Friday, January 11, 2013

Congressman Pete Olson Texas 22nd Congressional District Responds

We have received a lot of responses from Senators, but there are more than four times as many Representatives in the House that will be very important to influence with your stand on the 2nd Amendment. You only have one for your district, so in the scheme of things, it is half the work of contacting your Senators, though they both should be on your list as well. 


Thank you for contacting me to express your concerns about the recent tragedy in Newtown, CT, and your thoughts on additional gun control laws. I appreciate hearing from you on this important matter.

As a father of two school-aged children, I too am shocked and overcome by the senseless act of violence at Sandy Hook Elementary School. It is incomprehensible to me why or how anyone would target innocent children. My prayers are with all of the victims and their families.

First, I do not support additional gun control laws, I believe that we should strictly enforce what is currently in place. The most important thing we can do as a nation is to seriously begin to address the mental health issues facing our nation. We need to educate people on ways to better identify those who may potentially pose a risk to others. In the Houston area, the largest mental health facility is the Harris County jail. That's wrong. The criminal justice system is not the proper place to treat the mentally ill.

We also need to honestly look at the change in our society over recent years. Firearms have always been present in our society - what's changed is our society. Decades ago there were fewer gun laws and certainly fewer bizarre, horrible mass killings, but over time our culture has changed. It increasingly glorifies violence and death, and exposes our children to violent images and themes through television and other electronic media. When violent messages are repeatedly thrust upon children, it clearly can have an impact. We must address the dismantling of our social fabric. The lack of respect for life and the culture of violence that permeate our society can and must be addressed – not by laws - but by leadership and social pressure.

The Newtown tragedy must focus our national efforts to better protect and nurture our children. I will work closely with my colleagues to determine the best solutions to protect our children and our communities.

Again, thank you for your interest in this important issue. I appreciate your input and I'm honored to represent you in Congress. For more information on constituent services, current legislation, and to sign up for my E-newsletter, please visit my website at Olson.House.Gov.

Very respectfully,

Pete Olson
Member of Congress

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