First of all, I would like to thank you for the work that you do. I know that you are very busy, and I appreciate you taking the time to listen to my thoughts.
As your constituent, I’d like to take this opportunity to introduce myself to you. I am a 25 year old woman living in beautiful Colorado. I am a ballet dancer, a social worker, and I am hoping to attend graduate school to become a therapist. I am also a person who owns firearms.
There are two main reasons that I choose to own firearms. First, I own firearms because one in five women in the United States will be raped in her lifetime, according to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control. I am three inches shorter and sixty pounds lighter than the average American male. I know that if I were to find myself facing an assailant, my life would be in my own hands. When attacks happen, there is not time to wait for the police to arrive, and I am prepared to protect myself when it is necessary. I am thankful to have the right to own and carry a firearm so that I can be protected wherever I go.
The second reason that I own firearms is that recreational target shooting is a wonderful pastime that I am able to share with my family and friends. Practicing target shooting allows us to spend time in the beautiful Colorado wilderness while challenging ourselves to improve our skills through patience, practice, and self-discipline. It teaches valuable lessons such as responsibility, awareness, and communication. I enjoy being a part of a longstanding American tradition that has provided enjoyment and challenge for generations.
The fallacy of most “gun control” legislation is that it assumes that people who own firearms are potential criminals. There are millions of responsible adults in the United States who, like me, own firearms. The overwhelming majority of these people have not and will not commit crimes involving those firearms. Yet, there are those who would suggest that taking away the rights and property of these thousands of law-abiding citizens will somehow make crime disappear. I hope you can see the error in this logic. Punishing those who already follow the law will do nothing to prevent criminals from breaking the law. I am not a criminal, nor are vast majority of firearms owners that you encounter daily at the mall or grocery store. Please remember this when considering future legislation on this topic. Laws that would take away the rights and property of law-abiding citizens are wrong. Please focus instead on solutions that address the true underlying causes of violence and crime.
Violence is an enormous problem in our society, and one that must be dealt with. It is essential that we find effective solutions to prevent any more unnecessary loss of life. Sadly, violence is deeply rooted in our culture. There is no one cause, but many nuanced factors that lead to a person choosing to commit a violent crime. These are the influences that need to be rooted out and addressed. I can promise you that a person does not become violent because they hold a weapon in their hand. Violent crimes are only a symptom of larger problems in our nation. Problems such as the stigma surrounding mental health treatment, people feeling desperate about their lives, or not knowing how to process the overwhelming challenges they face. While I am not knowledgeable enough to outline all of those problems, I am sure you can understand that progress can only be made through addressing the root issues that lead people to choose to commit crimes.
I urge you to consider, while working through this new legislative session, solutions that will address the root causes of crime and violence. Please understand that many people will react out of fear, claiming that the mere presence of firearms in our society causes violence. Recognize the error in this argument. Firearms have long held a place in American homes and lives, and again, the overwhelming majority of firearms will never be used in a crime. Firearms are the easy target when people are demanding answers, but legislation against them will not solve the problem of violence. All it will do is erode the rights of thousands of your constituents.
As a citizen of the district that you have the privilege to represent, I urge you not to support any legislation that would ban specific types of firearms or magazines, or requires any registration or tracking of firearms or ammunition. This type of legislation ignores the real causes of crime. Worse, it does so at the grave cost of the rights of thousands of citizens across the state, and millions across the country. Please support legislation that will actually lead to progress against crime, while protecting the rights that so many have fought for us to enjoy.
As many a wise person has noted, we fear what we do not understand. I would like to suggest that you experience recreational target shooting with a certified instructor, if you have not yet done so. It may not become your favorite pastime, but I can promise that you will have an enjoyable and safe time, and hopefully you will gain a greater understanding of why the right to own and use firearms is so important to so many of your constituents.