An Open Letter To The New Mexico Delegation

By JODY BENSON
Los Alamos

Dear Senator Heinrich, and Representatives Lujan and Lujan Grisham:

Thank you, Sen. Heinrich, for co-sponsoring the “No-Fly-No-Buy Bill” that would restrict people on the terrorist watch list from buying a firearm. You exhibit incredible courage for supporting even a modicum of gun control in this weapons-dominated Congress. Sadly, nowadays, it takes guts for you, our representatives, to support the will of the people over that of lobbyists, and over the high-decibel shouts from the my-rights-over-that-of-the-country-ers.

And about the NFNB Bill: how could anybody, especially those voting specifically to restrict “terrorists” from entering the country, not want to restrict terrorists currently in the country from buying guns?  

Of course I, along with 54 percent  of Americans*, would like more comprehensive, commonsense rules for gun ownership. These at minimum include the immediate return to the ban on civilians buying assault weapons, as well as comprehensive background checks (even though they failed to flag the Orlando shooter) for any gun purchase anywhere.

But I want reasonable (aka, no-brainer) gun safety to include safety training for gun-users (just as I received from the NRA when I was in elementary school). Gun-safety training, just as driver-safety training, must be a requirement for gun ownership. Nobody disputes requiring every driver to take training and pass a test for a driver’s license. It’s a universally accepted safety issue that hopes to prevent the car with its driver from becoming a lethal weapon. As a simple safety issue, and for the same reason, there should be as rigorous a competency test for the gun and its owner.

I also extend my thanks to you, Representatives Ben Ray Lujan and Michelle Lujan-Grishom, for your courage to sit down for reasonable gun restrictions—especially when, Rep. Lujan, you are opposed by (so-called) Christian, 2nd Amendment candidate who believes any discipline imposed on gun owners violates their rights.

Finally, I am disappointed that Speaker Ryan and the Republicans don’t even allow a conversation about this issue.  If we don’t talk about a problem, we can’t find any compromise, let alone a solution. In a mature family, if we have disagreements to the point of dysfunctionality, wouldn’t we seek to solve them in order to create an understanding of one another’s views and thereby maintain healthy family bonds? Shouldn’t we have a national discussion rather than allowing just a few to tell us to shut up and sit down as they point a gun at our face? 

It’s time to stand up and be counted. Thank you for doing so.

*http://www.politico.com/story/2016/06/gun-control-support-orlando-224559

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