Tuesday, May 14, 2013

My Reply From Senator Jeff Flake

Hey, readers. I have one thing to say to preface this notification. I am completely surprised. I have written to all of the Republican Senators through their website contact pages whenever they did something that made me confused or I thought they were wrong about something. Everytime I get a form letter almost automatically sent back that doesn't address the problem at all.
Recently I wrote a letter to Jeff Flake, the new U.S. Congressman from Arizona, who took over after Jon Kyl resigned. I received a thoughtfully written elaborate reply explaining his reasoning that I really appreciated. This is what he said, "...Dear Mr. Walker:
      Thank you for contacting me about gun control legislation.  
      In the wake of the tragic December 2012 school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) introduced S. 649 on March 21, 2013. I voted in favor of debating this legislation because I believe we are well served by having the debate. However, I did not support the amendment by Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) expanding background checks, largely because the definition of commercial sales was too broad and included private transactions that it purported to exclude. Further, the amendment did not address the serious issue of guns getting into the hands of the mentally ill. I also did not support amendments banning assault weapons or restricting magazines.
      I support the Second Amendment, and I do not believe our society needs more laws restricting legal gun ownership. What we really need is to do a better job of keeping guns out of the hands of those who should not have them, while ensuring that those who break existing laws are fully prosecuted. Thus, I support strengthening the existing background check system in order to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and the mentally ill.
      For this reason, I cosponsored S. 480 with Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Mark Begich (D-AK), and Bill Pryor (D-AR), which would assist states and federal agencies in providing mental health records to the federal National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) by clarifying which records should be included. Our bill was included in an amendment proposed by Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA), S.AMDT. 724, which I cosponsored. S.AMDT. 724 is a more effective response to gun violence. In addition to broadening background checks to include all those adjudicated to be dangerously mentally ill, our proposal also creates penalties for gun trafficking, straw purchasing, and increases penalties for criminals attempting to circumvent the background check system. It also provides new tools and resources for prosecutions of firearm crimes. Senator Manchin's proposal did not include all of these provisions to combat gun violence. Fifty-two senators supported S.AMDT. 724, including nine Democrats. Unfortunately, it needed sixty votes to pass.  
      Thank you again for contacting me. Please do not hesitate to do so again in the future. I also encourage you to visit my website, which may be found at flake.senate.gov/


United States Senator 

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Wow, I actually understand what he is saying and agree somewhat. He didn't just say, "Screw Gun Control and Background Checks," he actually has a plan of his own, which addresses the problem as well. Anyone reading this, please contact me at arizonamildman@live.com if you have a response and see something I missed that you would like to add as a comment.


  1. I cannot seem to find any information on this amendment. Does it really exist?

    1. Check it out: http://beta.congress.gov/congressional-record/2013/04/16/senate-section/article/S2689-2