President Johnson coined a phrase when calling upon Congress to enact bold social legislation in the early 60’s. He voiced “The fierce urgency of now.” Such is this moment for Congress to act upon passing an assault weapons ban. The House has acted and now it is up to the Senate. Linda and I composed a letter to selected senators urging them to act in this lame duck session.

Dear Senators, we write to urge your support for an assault weapons ban. In the words of Bob Dylan, “How many deaths will it take till we know that too many people have died?”

Tragically, America is #1 in the world for mass shootings. Assault weapons are the weapons of choice in mass killings. Sadly, America also leads the Western Developed Nations in rate of gun violence. Indeed, no other nation comes close to our rate of gun violence.

The NRA and its supporters argue their right to purchase any weapon at any time because of the Second Amendment. Yet, they forget about the first half of the amendment: “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of the state . . . .” Clearly, the weight of the amendment was in support of a “well regulated militia”. Regulations and limits were respected. A Founding Father remarked, “Liberty does not mean license.” Statistically, those states that have the strongest gun laws are also the safest gun violence states. Truthfully, in those states responsible people can still purchase firearms.

The Preamble to our Constitution proclaims our nation be one that “insures domestic tranquility . . . and promotes the general welfare . . . .” AR-15 style assault weapons do not rise to the level of fulfilling the spirit of our Constitution. We urge you to support an assault weapons ban for a safer America. Blessings and Peace!

Ron and Linda Letnes