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"...what have we got—a Republic or a Monarchy?” “A Republic, if you can keep it

I have been listening to the finger pointing concerning the school shooting in Florida. Just as certain as the Sun rising in the East, I am bombarded with so many blaming the weapon. That is a completely wrong conclusion. The problem is the person and not the weapon.

I am learning that the FBI and local police had multiple reports on the shooter prior to the shooting. None did anything to prevent the shooting. I want to know why? This was a very troubled person. So many people saw the potential for this to happen. His classmates had commented that he would do this. We ended up “See something, Say something, Authorities do NOTHING!” People did their part, but those that could take legal action completely failed us. I want answers!

There is a stronger connection to these shooting than the weapon, it is psychotropic drugs. How many of these shooters on taking these medications? Is this an extremely dangerous side effect of some of these medications? This must be seriously looked into.

I am very upset when I heard talking heads calling the AR-15 an assault weapon. That is nothing short of a bold faced lie. The AR-15 is nothing more than a .223 semi-automatic sporting rifle. It is not a weapon used by our military. So can you please quit calling the AR-15 an assault weapon? We need straight talk from everyone to begin to solve this problem. We need facts not political agendas.

Can you go into ANY gun store in Michigan and buy and assault rifle? I have yet to see one for sale. A true assault weapon has three functions. Safe. Semi. Burst or Auto. A sporting rifle will only have two functions. Safe. Semi or Fire. It is strictly a one shot per trigger pull weapon.

It is legal in many places to own a fully automatic weapon. You must have an in depth background check before a permit is granted by the Federal Government. Yet so many politicians and talking heads make it sound like anyone can walk into any gun store and buy a fully automatic rifle, assault rifle, with few if any questions being asked. This must end. This is severely clouding the issue. Tell the people the truth. Assault weapons are already very strictly regulated by the Federal Government. No new laws are needed. Assault weapons are already effectively strictly regulated. None of these weapons have been used in any of these crimes.

If we apply the same anti-gun logic to another serious problem, drunk driving which kills far more people than mass shootings, we would have to re-institute prohibition. Banning guns is the same logic as banning alcohol. Neither will solve the problem. So I have to ask why this solution so publically touted by is so many.

This shooting should prove beyond all doubt that “Gun Free Zones” are a total failure. Only law abiding citizens obey these. But those wanting to commit mass murder know that Gun Free Zones are the place to go. They know the people they are shooting at will not be able to fire back to defend themselves. Gun Free Zones are a part of the problem.

What is needed is a broad approach that ends with a very narrow result. The solution must look at mental health, medications, police calls, tips to police, social media, and lastly gun ownership. The few still have Constitutional rights. The process must allow those suspected to have the right of defense and a fair judge to look at both sides before ruling. The burden of proof must be on the State. This burden must be high. To revoke or suspend pre-emptively a Constitutional right without a crime being committed must be a high standard that is difficult, but reasonable to meet. Other solutions must also be available. Authorities taking the guns must be the last option and not the first.

The overwhelming majority of gun owners are not the problem. It is a very few people that are the problem. The solution must only target the very few. Responsible gun owners will not have to fear an out of control system.

We just need the facts to solve this problem. We do not need political agendas.

I am retired from the Michigan Army National Guard. I have earned Expert with the M-16 rifle by both Active Air Force and Michigan Army National Guard standards. After serving in Iraq, I was named Company Marksmanship NCO for A Company, 156 Signal Battalion in Kalamazoo.

Note:  I have e-mailed this letter to my US Senators Stabenow and Peters, Representative Upton, President Trump, Rush Limbaugh.  We will see what responses I get.

My Avatar here is a picture of me taken at the Baghdad Airport.  I am holding my M-16A-2 rifle.  

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Comment by SGT William A. Geresy (ret) on April 10, 2018 at 6:37pm

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Dear William,

Thank you for contacting me about gun control. I understand your concerns.

I have great respect for the Second Amendment to our Constitution. I grew up in Clare, Michigan, and many in my family enjoy hunting and fishing across our state. I felt very comfortable growing up with guns in our home and I understand the importance of legal and safe gun ownership.

While I oppose efforts to take guns away from law-abiding citizens, I support enforcement of laws that protect our children and our families from gun violence and other criminal activity. Should issues related to the Second Amendment come before the U.S. Senate, I will keep your views in mind.

Thank you again for sharing your views with me. Please continue to keep me informed about issues that are important to you and your family.

Sincerely,


Debbie Stabenow
United States Senator
U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow
The United States Senate •Washington, DC 20510
stabenow.senate.gov

Me Here...talk about a non-answer answer form letter!  This is just like her to say nothing at all as she is up for re-election.  I hope this November it is a firing!  Us Michiganders deserve better!

Comment by SGT William A. Geresy (ret) on April 5, 2018 at 11:40am

My Reply that I just e-mail to the Senator.........

Dear Senator Peters:

I received your reply on 4 Apr 18. I wish to thank you for the very finely crafted form letter that did little to address my concerns about shooting.

From one Veteran to another, I thank you for your honorable service. Senator Peters, the Oath we took to serve in the military bound us to defending the Constitution up to and including sacrificing our lives. Your Oath as Senator should be even more demanding of you to be extremely judicious with your vote to insure that what you are voting on is true to the Constitution. You should be most strongly opposed to any bill that in any way violates the Constitution we pledged our lives to defend in the military.

I did notice that you avoided using the most incorrect politically charged term clouding the debate…assault rifles. True assault rifles are already extremely tightly regulated as a Class 3 firearm. The procedure to own one legally is already lengthy and costly. No true assault rifle has been used in any of the recent shootings including at You Tube in California on the 3rd of April.

