POSTED ON JANUARY 16, 2013:
Love Letters, hate mail
Open Letter to Chris Christie
The open letter below was sent to the N.J. governor, Chris Christie. I could not let the vote against the People of New Jersey by the representative from Oklahoma's First District stand as a representation of the people here or our values. As a former candidate for Congress, I can assure you that my vote would have been for the People of New Jersey. I pray that the next vote is a better representation our support for victims of Hurricane Sandy.
To The Honorable Governor Christie:
Oklahoma's thoughts and prayers are with the people of New Jersey as you begin to rebuild from the devastation of Hurricane Sandy. Additionally, I want to say thank you. Your anti-partisan leadership in the wake of this tragedy has been inspiring to so many of us. Please know that we stand with New Jersey even when some of our representatives in Washington do not.
On behalf of Oklahomans in the First Congressional District, I sincerely apologize for Congressman Jim Bridenstine's callous vote against the people of New Jersey. His vote to deny funding of the National Flood Insurance Act was reprehensible. While he stands defiant in the face of people in need, we do not. There is a time and a place for politics but it is not now. As a citizen of the First District of Oklahoma, I assure you that our congressman will hear about our displeasure before the next vote concerning this issue and I pray that he will see the light.
Congressman Bridenstine was raised in Michigan and should recognize the dangers of the Arctic temperatures in New Jersey in January. Two months is too long to go without relief and support for our fellow Americans should have been unanimous. I am thankful that most of his Republican colleagues were not so unfeeling for their fellow Americans. Coming from a state that sees its share of natural disasters, I pray that Jim Bridenstine's insensitivity will not be held against Oklahomans the next time we see wildfires or the devastation of a tornado and need federal assistance.
Throughout our Nation's history we have always come together in times of need. Rest assured that the people of Oklahoma are kind and generous. We will support you and understand your plight during this act of God. We make choices every day about the kind of people we want to be. We are better than this and we will insist our representative be better as well.
(John Olson was the Democratic nominee in the First District congressional race in 2012, losing to Rep. Jim Bridenstine.)
Arming Teachers IS the Answer
(re: The Capitolist, Dec. 27, 2012-Jan.2, 2013)
This is in response to Arnold Hamilton's article about arming teachers.
While he is right in that the rifle used in the Hook shooting was formidable, it isn't a magic plasma gun either. A long rifle like that is hard to maneuver for the untrained, especially while being shot at. I read that the principal had charged the shooter before she was shot and killed; why not enable someone with that kind of courage and provide them the means to defend kids? Currently, teachers are legally prohibited from carrying a gun to protect kids. This is unacceptable.
Allowing teachers to carry can have an immediate impact; we need to turn these soft targets into hard targets and this can be done inconspicuously with concealed carry. There are guns already in schools and cops carry them. Why force teachers to wait on the cops when they are perfectly capable of stopping a shooting like this? It has happened before.
He says no one needs a semiautomatic rifle (a.k.a. assault rifle) for self-defense. What would he recommend? Hunting rifle, shotgun, etc.? There is a lot to be said for using a .223 caliber rifle for defending your home. That round doesn't over penetrate like a handgun or shotgun would, which is an important consideration for people with a family. It also less deadly than a shotgun round.
High capacity magazines were banned for ten years (94-04) and not a single credible study was able to attribute it to a decrease in crime. Even the anti-gun Hopkins report was unable to say it did anything to prevent crime. The last AWB limited magazine capacity to 10 rounds; if that was sufficient then the police would carry that many. They don't carry that many for a very good reason: they never know what will happen so they prepare for it.
I've tried to have a conversion with pro-gun control people and not only do they want an assault weapons ban, they want a ban on all semiautomatic guns (i.e. handguns & hunting shotguns). Their position is unreasonable and unrealistic, and the American people will not stand for it. The current AWB legislation will force all owners of semiautomatic guns to register them. By the way, Canada had a registry and they repealed it because it was too costly.
The fact of the matter is there are millions of semiautomatic rifles out there and the government doesn't know who possesses them. The best thing we can do today is enable the school faculty to protect our children. We train millions of 17 and 18 year olds how shoot machine guns every year in the military. I'm sure our teachers are more than capable of handling a small handgun.
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