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Letter to the Editor: Newtown Rampage is a Turning Point

A Glen Ellyn reader contacts Congressman Peter Roskam's office to inquire about his stance on gun rights after the Newtown shooting and the future of NRA campaign donations and receives an inadequate response.

Glen Ellyn Patch welcomes letters to the editor. Letters should be submitted for consideration to Local Editor Mary Ann Lopez at maryl@patch.com.

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As a parent and grandparent, I was moved to tears by the tragic shootings at Newtown, Connecticut.

I am not opposed to gun ownership. Many enjoy hunting and they should be able to continue to do so. I have never owned a firearm or even discharged one in my life, and I have never understood the need to own an assault weapon. In today's reality we permit these dangerous offensive weapons to exist in every state across the country.

On Sunday, I asked myself two questions.

Am I really prepared to say that I am powerless in the face of the Newtown carnage, that the politics are too hard?

Am I prepared to say that such violence visited on our children year after year is somehow the price of our freedom?

On Monday morning I contacted the office of the Congressman Peter Roskam who represents the Sixth District of Illinois to learn his position regarding assault weapons. Congressman Roskam is among the House and Senate members who received donations from the National Rifle Association. During the 2012 election cycle he accepted $3,000 from the NRA which made donations totaling $719,596. In 2010 he received $2,000, in 2008, he received $6,500 and in 2006, he received $4,950 for a grand total of $16,450.

You would think Congressman Roskam would be prepared to deal with such an inquiry after this tragedy. At least, I thought he would be able to respond, but that was NOT the case. In reply to my question, Jeff Ragsdale, a congressional assistant told me "You know, Congressman Roskam is pro-gun rights." He asked me to hold while he checked on the official position regarding assault weapons. After a brief wait he told me that he would send me an email later in the day.

I asked the congressional assistant if he knew whether Congressman Roskam would be willing to accept further donations from the NRA based on the terrible Newtown tragedy. He told me to call the Roskam re-election office and provided the telephone number. I called office and was directed to leave a message. Later in the day I received a call from David Rivera from the Roskam re-election office, and I posed my questions regarding future donations. Mr. Rivera asked me why I was calling this office, and I told him I was directed by the congressional assistant. He took my email address and said he would reply. As of this writing he has not replied. Later Congressional Assistant Jeff Ragsdale called me to report that he would NOT send me an email regarding my information request; but I would receive a letter at some unspecified date.

I was angered and sadden by this response but determined that this is too important to get a brush off. We need to do more to keep our children safe. This cannot go on. Mass shootings cannot become routine and accepted in America. The latest slaughter of innocents and those who tried to protect them has become a turning point for me.

If Congressman Roskam – as our district’s representative – does not have the courage and conviction to protect our children and all of us from assault weapons, his position should be known. And, if he supports and accepts donations from the NRA, I cannot support him.

Stand up Congressman to act like a leader and not an NRA follower.

Respectfully,

Ken Trantowski 

Glen Ellyn

Patrick Henry December 19, 2012 at 01:24 PM
On the contrary, if anything Mr. Roskam ought to lead the charge on Federal Conceal-Carry legislation. The second amendment is not about hunting, sport shooting, nor collecting. We need to stop kidding ourselves to even begin a dialogue. The amendment was written into the constitution for one very simple reason, as a safeguard to an over-reaching, out of control tyrannical government. Why do you think the hard left wants to abolish the 2nd at every chance. Yes, the law was written many, many years ago and firearms have changed considerably. But the firearms we have today are relative to our times, as our founding father's firearms in their day were relative to their period. Don't fall victim to the Progressive left’s misdirect, and phony alligator tears. Where’s the left’s outrage at the thousands of abortions performed daily in our urban cesspools? These monsters will politicize anything for their agenda’s gain!
Mickey December 19, 2012 at 05:32 PM
If I follow your arguments correctly - you want to be able to conceal-carry an assault rifle to protect yourself against the government if it should ever become over-reaching and out of control? I'm having difficulty understanding how this would work. Would you be watching a movie one evening and the government would rush in and decide to raise your taxes so you would have to use your assault rifle? You obviously are opposed to abortions - does it then reason that you should use your assault rifle against government workers due to this tyranny? Personally I would rather see people use Mr. Trantowski's method of trying to change the government to make our society better.
Patrick Henry December 19, 2012 at 11:40 PM
As per the usual progressive mentality, you are unable to digest my concerns in their entirety. No, I would never suggest carrying Semi-aut rifles. And remember, that's what we are talking about because assault rifles are already illegal. And no, I do not oppose a woman's right to make a choice, although I do oppose tax money paying for such procedures. It does however make me sick that your kind see abortions as a means of birth control for irresponsible urban morons.
Emily December 20, 2012 at 12:10 AM
I thought we were talking about guns, not abortions. I don't really see the connection. What do you plan on using your guns for? You mentioned an out of control government, at what point to you plan to start shooting? On another note, thanks to Mr. Trantowski for taking the initiative to get some answers.
Jaded Smaded December 20, 2012 at 03:18 AM
freedom is choice. If you don't want guns, that's your business. I do and that's my Shame on the Patch for sturbusiness. The right to bear arms is NECESSARY to a free nation. Conneticut is pretty far away and yours and everyone else's emotions are getting in the way of reasonable thought. Shame on the Patch for stirring up peoples emotions. How about that gapping hole in Illinois' budget?

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