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So I wrote to my Assemblyman. LONG READ...

gonzo1510gonzo1510 Member Posts: 751 ✭✭✭✭
I wrote to Rudy Bermudez (D) Assemblyman for the 56th Assembly district of California. I wrote to him in regard of repealing the state assault weapons ban. the following is the exact text of the letter.

December 30th,2004
Dear Mr. Bermudez,



My name is Irving Gonzalez , I recently moved to Norwalk from the city of Los Angeles.
I was wondering where you stand on the issue of gun control. I would like to know if you would be willing to support legislation that would repeal some of the most restrictive gun laws in the country such as the "assault weapon" ban. I would also like to know if you would support legislation that would make California a "shall issue" state in regards to the issuance of concealed weapons laws.
The assault weapons ban has not been shown to have prevented or reduce violent crime. There is also the fact the ban affected rifles which had certain cosmetic features not mechanical. For example, the state banned the AR series rifles which are the civilian version of the M-16. The rifle does not and cannot fire on fully automatic. This rifle fires the .223 caliber bullet, so does the Kel-Tec SU 16 which is available in this state because it does not meet the requirements to be banned in California. So what makes this rifle less dangerous than the AR series. Both of these rifles fire only one round per trigger pull. Both of these rifles share the same magazine. So I ask you , does the fact that the SU-16 does not have a pistol grip, make this weapon less dangerous than the AR ?
I mentioned the subject of making California a "shall issue" state in regards to the issuance of concealed weapons permits. During the last election, Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca and Los Angeles Police Chief William Bratton tried to have a half cent tax imposed on all home owners in the county to help pay for new and existing police officers and sheriff's deputies. Some of that campaigning included commercials stating that there were only 432 sworn police officers on duty a day in the entire county. Citizens carrying concealed weapons after receiving the proper training would reduce the rate of violent crimes committed in the state. This can be proved by looking at the statistics of states and major cities whose citizens carry concealed firearms as compared to the states and cities that do not allow their residents to do so. To change the status of the state would also help the financial condition of the state by creating revenue on various levels. First, the state would make money from applicants in the form of fees. Then there is the matter of all of the training that the applicant would have to go through. That training would generate taxes, as would the purchase of the various equipment that the applicant would need to purchase such as holsters, ammunition, and other items needed for concealed carry. The state could eliminate the potential liability by having all applicants sign a waiver as it currently does.
I also want to introduce legislation that would make the killing of an armored car guard on duty the same as killing of a police officer on duty or at least give armored car guards law enforcement status while on duty. No one can say that police do not have a potentially dangerous profession, however no police officer or sheriff's deputy faces the potential of danger that an armored car guard faces on a daily basis. There are laws that cover everyone from police officers to firefighters to jurors to letter carriers. To date there are no laws that covers armored car guards.
March 1st of 2004, Evelio "Leo" Suarez, was working for AT Systems out of Los Angeles. He was assigned to the south central area of that city. "Leo" was at the Bank of America at Western and 87th St. While making his delivery, 6 to 8 robbers assaulted Leo shooting him multiple times with fully automatic weapons which were banned by the federal government in the 1930's. Leo died as a result of his wounds. To date it is unknown if any of the murderers have been caught. This status may be a significant deterrent to those who would commit these violent crimes. Would Leo have been killed had these laws been in effect? I do not know, what I do know is that he might have had a fighting chance had he been given the ability to do so. Had he not been restricted to the ten rounds of ammunition or been allowed to carry an "Assault Weapon", it might have deterred the criminals from going through the robbery.
In closing sir, I wish to thank you for taking the time to read this letter. I understand that you have a background in law enforcement. I am hoping that your background will compel you to work on the ideas for legislation that I have brought up.

Respectfully yours,



Irving Gabriel Gonzalez.
A voter.


I recieved a letter from the assemblyman this week. the letter was short,yet pointless(to me anyways.) The following is the exact text of his response letter.

"Thank you for contacting my office regarding gun issues, specifically the Assault weapons ban. As you know the AWB(or Brady Bill) is a federal issue and as a state legislator I do not have Jurisdiction on this matter.

Like you , I support the second amendment of the United States Constitution, which grants citizens the right to bear arms. However, as a law enforcement officer, I feel it is in our best interest to keep the most dangerous weapons--AK-47's, Uzi's,machine guns out of our neighborhoods. If these weapons were to become readily available , they could fall into the wrong hands.

Thank you for taking the time to share your views and concerns and giving me the opportunity to be of service to you..etc etc etc.."



