[Sign Up Now] to Receive Our FREE Daily SCVTV-SCVNews Digest by E-Mail

Inside
Weather
Santa Clarita CA
Clear
Clear
89°F
 
Calendar
Today in
S.C.V. History
October 24
1992 - Dedication of Santa Clarita's first Metrolink station (Santa Clarita Station) [brochure]


Out of Left Field | Commentary by Charlie Vignola
| Monday, Jan 7, 2013

charlievignolaAn open letter to Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon, R-Santa Clarita:

 

Dear Congressman McKeon,

Let me start off by congratulating you on being re-elected to Congress again, especially in a year when so many of your GOP brethren didn’t fare nearly as well.

I’m man enough to admit I didn’t vote for you, believing it was time for some new blood to represent our district and have a shot at serving our fine community. But you won fair and square, so you are now my congressman, charged with representing my interests as well as the interests of all of those who supported you in the last election.

There are many challenges facing us on a local level, but I’d like to take a few moments to talk about an important issue that dovetails with national concerns, as well.

The issue is gun regulation. Yeah, I know, know: Sandy Hook was weeks ago, and every conservative news outlet in America was hoping the furor over a classroom full of murdered 5- and 6-year-olds would’ve blown over by now so we could whistle past the graveyard and ignore a real discussion over gun violence until the next tragedy rears its head. That’s the way it’s supposed to work, right?

Well, sorry, but those dead kids are still dead, the grieving isn’t over yet, and the issue still needs to be dealt with.

Yes, I know every Santa Clarita member of the NRA and every non-member who’s a gun owner is already frothing at the mouth at the mere mention of regulating guns, fearful of the slippery slope that will lead to only criminals having guns and the rise of tyranny in America that will surely result if the government doesn’t have a well-armed populace to keep it in check.

Let me be clear, sir: No one is suggesting we get rid of all guns in America. That’s wish-fulfillment, not reality, especially in a country with 300 million guns on the streets and climbing. No, what I’m talking about is common-sense regulations that would be designed to reduce the danger of gun-related violence in America.

Now, we can debate whether the Second Amendment specifies that Americans only have the “right to bear arms” in the context of “a well regulated militia,” as the one-sentence amendment clearly states, but I think there’s one interpretation all rational people can agree upon. The “right to bear arms” doesn’t mean you have the right to bear any and all arms that now exist or will exist in the future, right?

I mean, if you define “arms” in the broadest sense to mean any weapon capable of inflicting injury or death, then surface-to-air missiles and nuclear weapons and rail guns and predator drones and chemical and biological weapons fall into that category.

I don’t think even the most die-hard members of the NRA are making the argument that average citizens should have access to the same level of weaponry as the most elite members of the U.S. military – or maybe they are, and we should all be a lot more terrified that people like that are voting members of the NRA.

My point is, if reasonable people can agree that yes, there are in fact limits to the “arms” average citizens can “bear”; that the Founding Fathers didn’t think people should have access to Buck Rogers-style ray guns if such a thing should ever be invented; then you have to accept the premise that there are limits to the types of weapons to which people should have legal access.

If we accept the premise of law-abiding gun owners that guns are mostly for recreation like hunting or for defending themselves and their families from the occasional home-invasion robber, road rage perpetrator or rapist, then they should have no problem giving up assault weapons and high-volume magazines capable of mowing down dozens of people per minute. Those are weapons of war and should only be available to soldiers tasked with defending our country in times of war – you know, like the “well regulated militia” that the Second Amendment is actually talking about.

You, Congressman McKeon, are the chairman of the House Armed Services Committee. You more than nearly anyone else in Congress actually deals with the biggest weapons manufacturers on the entire planet on a daily basis, the people who rain down death on foreign lands for their livelihood.

If you decided to speak up on behalf of all concerned Americans for sane, reasonable gun regulations like banning assault weapons and high-volume ammo clips, and getting rid of the gun show loophole that allows four out of 10 guns to be sold without background checks – well, sir, I believe people would listen to someone with your distinction and experience in guiding our country’s national defense.

