Don't ask why it's taken so long for me to write. Stipulated that I've been involved in "clicktivist" petitions about gun control and perhaps written my representatives here and there in the wake of past mass shootings. Somehow, this last incident at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High just GOT to me. That and learning that Ohio Republican Senator Rob Portman has an "A" rating with the National Rifle Association pretty well broke my camel's back.
In any case, the following just went out both to Portman's DC address by snail mail and through his Senate website.
Ordinarily when writing a letter such as this, I would duplicate it across all my representatives. In this case, however – in the case of the issue of gun control – I am writing solely to you, because frankly your record sticks out like a sore thumb. Your opposition to any form of gun control or regulation, particularly in the face of tragedies which started long before Sandy Hook and continue with Parkland, Florida, staggers belief.
Worse, it is illogical considering both the Second Amendment and technological progress since that amendment was written. At the time the Constitution was penned, it took a skilled marksman half a minute or longer to fire, reload, and fire again. In the 21st century, that same action with a semiautomatic weapon takes mere milliseconds to accomplish. The threat of a single musket 250 years ago is miniscule by comparison with modern-day firepower such as an AR-15, yet our government acts as though those weapons are equivalent when they are clearly not. Our patterns of thought regarding firearms and the law MUST change, or this trend will likely continue unabated.
As regards change in thought, I know you are capable of such. When your son, Will came out as gay, your attitude towards the LGBT community changed, because all at once you had skin in that game. With that as backdrop, would it take him or someone else close to you being a victim of yet another shooting before you can recognize that laws written two centuries ago are not adequate to the current status quo?
Someone once said, “If nothing changes, nothing changes.” We have had a horrendous tattoo of mass shooting after mass shooting, and nothing other than feckless “thoughts and prayers” have been offered to salve the grief of those who have had to face those tragedies head-on. What we require right now is strong, courageous ACTION to stave off what seems to be becoming a new and unacceptable normal. Please don’t blow me off as another gun control nut, and please don’t respond with a condescending form letter, expressing your opposition, while more children and adults die from gun violence. I’m asking you to be part of the change this country needs, and DO something, before one or more of your constituents becomes a headline.
Loren C. Miller, Jr.