Like I said, I thought it was short yet pointless.
So I wrote him a rebuttal letter. It goes a little something like this :

February 22nd,2005
Assemblyman Rudy Bermudez
12501 E. Imperial Highway
Suite 201.
Norwalk, California
90650


Dear Mr. Bermudez,


My name is Irving Gonzalez. I wrote to you in regards to various aspects of public safety. I appreciate your response to my letter, however, I did not receive answers to the questions I had asked you. In my first letter, I had incorrectly mentioned the federal assault weapons ban which is a moot point, since it "sunset" as of September the 13th ,2004. I actually meant the state ban on assault weapons which banned the same types of rifles that the federal government banned for ten years. I cannot understand why the state would ban certain types of rifles which are no more dangerous than the rifles which are already commercially available. Statistically, this ban was proven to have little or no effect in reducing or preventing crime in the state. In your response letter, you mentioned that it is in our best interest to keep machine guns out of dangerous hands in our neighborhoods. Sir, I would like to remind you that machine guns were strictly regulated in the 1930's, and effectively banned in 1986(except for the machine guns that already existed). I would also like to point out the fact that only the law abiding follow the laws. The bad guys do not , that's why they are the bad guys. Many police officers and police chiefs in this state feel that this ban was a complete failure since not only was it unenforceable, but it did not clarify as to what exactly qualifies as an assault weapon. There were lawsuits against both the state and the states' Attorney General over the ban. One particular lawsuit resulted because a police officer, Steven O' Connor of the Desert Hot Springs Police Department, was found to have been in possession of an assault weapon. This police officer was summarily terminated from his employment as a police officer and brought up on charges. Ten months later, the charges against this police officer were dropped, since the assault weapons law did not go far enough to define an assault weapon. Another such lawsuit was brought by various District Attorneys from as far north as San Francisco and as far south as San Diego on the same grounds. The law is confusing to the enforcers of the state. They simply cannot enforce the law. Statistically speaking , doctors and sport utility vehicles are more dangerous than these rifles. Again I ask you sir, what is the difference between the AR series rifles, the SU-16 or the Ruger Mini-14? All of these rifles fire the exact same round. All of these rifles discharge one round per trigger pull. The only obvious difference is that the AR rifles are outlawed because of certain cosmetic features. Assault rifles account for a small percentage in regards to types of weapons used in crimes. You state that these weapons should stay out of our neighborhoods. Well sir, I think that the police officers from the LAPD's North Hollywood Division would highly disagree with you. These officers were involved in a shootout with two bank robbers that were armed with fully automatic weapons (which could not be obtained legally). These officers were forced to turn to a private gun store which stocked these now outlawed weapons. This gun store has since relocated out of state due to all of the restrictive laws that the state has passed.
Another, point I brought up, was that the state should change its concealed weapon permit status from "discretionary" to "shall issue." Cities with strict gun control laws like Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, and New York have some of the highest violent crime rates in the country. Theses cities also restrict its citizens from carrying concealed weapons, while at the same time, crying that there are not enough police officers protecting the public. Why is that ? Washington D.C also has some of the highest murder rates in the country. Congress repealed their draconian gun laws late last year. It would be surprising to see if the violent crime rates do not drop in the future. There are states such as Florida whose voting citizens exercise their freedom to carry concealed weapons and enjoy some of lowest crime rates in the country. The citizens of Vermont require no such permit, since it is written in their state constitution "That the people have a right to bear arms for the defence of themselves and the State; and as standing armies, in the time of peace, are dangerous to liberty, they ought not to be kept up; and that the military should be kept under strict subordination to, and governed by, the civil power."
These citizens also enjoy low violent crime rates. My question to you sir would be, Why can't we follow the examples of the aforementioned states? These states have proven that the second amendment is an individual right, not a collective one. The federal government has also stated this through The Office of Legal Counsel. The Department of Justice made public, a memorandum it sent to the Attorney General last August concluding that the Second Amendment guarantees an individual right to keep and bear arms. It can be found at: http://www.usdoj.gov/olc/secondamendment2.htm
It announces a finding that the Second Amendment secures an individual
right to keep and bear arms. This is extremely important, as the OLC opinions are highly influential in courts and in the executive branch.
A third point I brought up was the introduction of legislation that would make the killing of an armored car guard while on duty, the same as killing a police officer. No one can argue the dangers that a police officer/sheriff's deputy will face throughout their career's, however, an armored car guard faces a greater potential for danger on a day to day basis. Why should they not have the same protection? They provide a service that is invaluable to the public. I explained to you as to why I wanted this legislation passed. Having a background in law enforcement as a corrections officer, you should be sympathetic to my reasoning.
In closing, I would like to thank you for taking the time to read and respond to this letter. The following are the issues that I would like for you to address.

1. The repeal of the state ban of so called assault weapons.

2. The change of status from "Discretionary" to "Shall Issue" in regards to the issuance of concealed weapons permits in the entire state of California.

3. The introduction of legislation that would make the killing of an armored guard while on duty, the same as killing a police officer- an automatic capital offense.


Sincerely,


Irving Gabriel Gonzalez
A Voter.



Thanks for bearing with me here guys ... I know it's alot,I'm sorry but I had something to say. Hopefully, this dork will get the message. I have actually thought of running against him next year.
His biggest accomplishment is passing a law against possessing fake firefighter I.D's and badges. I kid you not!
This is his site :
http://democrats.assembly.ca.gov/members/a56/

"The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing." Edmund Burke

Comments

  • pickenuppickenup Member Posts: 22,846 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Gonzo,
    You don't actually think that they take the time "themselves" to read these kinds of letters do you? They have subordinates that scan emails and letters, and then reply with a "canned" response. Which is what it sounds like you got for a reply.

