A Letter from Senator Burr

Senator Richard Burr (R-NC) is the last of my congressional delegation to respond to my letter. Today I received his thoughtful response by old-fashioned snail mail, the only one of my representatives in Raleigh or Washington to do so. While the Senator does not forcefully defend the Second Amendment as I hoped he would, he does characterize the current proposals as “knee jerk” and recognizes that nothing being proposed would have prevented tragedies like Sandy Hook.

Dear [Armed Lutheran]:

Thank you for contacting me regarding the horrific tragedy that occurred in Newtown, Connecticut, and about the possibility of Congress considering gun control legislation.

I was shocked by the tragic and senseless shooting that took place at Sandy Hook Elementary School. As a parent of two, I realize the importance of making our schools safe. We must ensure schools are able to provide a safe learning environment for both students and faculty. This is a topic I take very seriously.

A terrible event, such as the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary, naturally results in a discussion about whether we should re-examine our laws and policies. As a society, we must recognize that the underlying problems that led up to Sandy Hook and other mass shootings are not simple ones. To me, this terrible situation raises many questions about the quality of mental health care in this country and whether people with severe problems are being properly treated. In 2008, Congress passed and President Bush signed mental health parity legislation to ensure that Americans could access mental health care, and we need to investigate how well this law has been implemented and whether people suffering with severe illness are accessing care.

Furthermore, I think that violence such as this also raises serious questions about the values promoted by our society and culture. Does the entertainment industry too casually celebrate depictions of violence on television, in the movies, and in music without considering the message that these frequent and graphic depictions send to our youth? Do video games promote social isolation and violent behavior, or can they desensitize impressionable young people to the effects of real-world violence? Are we doing anything to promote fatherhood and positive role models to our children, especially young boys? None of these questions have simple answers.

Unfortunately, rather than a serious, thoughtful investigation of these difficult, complex issues, the conversation in the media and elsewhere seems to be focused almost entirely on one approach: further restrictions on the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens. As a result, I fear that a knee jerk reaction to this tragedy that focuses solely on guns will only serve to give Americans a false sense of security about public safety, and our children will not be any safer from those who wish to do them harm. That's why I do not believe that many, if not most of the gun proposals under discussion are the answer to this issue, especially since none of them would have prevented this tragedy from happening.

You can be certain I will keep your views in mind as Congress debates this issue. Thank you for contacting me, and I hope you will continue to stay in touch.


Richard Burr
United States Senator


[emphasis mine]

2 Comments on "A Letter from Senator Burr"

  1. Good afternoon,
    I ran across your blog while in the midst of more research regarding the latest “gun control” hystrionics in our Capitols and our churches. I am an Episcopalian in turmoil, trying to know if I should try to fight the system from within or just bail and take my money with me. The church seems so hopelessly left-wing that I’m starting to feel contaminated by it instead of… well, all of the things that church is supposed to do for someone who just wants to do Christ’s work.

    I have the added misfortune of living in NY, so you can imagine my stress levels. Anyway… glad to find your blog, I think if most congregants/parisioners who value the 2nd Amendment choke off the money supply from their left-wing churches, this nonsense will stop in a hurry. How to get the word out is another matter. Your thoughts are appreciated.


    • The Armed Lutheran | January 24, 2013 at 2:40 pm |

      I left the United Methodist Church after years of watching it lurch to the left and involve itself in political issues rather than focusing on Christ. Many, if not most, local congregations in these left-leaning churches are much more conservative than the national leadership, but feel powerless to do anything about it.

      Some decide to go their own way and start new organizations that are better suited to their beliefs. For example, the ELCA Lutheran Church is very left-leaning. In the last couple of years they voted to allow the ordination of homosexual pastors. That was the last straw for many churches and a number of them broke away from the ELCA. Rather than join an orthodox Lutheran body, they chose to form a slightly less liberal one: the North American Lutheran Church (NALC). For me, the Missouri Synod (LCMS) strikes the right balance. The LCMS takes a more adiaphoristic approach, and does not generally involve itself in issues of politics, unless those issues are strictly forbidden in God’s word. Life issues being one example.

      The biggest problem is that most parishioners don’t see this encroaching liberalism in their home church. The issue is what the national organization does with the money individual churches are obliged to send them, and they don’t publicize it heavily. You have to dig deep into many of their position statements and websites to find out where they stand on controversial issues like “social justice”, climate change, gun control, homosexuality, or abortion. Like the low-information voters who watch the nightly news and believe our president and his party are working for the little people and the GOP hates women and blacks, most ordinary parishioners don’t pay enough attention to know what their churches are really supporting.

      The only answer is to keep spreading the word. Politely ask your fellow congregants, your family and friends if they know where their church stands on certain issues. Educate. Inform. Pray. Ultimately, let them come to their own conclusions and hope it’s the right one.

      Christ’s blessings.

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