Our latest response is from our own State's Paul Gosar. We like to think we are one of the most pro-guns states in the nation. Our representation in the U.S. Congress has a majority of Democrats. While, this should not make a difference on this issue, it appears the responses we have been receiving shows where the curvy line is drawn. Assuming you were surprised. Hopefully, our Arizona Reps know the right side of the issue and our fellow residents are contacting them.
Thank you for contacting me about the tragic events that occurred at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut. This tragedy affected so many, and I am always glad to hear your thoughts, concerns, and opinions on the matter.
First, my thoughts and prayers are with all of those affected by the tragic shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. My deepest sympathies are with the families and loved ones of the staff and students who were killed or injured and those who witnessed this horrific event. We mourn the loss of the school children and adults whose lives were claimed by the heartbreaking acts on December 14, 2012.
We must now pause and reflect as to how we can prevent a repeat of the events in Newtown, Connecticut while preserving our liberties and values, including the right to bear arms. Our Constitution recognizes certain core liberties that we are endowed with by God—not by the Federal government. The right to defend oneself and one's family and property are among these. The founders of this country knew that having capable citizens willing to take up arms to defend the Republic was essential. For that reason, each individual was given the right to own, possess and responsibly use firearms.
In an effort to prevent other instances like the events in Newtown, we must also engage in a broader discussion that includes increased access to mental health care services. This should include educating the public about the warning signs of those who would harm themselves and others and addressing the stigma related to diagnosis and treatment. Most individuals with severe and persistent mental illness will not commit violent crimes but we need a system in place to recognize and intervene when a risk is posed.
It is crucial that we enforce existing gun laws already on the books. It is my hope that this tragedy results in solutions designed to prevent other similar occurrences.
Irresponsible and criminal use of arms cannot be tolerated, but I believe that using new gun control laws to address this case and others like it would be unwise and ineffective. The federal government must not sink to the lowest common denominator to punish responsible citizens and to infringe on Constitutional rights. I find it distasteful that some people seek to capitalize on a tragedy in order to trample on our Constitution for political gain.
Please know that as your Congressman, I fully support Second Amendment rights and the right to own and carry firearms in a responsible manner. I will oppose any unconstitutional efforts by the federal government to infringe upon Second Amendment rights. I have been a life-long supporter of responsible gun ownership. I have also been a hunter for most of my life, and I am well aware of our rights and duties relative to firearms. We must remain vigilant and enforce all of our constitutional rights, not simply pick and choose the ones we like. Our constitutional rights are not dependent upon which president, or which Congress, is in office.
Again, I appreciate your thoughts and concerns. It is a pleasure to serve Arizona as part of its Congressional Delegation. Your suggestions are always welcome, and if ever I may be of assistance, please do not hesitate to contact me. To receive the latest legislative updates and news you can sign up for my e-newsletter by visiting my website at Gosar.House.Gov.
Paul A. Gosar, D.D.S.
Member of Congress
- Congressman Ed Pastor Arizona 7th Congressional District Responds
- Tom Udall United States Senator from New Mexico Responds