Dear Mr. -----:
Thank you for contacting me to share your views on proposals to reduce gun violence. I appreciate hearing from you.
No one can deny that gun violence is a serious problem in this country today. We owe it to the victims of the growing number of mass shootings to vigorously debate specific and comprehensive proposals that can keep our communities safer. The right approach focuses on many issues - improvements to the mental health system, better security protocols and common sense rules about gun use, including keeping firearms out of the hands of dangerous individuals.What exactly is "gun violence?" If the Senator's doublespeak is referring to the need to reduce violence committed by people using guns, I have to ask, why are we not equally concerned with violence committed by hammers and fists, which account for more deaths each year than guns? Obviously, no one thinks hammers should be subject to government regulation, this reference to "gun violence" is meant to use emotion to distract from the real agenda. Senator Kaine then tosses out a comment about "the growing number of mass shootings" without any support to support his claim. In fact, mass shootings are NOT increasing. Even the leftist mouthpiece ABC News had to grudgingly admit to that. Kaine also uses the buzz words "common sense," implying a less-than-favorable judgement on those who might disagree with his as yet unnamed proposals
When I was on the Richmond City Council in the 1990s, our city was mired in an epidemic of gun violence that included the city having the second-highest homicide rate in the United States. The most successful step we took was implementing Project Exile, a program that involved federal prosecution and tougher penalties for gun crimes that were previously treated more leniently in state courts. Celebrated by diverse groups engaged in the gun violence debate - including the National Rifle Association and the Brady Campaign - the program helped drive down Richmond's homicide rate by nearly 60 percent within a few years.The Senator rightfully lauds his efforts to reduce the homicide rate by enforcing existing law. This is a notable accomplishment for sure, but let's re-emphase what his efforts brought about; increased enforcement of existing laws.
In 2007, the tragic shooting at Virginia Tech revealed glaring weaknesses in campus security protocols at colleges and universities, in our mental health system and the gun background check system for gun purchases. In a bipartisan spirit, I worked with then-Attorney General Bob McDonnell to immediately improve our background check system and issued an executive order ensuring that those adjudicated to be mentally ill and dangerous would be entered into a national database and barred from purchasing weapons. We also changed standards for mental health treatment and increased funding for community health programs while dramatically improving campus security and efforts to assist college students suffering from mental stress.Once again, the Senator is pointing out improvements where made in existing programs, with a positive effect. But he's really just setting the reader up for a "bait and switch."
In January I attended a round-table event in Richmond with Vice President Biden on gun violence, to talk about the lessons learned in Virginia and the need for a comprehensive approach to these problems. As your U.S. Senator, I will work to bring that kind of comprehensive approach that will strengthen the safety of our communities, while protecting our Second Amendment rights. As a gun owner who worked with others to constitutionally guarantee Virginians the right to hunt, I know that you can be a strong supporter of the Second Amendment without tolerating the gun tragedies that are too often a part of our daily lives.I was wondering how long it would be before the Senator got in his "I support the 2nd Amendment, but..." line. I've not yet heard from a politician who wanted to restrict the Constitution who didn't preface his attack with a claim of support for the very thing he was attacking. He attempts to distract with the red herring of a constitutional right to hunt. In fact, there exists no such constitutional right. One would expect our Representatives to have a better knowledge of the Constitution they swore to uphold.
Concerning specific proposals, I am a strong supporter of universal background record checks. This is the only way we can enforce existing laws that prohibit dangerous individuals from purchasing guns. I am open to supporting legislation placing reasonable limits on high capacity magazines, combat-style weapons and gun trafficking if they are carefully drafted.The misdirection of referring to past accomplishments complete, Senator Kaine finally gets around to hinting at his current agenda. The Senator throws out the liberal sound bite "reasonable limits in high capacity magazines." The gun grabbers love to toss around the term "reasonable" without defining it. Thirty rounds is too many they say. So 29 is okay? Some suggest no one needs more than 10 rounds. So 9 rounds in a gun is safe, but adding one more makes the carrier dangerous? The "reasonable" restriction appellation, as well as "combat-style" weapons, are nothing more than attempts to distract an uninformed voting population with meaningless terms. The Senator also attempts to draw attention from the real issue by calling for restrictions on "gun trafficking," an obvious attempt to mislabel the transfer of legally owned weapons between private parties.
Please be assured that I will keep your views in mind as Congress continues to debate strategies to reduce gun violence. Thank you once again for contacting me.
Sincerely,I have little doubt that the Senator will keep my "views in mind" as he works to increase limitations on the Constitutional rights of American citizens. However, I am not naive enough to believe he will take them into account or change his agenda. Of course, Senator Kaine's response is not surprising at all. He is after all, an unabashed cheerleader for the president as well as the former Democratic National Committee chairman.
See also the similar dangerous response from Virginia Senator Warner. Compare the leftists' responses to that of Congressman Robert Wittman.