My sister wrote the following letter to Senator Diane Feinstein of California, but is sending copies to her congressional representatives, too. She gave me permission to send a similar letter to my Illinois reps, copying entire passages from hers, and she encouraged me to share it with everyone who reads this blog.
Dear Senator Feinstein:
I have recently learned of your plan to introduce legislation banning assault weapons from use in the United States. I am writing to ask you to please implement a retro-active ban on ownership of these weapons.
In the wake of the 1996 Port Arthur Massacre in Australia which killed 35 people, public opinion was such that Australia’s government was able to successfully implement a far-reaching gun control measure. Within the new law was a restriction on the ownership of semi-automatic weapons including a retro-active ban on ownership of these weapons. Although some gun owners weren’t happy about giving up their semi-automatic weapons, they were appeased by the government implementing a buy-back program in which the government bought back the newly banned guns at a rate of the retail price plus ten percent.
Over the last 15 years, as a result of the ban, Australia, who had previously seen a mass shooting approximately every year, has seen no mass-shootings.
It seems to me that the American people deserve nothing less than a comprehensive ban on semi-automatic weapons. If the hunter-rich, gun loving Australians can pass such legislation, we should give the American people the opportunity to do likewise.
A good commentary on these issues is the Democracy Now program of Dec. 18, 2012 which features Rebecca Peters, former Chairperson of Australia’s National Coalition for Gun Control.
Thank you for your time and consideration of the above.