    I have sent many such letters, and received only a very FEW replies that did not sound canned. Or even, as yours did, address the original question I inquired about. Multiple items REALLY seem to confuse them. I have found that writing individual letters, on each subject, is the best way to go. Even then, canned responses were the norm.

    You might try following up your letter with a phone call. Hey you never know.

    Keep us posted if/when you get a response from him.
    As for running against him. GOOD LUCK. And I DO mean that.

    The gene pool needs chlorine.
  • gonzo1510gonzo1510 Member Posts: 751 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Actually you are not being nit picky. this is the way it came on the board. In my letter, it is pretty cleaned up.
    "You might try following up your letter with a phone call. Hey you never know." Actually, I also went to his district office and made an appointment to meet the guy. I was told that they would get back to me next week with an appointment. Trust me, I want to know how this turns out too!


    "The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing." Edmund Burke
  • silver6silver6 Member Posts: 613 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Aye Gonzo! Did you get your meeting and how did it go?

    If god meant for us to talk more than we listened he'd have given us one ear and two mouths- Vince Lombardi
  • gonzo1510gonzo1510 Member Posts: 751 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    It's ben less than a month since I wrote the letter to my Assemblyman, so I do not expect to hear from him for another week or two. As far as the Meeting, no, I was never called back as promised.
    I will start calling again tomorrow and start pushing the issue.

    I will let you guys know what happens...

    "The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing." Edmund Burke
  • mpolansmpolans Member Posts: 1,752 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by pickenup
    Gonzo,
    You don't actually think that they take the time "themselves" to read these kinds of letters do you? They have subordinates that scan emails and letters, and then reply with a "canned" response. Which is what it sounds like you got for a reply.

    I have sent many such letters, and received only a very FEW replies that did not sound canned. Or even, as yours did, address the original question I inquired about. Multiple items REALLY seem to confuse them. I have found that writing individual letters, on each subject, is the best way to go. Even then, canned responses were the norm.


    I know that for one former U.S. Senator, the Senator's staff did the initial review of all incoming mail (we're talking literally dozens of letters a day). A few select ones that dealt with particularly compelling circumstances and/or dealt with one of the Senator's pet issues might be given to his secretary, who would get him to read them. The rest of them would be doled out to various staff members. If they dealt with simple constituent services (ordering a flag that flew over the Capitol, getting passes for a White house or Capitol tour, etc.) the staffer would just do the paperwork and send a form letter back. If it was a more in-depth constituent service thing (request for appointment to a military academy, problems with a government agency, etc.), depending on the issue, the staffer would either:
    a. Direct it toward another staffer who would call the people necessary to fix the problem.
    b. File the application for review at a later time (usually the academy stuff).
    c. If it's something not handled by the Senator's office, send a form letter back with info on who would be the best person/office to contact to solve their problem. (Ex. if there's an error in your electricity bill, your senator can't do anything about it).

    If the letter was on a social or political issue, it would be reviewed, and the the gist of the position would be recorded on a tally sheet (Ex. 200 letters against the AWB vs. 2 for the AWB) and key comments might be noted on the tally sheet. If the letter could be appropriately answered with an existing form letter, the constituent would get a form letter, sometimes tweaked with additional info to fully answer any questions the constituent has. If there wasn't a form letter on topic, the staffer is supposed to research the answer; if it's a question on policy, this would mean asking the appropriate Legislative Assistant who's the designated "expert" on that particular policy area for the Senator. Obviously, this rarely resulted in a clear cut "The Senator thinks your position sucks," response, but occasionally resulted in "The Senator believes the problem could be solved best by doing XXXXX, but agrees that you raise valid points. He looks forward to hearing your concerns in the future."
    VERY few letters ever make it directly to the Senator, but that's not necessarily a bad thing because:
    a. He was pretty busy and generally couldn't deal with everyone's letters.
    b. He wouldn't know who the heck to call to resolve many issues.
    c. Often the letters deal with things that don't require him to do anything (ex. It doesn't take the Senator to fill out a form and order flag.)
    d. On many issues, his level of knowledge is minimal (no Senator is an expert on every issue in the Senate...usually he's just up on the few that he really takes an interest in).

    Funny enough, if you really want the best answer possible tquestion in your letter, your best bet is to hope it gets assigned to an intern. Since they have fewer other responsibilities, they have more time to answer them. Also, they're usually very idealistic so they put more thought, research and effort into finding out the answer to questions. If it's a question on policy position, they're more likely to ask the appropriate Legislative Assistant for the answer and ask why the Senator takes that position (part of the learning process), rather than writing a non-commital letter blowing a constituent off.

    Regarding the form letters, many of the incoming letters were form letters and postcards printed by the NRA or AARP (or cut and pasted off the internet), so in a way, turnabout is fair play.
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