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Letter: Rep. Roskam Needs to Support President's Gun Safety Proposals

Glen Ellyn Patch welcomes letters to the editor. For consideration, contact Local Editor Mary Ann Lopez at maryl@patch.com.

Recent mass shootings are hitting too close to home. My sister lives just outside of Aurora, Colorado. One of my cousins shops in the Clackamas Mall in Oregon and another cousin attended Virginia Tech when the shooting occurred there. A good Glen Ellyn friend is friends with the parents of the little girl who was the sole survivor of her class in Newtown. I cannot sit still any longer. If this is not the moment to change things, then what will the next moment look like?

Even today, Representative Roskam does not support universal background checks for firearm purchases or any other gun violence prevention measures being discussed in Washington DC.

Following the tragedy in Newtown, there is real political momentum. We must act now to prevent more tragedies. While IL has some of the strictest gun laws in the nation, it is almost meaningless without similar gun laws governing the rest of the country. Crime guns come to IL from many other states, in fact, the number one border for crime guns to cross in the entire country is from IN into IL.

We in Glen Ellyn are in a unique position to ask for change. Our Congressional Representative, Peter Roskam, is a leader of Republicans in the House of Representatives. He is the Chief Deputy Whip, ranking 4th of 232 house Republicans. I believe that he represents a constituency that would want safer gun legislation, because the only other option on the table is arming our teachers, and that is not an acceptable option.

Gun violence takes over 30,000 lives and leads to over 60,000 injuries annually. To the fiscally minded, the Firearm & Injury Center at University of Pennsylvania estimates that the annual cost of this gun violence is over $100 billion. Two of every 5 guns sold are sold without background checks. Since 1982 there have only been 3 years without mass shootings, and six of the 12 deadliest shootings have taken place since 2007. Since 1968, more Americans have been killed by gunfire than in all the wars in our nation's history.

It has been almost 2 months since 20 little children and 6 adults were murdered in CT and it angers me that Representative Roskam is not even calling for the most basic of changes, universal background checks. I am here today to remind my friends and neighbors in Glen Ellyn that we are at a turning point. We must raise our voices and demand change and so I ask the President and Board of Glen Ellyn to support gun safety initiatives in Springfield and Washington DC and I would like to ask my friends and neighbors in Glen Ellyn to contact Representative Roskam and ask him to support the President’s gun safety proposals. Rep Roskam can be reached at 202-225-4561.

Kathleen Meier

Glen Ellyn

maureen mcguire February 14, 2013 at 01:06 PM
Thank you for your thoughtful and so accurate letter, Kathleen. On a related topic, we should also be contacting Congressman Roskam's office about voting AGAINST the Violence Against Women Act this past December. There is certainly no one more vulnerable than women affected by domestic violence and other acts of violence, and this Act provides protections for them. Yet he voted against it? Who actually does he represent?
Janille Palmer Santa Ana February 14, 2013 at 04:04 PM
You are so right about the need for action and leadership in this country to bring the problem of gun violence under control! Unfortunately, it is not likely that a Republican representative will have the courage to go against the gun lobby, even if he does understand the need for change. Perhaps if more reasonable people would speak out demanding that congress take action and show leadership and courage against the moneyed interests?
Jim Murphy February 14, 2013 at 05:54 PM
Gun safety, yes. Gun control, no. Mental health issues are the problem. Remember the government works for us, not the other way around.
Diane February 14, 2013 at 07:21 PM
Thanks for pointing out that Congressman Roskam is not in favor of background checks. Polls show a clear majority of people are in favor of universal background checks. If this is a mental health issue, should we still be selling guns to people we clearly know have a mental health issue? The NRA says that criminals would never submit to background checks, but from 1994 to 2009 background checks stopped nearly 2 million gun purchases. It wasn't that long ago that the NRA supported universal background checks. How can we use the term "responsible gun ownership" and in the same breath espouse the right of known felons to purchase a gun?
Mary M. Lane February 14, 2013 at 07:38 PM
Well, my mentally ill ex-brother in law/pain killer-addicted fire-fighter didn't show for a hearing for an order of protection that my sister had on him. She was not warned that he didn't show, and he still had his guns, which he used to kill her and then himself, leaving my nephews orphans. I also taught in an area where families have guns for protection, and we lost one student each week of the first semester to gun violence, at least one of which was an accident. Health regulations including gun safety controls are for safety for the common good. God help us all.
Diane February 14, 2013 at 09:02 PM
Mary Lane - I am very sorry for your loss... When I hear stories like this, I just know that we have to try harder to make our country a better place.
Frances Gross February 14, 2013 at 10:42 PM
Thank you Kathleen for expressing so well what many of us feel about this issue.
Kevin Walker February 14, 2013 at 11:45 PM
Don't be a low information voter. Check the facts. Even vehemently antigun Vice-President Biden recently in a moment of candor admitted none of the gun control measures currently presented will prevent mass shootings. Pass more laws that restrict the rights of the law-abiding just to make us feel better, or find real solutions?
Erin Wolaver February 18, 2013 at 03:19 AM
Thank you Kathleen for a thoughtful, well informed letter to the editor. I agree with you whole heartily and appreciate your pointing out where our Rep. is in this debate. As you had pointed out, gun control is more than about mass killings, it is about saving lives all over the country every day. We need to care about those who feel unsafe to leave their front door, or even sit on their front porch due to gun violence. Although that is not my reality, I do care about those (babies, mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, and grandparents) for whom that is their reality. Yes, we need real solutions, and providing more gun control is a step in the right direction. Thank you again!!
Cheryl Nanton February 20, 2013 at 02:17 PM
Roskam just envision your family member being a recipient of some deranged person and do the right thing. If you make it personal you Will vote for controlling this thing because only an idiot couldn't see that and who needs idiots on Congress
Jeanine February 26, 2013 at 01:24 AM
Thanks Kathleen - we all need to call Rep Roskam. I have many times. Please call him - and call him many times. I also wrote him letters and sent emails. We need gun control - we can't tell who is going to 'snap' next. It is impossible. We must limit access to weapons.

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