Letters to Schumer is a series in which we’re publishing a collection of Natalie Holme Elsberg’s letters sent to Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY).
Find the previous letter here.
I started writing letters to Senator Chuck Schumer, the Democratic minority leader, (and arguably most senior Democrat), shortly after I discovered Resistbot. I sit in a darkened room with my little ones as they fall asleep after story time. As I scroll through the news of the day, every story brings a new outrage.
Resistbot turns words you send it into a letter and faxes it off to Washington D.C. Much more cathartic than haranguing my neighbors, children, family, dinner companions, and fellow dog-walkers and strangers with my daily outrage! And *maybe* more effective. Sometimes I can’t resist SHOUTING at Senator Schumer IN ALL CAPS, because …. WTF CHUCK?! I think of it as putting Senator Chuckie on notice. Hey, at least he won’t be able to say: “Nobody told me!”
On the theory that our elected Democratic Party representatives may not actually have a clue, I have been employing my texting thumbs to complain, cajole, and educate them on their mistakes and also on what progressive policy looks like. (Resistbot will send your letter to all of your Senators and Congresspeople if you ask it to.) On their federal responsibilities, and their duty to coordinate and empower state and local government. The right wing and Tea Party activists together with ALEC successfully took over legislation and policy at the state and local level while the Democratic Party was asleep at the wheel. A group of us got together and formed LEAP, which is putting together progressive model legislation for the state and local level — watch this space.
So consider these templates and examples — you can do it too. Feel free to copy, paste, send, call, fax or scribble a postcard. Holding our reps accountable is an important part of the renaissance in democratic engagement we see going on in town halls and protests across the nation. Let’s push them in a progressive direction and promote the progressive narrative. It takes 5-10 minutes a day…and it’s better therapy than yelling at the Rachel Maddow Show.
Natalie Holme Elsberg
April 17, 2017
Senator Charles E. Schumer
322 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C., 20510
Dear Senator Schumer,
Legislation pushed by the gun lobby (H.R. 36/S. 498) would force states to allow concealed carry by many people with no permit- allowing people who have never been screened by a background check to carry throughout the country. Concealed carry reciprocity would force each state to recognize the concealed carry standards from every other state, even those that have dramatically weaker standards. Law enforcement overwhelmingly opposes this legislation, which would put police in danger of being sued for doing their jobs. Reciprocity would have a profound impact on state public safety, making the state with the weakest standards into the law of the land, and allowing criminals and other dangerous people to carry concealed guns in every state in the country. Gun lobby-backed Congress members have introduced more than two dozen bills to override state laws on who is too dangerous to carry concealed weapons on the streets. Mayors Against Illegal Guns, now part of Everytown, has led the fight to defeat these bills, including when 58 senators voted for them in 2014, and when it passed the House in 2011.
Convicted Stalkers: 28 states and DC will not grant permits to convicted stalkers. Reciprocity would override those state laws and force them to allow people with stalking convictions to carry hidden loaded guns.
Teenagers: 35 states and DC will only issue permits to people 21 and over. Reciprocity would force those states to allow teenagers to carry.
Drunk Drivers: 27 states and DC won’t give permits to people with multiple DUI’s within the past 3 years. Reciprocity would allow drunk drivers to carry across the country.
We are beset by an epidemic of gun violence and abysmal gun safety legislation because our government has caved to the NRA and absconded on its responsibility to ensure that our “militia” is “well-regulated.” Please make sure you do all you can to make sure that H.R. 36/S. 498 does not pass.
Read on The Progressive Army.