Gop Freshman Class Hour: The Second Amendmentby Representative Luke Messer
Posted on 2013-03-04
MESSER. I ask unanimous consent that all Members may have 5
legislative days in which to revise and extend their remarks and
include extraneous materials on the subject of this Special Order.
The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the gentleman from Indiana? There was no objection.
Mr. MESSER. Mr. Speaker, I rise today as part of the second in a series of Special Orders put on by the newly elected freshman Republican caucus. Our first was on spending; today we rise to speak on the Second Amendment.
I have participated, in the first 50 days of my service here in this Chamber, in 19 public events throughout the Sixth District of Indiana-- coffees, meetings with constituents, the public, folks who vote to send us here--and I can tell you in every one of those events people have two topics top of mind: they're focused on spending; they're focused on the sequester. They're tired of the Federal Government that continues to spend money that we don't have, and they want the government to follow the principle that every American family does, which is, you don't spend money unless you have money to spend. But the second topic that I hear everywhere that I go is the Second Amendment and the importance of making sure that that bedrock principle of American liberty is protected.
We all know of the tragic events that have occurred in recent months here in America--obviously the Connecticut tragedy being foremost on top of the mind. I want to make clear in my comments, as I do all throughout my district, that as a Nation we are heartbroken by tragedies like that when they occur. As a Nation, we mourn and weep with the families that had to deal with those tragedies. But as sad and tragic as those circumstances are, we cannot allow those events to be an excuse to undercut the Second Amendment and all that it means for liberty in this Nation.
There are opportunities to make a difference for public safety in this debate. It is time for a national conversation about mental health because the common denominator in every one of these crimes is that the perpetrator is someone who is mentally ill.
There are opportunities to do more on school security, and I'm hopeful that we will be able to work through those as we move forward. But this much must be made clear: gun bans don't work. They are only effective at preventing law-abiding citizens from having guns because the criminals and mentally deranged that commit these crimes don't care about the fact that there is a law that would have them not have a gun. To blame a gun for a [[Page H940]] crime is to blame a pen for a misspelled word. I look forward to the opportunity to dialogue with my colleagues today on this important topic.
I appreciate Congressman Stockman and Congressman Williams for their comments just a few minutes ago.
I yield to the gentleman from Utah to step forward and give comments on this important topic.