Guest column submitted by U.S. Senator Mike Crapo
As active participants in the decisions made in Congress, Idahoans contact me with valuable input about the issues our country faces. Realizing that many may not have the chance to contact me, I post the top five issues of concern from Idahoans and my responses on my website. The top issues constituents have contacted me about recently include action taken by the Obama Administration regarding firearms and Second Amendment rights. The following is my response:
A number of ideas are being brought forward relating to guns and mental health. On December 16, 2012, President Obama announced that Vice President Joe Biden would lead a new initiative, tasked with identifying reform proposals on firearms. On January 16, 2013, President Obama announced a series of these sweeping reforms, including 23 separate executive actions that the Administration will take on its own to attempt to limit gun violence. To view or download the Administration's report, visit: http://www.whitehouse.gov/issues/preventing-gun-violence.
The President's proposals are very disappointing. Any discussion about restricting the Constitutional rights of law-abiding Americans deserves, at minimum, a full public debate in Congress. The Second Amendment reads: "A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed." I firmly believe this provision prohibits the federal government from denying citizens this right.
As Congress acts, it must be in full recognition that the choices we make must reflect the realities that we cannot completely legislate away risk and violence out of society. Burdening law-abiding citizens of this country with additional gun restrictions is not the answer to safeguarding the public from further attacks. Our country should have a thoughtful and reasoned debate on how to address mental health issues and crime control, while still preserving our constitutional rights. As gun control advocates continue to seek creative methods of advancing their agenda, both through legislation and litigation, I will continue to oppose all efforts to weaken Second Amendment rights.
To view this response and other top five issues of interest, please visit my website at: http://crapo.senate.gov. The messages you send me help to shape my approach on a number of important matters. Please continue to keep me informed of your views.