The last two shooting have pointed out that part of the problem is the lack of communication between law enforcement agencies. The school shooting in Florida and the You Tube shooting in California both could have been prevented if there was better interdepartmental communication. I see nothing so far to address this part of the problem.

Your side has been constantly putting out the message that this isn’t about confiscation. Today that has been proven false as Deerfield, IL is attempting to do just that. They did pass a confiscation ordinance on a multitude of semi-automatic rifles and shotguns. Citizens that lawfully own these weapons and fail to comply are to be fined $1,000 at day. I can only hope that the officials of Deerfield are forced to repeal this unconstitutional violation of the Second Amendment! You should be an extremely vocal critic of this ordinance. Will you be?

You partially get it that the problem is a people problem. The problem is also deterrence by increasing both security and hardening of places these shooting occur. One obvious common denominator is that these shooting happen in “Gun Free Zones”. When are these going to be eliminated? They certainly appear to be a magnet for these shootings.

We do need much better mental health and gun ownership connectivity. The devil is of course in the details. Mental health care has declined in my lifetime. It has become very difficult to confine people with strong mental health issues. I know this first hand with my Father twenty some years ago. Between budget cutting and a person’s civil rights it is difficult to order confinement even if space is available.

Another problem created by your side is the extremely hostile rhetoric towards conservatives. Some of this has turned violent including the shooting of a GOP Congressman on a ball field. Way too many times I have heard that if you are not on the extreme left on many issues, you must have mental problems. I am sure many of those saying it would use that “diagnoses” as a means to deny people their constitutional gun rights and perhaps other rights.

So the problem is how to balance the two. No one wants people with strong mental problems to own weapons. That is nearly universal in agreement. The problem is will the definition be objective medical or devolves into a completely political opinion? The later must be avoided completely.

Under the last administration, the Veterans Administration crossed that line by depriving Veterans of their Second Amendment right by labeling the Veteran mentally defective if they had difficulty with their finances. That was wrong. Thankfully, it was reversed. This should be a strong warning how government not only can but will try to exceed the authority granted by the Constitution.

The focus must be on people and not the weapons. Banning certain types of weapons will never solve the problem. Much more than a firearm can be a very deadly weapon.

Sincerely;
William A. Geresy

Comment by SGT William A. Geresy (ret) on April 5, 2018 at 8:58am

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April 4, 2018
Dear Willaim,

Thank you for contacting me about gun safety legislation. I appreciate you taking the time to express your views. Your input is, and will always be, welcomed and appreciated.
As a former Lieutenant commander in the U.S. Navy Reserve, trained marksman, and gun owner, I understand the unique place firearms hold in American heritage and history. We must always respect the constitutional rights of responsible gun owners.
Congress must take action to keep guns out the hands of dangerous people. I am horrified and saddened by the tragedies in our nation’s schools, churches, and public events, which have become far too commonplace. Cities like Detroit know all too well the toll that daily gun violence takes on a community. We must do more to reduce gun-related violence and implement common sense measures to protect public safety and prevent future tragedies.
I have consistently supported the expansion of effective background check systems to help keep guns out of the hands of people who should not have them, a policy that is supported by an overwhelming majority of Americans. Since serving in the House of Representatives, I have supported fully funding, implementing, and improving the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), which Congress created to prevent prohibited individuals such as criminals and the mentally ill from easily obtaining guns. I am a cosponsor of the Fix NICS Act which passed as a part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2018. However, many gun sales are not subject to background checks, including those between private sellers who are complete and total strangers. Expanding background checks is a necessary step in preventing dangerous individuals from purchasing guns. I voted in favor of an amendment that would have required background checks for gun sales between private sellers. I have also supported efforts to close the “terror gap” to prevent individuals on the terrorist watch lists from purchasing firearms. Unfortunately, both efforts failed to advance in the Senate. Common sense measures like closing the terror gap and improving background checks will help us enforce existing laws and keep lawful guns away from dangerous criminals.
Additionally, I am concerned by public access to bump stocks and other tools used to enhance firearm capacity. Bump stocks modify semi-automatic firearms to allow them to function more like automatic weapons. I am a cosponsor of the Automatic Gunfire Prevention Act which would close the loophole that currently makes bump stocks available to the public. Moreover, I am committed to increasing law enforcement efforts to curb the black market for firearms. Efforts to keep firearms out of the hands of dangerous people need to address all distribution methods.
In addition to these sensible measures, we must improve school safety and gain a better understanding of the relationship between media violence and gun violence. To help schools improve their security, I cosponsored the STOP School Violence Act, which passed in the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2018. This bill will allow the Department of Justice to make grants to states for training, technology, and equipment and technical assistance to stop school violence. In order to gain a better understanding of the causes of gun violence, I have also cosponsored legislation that would provide funding to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) for researching firearm safety and gun violence. A clarification of rules for CDC research was also included in the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2018, this clarification allows the CDC to conduct gun violence research. It is essential that we explore the underlying causes of gun violence and look critically at the impact of the how the media covers them.
Although we will never be able to stop every single act of violence, we can implement meaningful policies that will help save lives. I will do everything possible to support legislation that will reduce gun violence while respecting the rights of lawful gun owners. Thank you again for contacting me. I always enjoy hearing from you and hope that you take the time to contact me again soon. For more information, please feel free to visit my website, http://www.peters.senate.gov, or find me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram @SenGaryPeters.

Sincerely,

Gary C. Peters
United States Senator

Me Here....I am working on a reply to this.

Comment by Lucy Overstreet on February 19, 2018 at 8:49pm

AMEN !!  It is a heart issue, not a gun issue !!

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