This afternoon from 3:00 to 4:00 Protect Minnesota will host a demonstration in the MN Capitol Rotunda in support of state legislation re: gun violence.
As part of its efforts, Protect Minnesota invited individuals to write letters to MN Senate and House Judiciary Committee members. This letter went out this morning.
I am a Christian Pastor. I write you out of deep concern for the unrestrained violence taking place in the name of “the right to liberty” that imperils “the right of life…and the pursuit of happiness”. The three rights proclaimed in The Declaration of Independence are intended to be mutually supportive, not mutually exclusive. The right to liberty was never intended to take the other two rights hostage.
I strongly support legislation and enforcement of laws that place gun ownership in its proper place in our common life. The Second Amendment does NOT grant unlimited rights for anyone to purchase and use a gun anywhere anytime any more than the First Amendment on free speech allows speech that slanders or libels, lies under oath, or yells “Fire!” in a crowded theater.
As Senators and Representatives, you were elected by the people in your districts. Once you took the oath of office, your responsibility changed. You entered the halls of representative democracy where leadership requires you to act by your own consciences, not by public opinion polls in your districts. We are a representative democracy, not a pure democracy). Your responsibility as Senators and Representatives is to LEAD WISELY not only for the sake of your own constituents but for the greater good of the entire State of Minnesota.
We are quickly becoming, if we are not already, an armed camp in which the “neighbor” of Jewish, Christian, and Islamic teachings is regarded as an anachronism. Unless you plug the holes in our background check system by requiring a check for every pistol or assault weapon sale, the rights of life and the pursuit of happiness will be held hostage by unrestrained liberty, and the home of the brave and the land of the free will continue on the way to become the home of the scared and the land of the unrestrained individual tyranny.
Thank you for listening.
Gordon C. Stewart
I am catching up on posting my poetry. I wrote this one in January. I thought of you when I posted it. I hope this conversation from 25 years ago can give you some encouragement and inspiration. The work you are doing on gun control I believe is very important and it will succeed.
David, thanks for this. I’m getting ready to re-post it. Very nice piece of good cheer.