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OPEN LETTER TO CONGRESSMAN RICK LARSEN

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Published:2016-06-18 Opinion
OPEN LETTER TO CONGRESSMAN RICK LARSEN    Print Snohomish Times    
OPEN LETTER TO CONGRESSMAN RICK LARSEN

Dear Congressman Larsen,

In a blog post from Thursday, you wrote that “The shooting in Orlando broke my heart…. The feeling was depressingly familiar. I felt it in 2008 after the shooting spree in Skagit County. I felt it in 2012 after the shooting in Newtown, Connecticut. And I felt it in 2014 after the shooting at Marysville Pilchuck High School.” Congressman, the question isn’t whether we all feel sadness over the deaths in Orlando, Oregon, Skagit County, Newtown, and Marysville. All of us certainly do, and we are sure your sadness is genuine, your compassion real. The question is: What have you done about it?

In the same blog post on Thursday, you wrote “That is why I am continuing my efforts in Congress to pass commonsense gun safety legislation.” What efforts? Since you have been a Member of Congress, you have sponsored no legislation whatever to in any way address the issue of gun violence. You wrote: “I am calling on Members on both sides of the aisle to work with me to ban military-style assault weapons, lift the ban on federally funded research into the causes of gun violence and strengthen our system of background checks.” You had ample opportunity to sponsor legislation to address your concerns about gun violence in 2008, when you were a member of the majority in the House. You failed to do so. You had ample opportunity to sponsor legislation addressing your concerns about gun violence after the Sandy Hook school shootings in 2012. You failed to do so. You had ample opportunity to sponsor legislation in 2014 after Marysville Pilchuck. You failed to do so.

Now you want to “ban military-style assault weapons, lift the ban on federally funded research into the causes of gun violence and strengthen our system of background checks.” Well then, let’s see some action, Congressman. DO SOMETHING. I may oppose you on it, I may not. It all depends on what you DO.

As you also wrote: “But for my constituents — hundreds of whom have contacted me since last Sunday — hearing their elected officials express heartbreak is not enough. Nor should it be. Rightly, the people of Washington’s 2nd District and the American people at large are demanding that Congress do something to address gun violence.” You’re right. Now let’s see you DO something about it. Let’s see you sponsor your legislation to address gun violence. Then you and I can have the debate the voters of the Second District want and deserve.

We’re waiting.

Marc Hennemann




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