HR 6257 is pretty much identical to the Assault Weapons Ban that expired in 2004.

If either one of these bills were to make it out of the House, would you give it your support in the Senate? I would appreciate a fairly in depth explanation as to why or why not.

As always. Thank you very much for your time.
Ma'am, you need to train your staff about paying a bit more attention to your incoming mail before sending out these form letters.

I am still very interested in your answer to my inquiry and would appreciate an answer. I know you are busy and that your office is flooded with mail. I understand that there is talk of you being McCain's choice for VP, and that you may be interested in running for Governor of Texas. I feel that your answer to this question would go a long way towards garnering support for either one of these endeavors.

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