This is another response from a different Texas Congressman, John Carter from the 31st Congressional District.
Member of Congress
Thank you for contacting me to express your concerns regarding the tragic shootings at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. My deepest condolences go out to the family and friends of the victims of this horrific event, and I appreciate your input on this important issue.
First and foremost, no words or actions can alleviate the loss of innocent lives. This tragedy has greatly afflicted our nation. As a father of four, one of which is a public school teacher, I understand the apprehension that many Americans felt when they first heard of this horrific event. We must stop and pray for all those impacted by this tragedy and for a full recovery for those left injured.
Americans of all political stripes can agree that weapons should never be accessible to those who are mentally ill. Americans have a constitutional right to keep and bear arms; however, with that right comes an obligation to make sure those weapons are securely stored and not available to anyone without the owner's express permission and supervision. We do not need to pass a law to start this reform; we simply need every gun owner, gun store, and shooting organization to take action today to better secure our firearms.
I believe federal controls often create burdens for law-abiding citizens and infringe upon constitutional rights provided by the Second Amendment. In my view, protecting the rights of citizens and providing for their security against foreign enemies and domestic criminals is the most important duty of government. The Second Amendment to the United States Constitution recognizes the right to possess and carry weapons. Law abiding citizens have a fundamental right to protect themselves and their families.
I am hopeful that this tragedy will highlight our country's need for greater awareness of mental illness. The causes of violence in our country are deeper and more complex than just firearms. We must continue to address the gaps in our mental health system and drugs and violence in our culture.
Please rest assured that I will keep your thoughts in mind as Congress begins the 113th session and legislation is introduced to address these issues. Again, thank you for taking the time to contact me. I appreciate having the opportunity to represent you in the U.S. House of Representatives. Please feel free to visit my website House.Gov/Carter or contact me with any future concerns.
Member of Congress
- Congressman Michael Burgess Texas 26th Congressional District Responds
- Maria Cantwell United States Senator from Washington Responds