Thank you for contacting me with your concerns regarding gun control. I appreciate hearing your thoughts and welcome the opportunity to respond.
The Second Amendment to the Constitution prohibits the federal government from denying law-abiding citizens the right to own and bear arms. Our Founding Fathers considered this right paramount.
While legislation to ban firearms, ammunition, and equipment makes headlines, the truth is these antics simply divert attention from the real issue: an ineffective criminal justice system that cannot adequately prosecute violent predators. Of America's 4.3 million convicted criminals, barely 26% are in prison. The remaining 74% are free to roam our nation's streets. Gun control is not the answer. Crime statistics from New York City and Washington, D.C. point out that radical gun control policies have failed to control crime. While these two cities have had the two most restrictive gun control laws in the country, they are both known for their violent criminal activity.
Regrettably, individuals on my Washington staff who live in D.C. have suffered the effects of poor crime control. In addition to my staff, I have personally experienced situations with social delinquents. I believe that I should be able to defend myself against the crimes involving guns. I also believe the answer is tougher laws against criminal activity. The government must concentrate on locking up criminals and stopping criminal behavior, not imposing criminal penalties on law-abiding citizens who are merely exercising their freedom to protect their families and their property.
Because very few criminals actually purchase weapons legally, gun control will merely punish law-abiding citizens, leaving them vulnerable to criminal attack. Federal law enforcement agencies estimate that up to 75% of all guns used in the commission of a crime are either stolen or purchased illegally. By obtaining guns on the street or through theft, criminals will continue to effectively evade any gun control measure.
Our nation must face the harsh realities of our ineffective criminal justice system, and work to solve the true evils that plague our nation. Gun control is neither the problem nor the solution.
Throughout my tenure in public service, I have always kept an open door and an open dialogue with my constituents. As the 111th Congress addresses the many challenges facing our nation, I hope you will continue to share your thoughts and views with me. Accordingly, I encourage you to visit my Web site at http://brown-waite.house.gov
to e-mail me and find useful information about our 5th Congressional District.
It is my honor and privilege to serve the people of Florida's 5th Congressional District and my offices and staff are here to provide you with any assistance you may need.
Member of Congress