I think I speak for many in the community when I say I don’t actually know how you personally feel about sensible gun regulations, especially in the wake of a national tragedy like Sandy Hook. Maybe you’ve been interviewed and quoted on the matter, but I haven’t seen or heard it.

More likely, you’ve scrupulously avoided speaking on the issue because then you’d actually have to take a stand on it, and that’s something that could have serious political repercussions for someone in your position. Which is just a long-winded way of saying you’d have to have courage – a quality that’s sadly in short-supply in the modern Congress.

But that doesn’t have to be the case, sir. If you think America would be a safer country without people having such easy access to weapons of war – you know, like most police, mayors and doctors do – then you have a responsibility to say so, and to take measures as a legislator so that the next school or mall massacre doesn’t happen in your own district.

Conversely, if you think we should arm every teacher in every classroom like NRA head Wayne LaPierre believes we should, if we should not only have assault weapons and 100-bullet clips but also fewer background checks and more access to deadlier weapons of war for average citizens, then have the guts to say so.

But saying and doing nothing about gun violence in America when you owe your political career to the biggest arms dealers in the world is no longer an option, Congressman McKeon. Tens of thousands of your fellow countrymen are dying every year because of it, sir, and your silence comforts no one.

For all of us here in Santa Clarita, I urge you: Let us know where you stand.

 

 

Charlie Vignola describes himself as a former College Republican turned liberal Democrat.  A resident of the Santa Clarita Valley since 1999, he works in the motion picture industry and loves his wife and kids.

 

 

Comment On This Story
COMMENT POLICY: We welcome comments from individuals and businesses. All comments are moderated. Comments are subject to rejection if they are vulgar, combative, or in poor taste.
REAL NAMES ONLY: All posters must use their real individual or business name. This applies equally to Twitter account holders who use a nickname.

6 Comments

  1. Larry says:

    I believe the gun control laws in place in California, which are the toughest in the country, would suffice nationally. If you take away guns from the law abiding citizens, only the criminals will have them. It has been proven over and over again that tougher gun control laws don’t reduce crime, in fact they cause an increase in crime. Look at Washington DC. To think that gun control will fix the problem is wrong. Drugs kill more people annually, and drugs are illegal. Use your logic people, take care of your guns, lock them up, but don’t ever give them up.

  2. DMV says:

    Define the Militia first.. Citizens are the militia.. It’s that simple.. Review the Federalist Papers..

  3. Iserved4you says:

    First things first. We need to enact much tougher automobile control laws. Too many drunks are using cars to kill people with.

  4. Wallace says:

    You sir, are an idiot!

  5. k,muhi says:

    Get a life looser

Leave a Comment


Opinion Section Policy
All opinions and ideas are welcome. Factually inaccurate, libelous, defamatory, profane or hateful statements are not. Your words must be your own. All commentary is subject to editing for legibility. There is no length limit, but the shorter, the better the odds of people reading it. "Local" SCV-related topics are preferred. Send commentary to: LETTERS (at) SCVNEWS.COM. Author's full name, community name, phone number and e-mail address are required. Phone numbers and e-mail addresses are not published except at author's request. Acknowledgment of submission does not guarantee publication.
Read More From...
RECENT COMMENTARY
Tuesday, Oct 10, 2017
It was 10 years ago this fall semester that we opened the Canyon Country Campus on Sierra Highway. We are celebrating a decade of academic excellence and community impact. What a difference a decade makes.
Tuesday, Oct 3, 2017
The Trump budget proposes decreasing funding to the Department of the Interior by $1.5 billion. Trump is calling for more drilling in national parks and monuments. He plans to open BLM land to drilling and fracking.
Tuesday, Oct 3, 2017
We are quickly approaching the culmination of the year-long celebration of our city’s 30th anniversary. It is truly a time to celebrate all the hard work, dedication, perseverance and passion that took our City from being a tiny portion of Los Angeles County to the thriving third largest city in the county.
Tuesday, Oct 3, 2017
This month marks an exciting milestone for the premier arts and entertainment district in Santa Clarita.
Friday, Sep 29, 2017
Kaepernick has never spoken of personally experiencing any negative interactions with the police. Appearances are he had a pretty nice life provided by people with white skin while living in a country that presented him with obvious, mind-boggling opportunities.
Thursday, Sep 28, 2017
Despite its close proximity to the city of Barstow, Rainbow Basin remains virtually undiscovered. It is well worth a visit. Visitors to the area can find scenic opportunities for hiking, rock scrambling, camping, photography, sightseeing and horseback riding.

Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
1992 - Dedication of Santa Clarita's first Metrolink station (Santa Clarita Station) [brochure]
Bowman Continuation High School science teacher Ravinder Athwal has been nominated for the 2017-2018 National LifeChanger of the Year award.
Bowman Science Teacher Nominated National LifeChanger of the Year
Tonight on SCV NewsBreak, a Canyon Country faces enhanced charges in the death of 37 year old Katie Evans. Plus, a special luncheon for families of veterans. Watch these stories and more on tonight's edition f SCV NewsBreak.
SCV NewsBreak for Monday, October 23, 2017
California State University, Northridge officials have named the building that houses the university’s business college Bookstein Hall, in honor of alumni Harriet and Harvey Bookstein and their generous support of CSUN over the years.
CSUN Names Business College Building for Harvey and Harriet Bookstein
St. Stephen's Episcopal Church in Santa Clarita will present "Jazz Vespers: A Celebration of Life, Spirit and Music" in honor of All Saints Day on Sunday, November 5 starting at 7 p.m.
Nov. 5: Jazz Vespers at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church
A Canyon Country woman faces enhanced charges and increased bail in the death of a mother of a mother of six who was killed in a car crash on Golden Valley Road Oct. 6, according to the Los Angeles District Attorney's office.
Cina Faces Enhanced Charges in Death of Katie Evans
The Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station has suspended its "Safe Drug Drop-Off" program for unwanted prescription drugs, sharps and narcotics pending reassessment of the program, according to officials.
SCV Sheriff’s Station Suspends Safe Drug Drop Off Program
Here is the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station's public safety report for Saugus (Zone 4) for October 9-15, 2017.
Crime Blotter: Grand Theft Auto, Petty Theft in Saugus
California's attorney general and a coalition of 16 fellow AG's sent a letter to Congressional leadership Monday urging Congress to reject legislation that would force every state to recognize the concealed firearm carry standards of every other state.
California AG Urges Congress to Oppose Concealed-Carry Reciprocity
The Santa Clarita Community College District's Board of Trustees will conduct a joint business meeting with the Associated Student Government at College of the Canyons' Canyon Country Campus on Wednesday, October 25, starting at 3 p.m.
Oct. 25: COC Board of Trustees, Student Government Meeting
Here is the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station’s public safety report for Stevenson Ranch (Zone 3) for October 9-15, 2017.
Crime Blotter: Burglary, Shoplifting in Stevenson Ranch
Here is the complete agenda for the Sulphur Springs Union School District's regular meeting of the Governing Board on Wednesday, Oct. 25 at 7 p.m.
Oct. 25: Sulphur Springs School District Governing Board Meeting
College of the Canyons freshman golfer Joanna Roecker was named the Western State Conference Female Athlete of the Week for week six (Oct. 1-7, 2017).
COC Golfer Joanna Roecker Named WSC Female Athlete of the Week
The College of the Canyons Athletics Department hosted a FUNdamentals Football Camp and "Punt, Pass, Kick" Challenge organized by Special Olympics Southern California and the Los Angeles Rams.
COC Athletics Hosts FUNdamentals Football Camp with Special Olympics, L.A. Rams
The Eyeworks Festival of Experimental Animation arrived at REDCAT with its 2017 festival selections on Saturday.
Eyeworks Festival of Experimental Animation Lights Up REDCAT
The West Hollywood Aesthetics and Politics Lecture Series (WHAP!), co-hosted by CalArts MA Program in Aesthetics and Politics and the city of West Hollywood, opened its fall 2017 series on Friday, and has two more lectures coming up this month and next.
CalArts Co-Hosts Fall 2017 WHAP! Lecture Series
The four Democrats running to be California’s next governor vowed to resist the Trump administration, protect the state’s sanctuary status, increase affordable housing and boost jobs and education during their first joint forum Sunday.
Gubernatorial Hopefuls Mostly Agree on Universal Health Care
TMU soccer player Brayden Campos is taking a crash course in goalkeeping. Two full games into his new gig, the freshman keeper is settling in just fine.
TMU Men’s Soccer: Campos Growing Into the Job
Early in Saturday’s second half, Sarah Stead chipped a short shot over the Jessup keeper’s head and into the goal, and Master’s hung on for a 1-0 win, its first shutout in two weeks.
TMU Women’s Soccer Team Blanks William Jessup 1-0
The Golden State Athletic Conference released its preseason coaches poll on Saturday morning, and The Master’s University men’s basketball team was projected to finish first.
TMU Men’s Basketball Tops GSAC Preseason Coaches Poll
In cross country, the No. 8-ranked TMU Mustang women finished third and the Mustang men finished fourth at the Warrior Invitational.
Mikesell Leads TMU Cross Country Through Rehearsal
Despite several bright spots in the home match, the Mustangs lost 3-1 by scores of 25-27, 25-21, 25-20 and 25-16.
Mustangs Volleyballers Corralled by Vanguard 3-1
In some sense, Thursday night’s match at Hope International in Fullerton summed up the Mustangs’ season to this point.
Hope International Bests Matadors Volleyball
A car crashed into the bedroom of a home on Wiley Canyon Road Saturday night, but no one was injured or arrested.
Car Makes Unwanted Visit to Newhall Home
A woman has been charged with assault with a deadly weapon in a stabbing incident in Stevenson Ranch Saturday night.
Woman Charged in Alleged Stabbing of Friend in Stevenson Ranch
1888 - 8:15 a.m.: Newhall's luxurious Southern Hotel burns to the ground [story]
Bobbi Jean and her husband Jim Bell, whose OutWest clothing store and popular TV concert series celebrated all things Western and equestrian and helped revitalize Old Town Newhall over the past decade, will soon ride east into the sunrise: They’re moving to New Mexico.
OutWest Owners Jim and Bobbi Jean Bell Ride East Into the Sunrise
1898 - Birth of Mary S. Ruiz, eldest child of Enrique & Rosaria Ruiz of San Francisquito Canyon; all died in 1928 dam disaster [cemetery census]
2007 - Buckweed fire chars 38,000 acres, destroys 21 homes in Canyon Country and Agua Dulce [story]
Tonight on SCV NewsBreak, a sexual assault suspect was arrested Thursday night. Plus, some great weekend events. Watch these stories and more on tonight's edition of SCV NewsBreak.
SCV NewsBreak for Friday, October 20, 2017
Forever Fit SCV, a Santa Clarita sports and personal fitness training company, will host a "Pumpkin Workout" at its Centre Pointe location on Saturday, October 28, starting at 9 a.m.
Oct. 25: Pumpkin Workout Benefits American Cancer Society
The next regular meeting of the Governing Board of the William S. Hart Union High School District is set for Wednesday, Oct. 25 at 7 p.m.
Oct. 25: Hart School District Governing Board Meeting
The LA County Public Defender has won the Silver Eagle Award for its Public Defender Jail Liaison Program during the 31st Annual Productivity and Quality Awards Ceremony on Oct. 18 at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion.
LA County Public Defender Soars with Silver Eagle Award
The Los Angeles County Health Officer has issued a heat alert as high temperatures have been forecast for the Los Angeles Basin on Monday, October 23 through Tuesday, October 24.
Heat Alert for SCV, L.A. County on Monday, Tuesday
The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures has received three major gifts toward the creation of the museum in Los Angeles, bringing fundraising to more than $300M, nearly 80 percent of its $388M campaign goal.
Motion Picture Museum Nears $388M Campaign Goal
Caltrans added nearly 1,200 lane miles of pavement repair and 66 bridges to its growing list of projects to be delivered sooner than planned, thanks to the imminent influx of revenue from the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017 (SB 1), the transportation funding and reform package passed in April.
Nearly $3.4 Billion in Transportation Projects to Be Accelerated