Guns 3: how to challenge the NRA

In Guns 2, I told you about my first letter to Kirsten Gillibrand--who at that time, 2009, still supported the NRA.

I told her I’d be cutting out clips of every gun violence story I found in my two newspapers, the Daily News and the New York Times, and sending them to her.

Here’s my first letter, a sort of index covering the clips I enclosed.

May 4, 2009

Hon. Kirsten Gillibrand
478 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510

Dear Senator Gillibrand:

As promised, I enclose thirteen clippings from the past week’s New York Times and Daily News regarding separate instances of gun violence. They are:

4/27/09                      At papers, new levels of job insecurity – Times
                                     B’klyn woman wounded by stray bullet – News
                                     2 killed in weekend of Bx. violence – News
                                    Catch whoever shot my son – News
4/29/09                    ‘Fizzy Woo’ and ‘Drip’ nabbed in Bloods bust – News
                                    He’s shot in head, dies – News
                                    Heavy hitter for hit ma – News
4/30/09                    Yes, Justices tell gunman, it’s 10 years – Times
                                    Gun-control feud – News
                                    Bronx gun buy-back nets 987 – News
                                    Sharp shooter – News
5/2/09                      Where do you stand on assault weapons? – Times
                                    2 teenagers considered high school shooting – Time

Given the list, you can see why I was so disturbed.

I was scrupulous: each of these articles refers to an entirely separate incident of gun violence.

Soon after, I began to copy the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence on all my letters to Gillibrand. I continued doing this weekly or bi-weekly until October 2009. I did not necessarily expect a response–I wasn’t doing this for recognition–but, on the other hand, I did not get a response. And, as my brother said, Gillibrand, or at least someone in her office, should have responded.

So, in October, I sent my last letter with clippings to her. Here it is, with one elision (a reference to a David Brooks editorial that is–typically Brooks–irrelevant then and now.) Just look at the numbers of incidents!

October 3, 2009

Hon. Kirsten Gillibrand
478 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510

Dear Senator Gillibrand:

It’s been a long time since I’ve sent you clippings. Your indifference to this serious problem has caused me to quit, after this last batch. Since the Senate has permitted people to carry guns on Amtrak and I fully expect the Supreme Court to render a disastrous verdict in the Chicago gun case, I have perverse hope that finally common sense will prevail in our country, people will realize that the NRA has gone too far and serious efforts will begin to mitigate, if not repeal, the Second Amendment.

Here are the last months’ of gun violence clips:

8/3/09          A deadly end to Bx. man’s life of crime – Daily News
                        Stray bullet kills ‘sweet’ grandma in Coney Island – Daily News
8/4/09           Kills baby & boyfriend – Daily News
                         We’re lucky he only shot himself (Mike Lupica) – Daily News
8/5/09            Gunman kills 3 – Daily News
                          Bronx man killed in early a.m. shooting – Daily News
8/6/09            Teen shot by pellet gun in park – Daily News
8/7/09            Gambler’s hand folds: Ex-lounge owner dies in early morning rubout –                       Daily News
8/8/09            Women at Risk (Bob Herbert): the deadly mix of misogyny and guns – NYT
                          3 dead, wife wounded in L.I. murder-suicide – Daily News
8/9/09            Ex-con, 58, shot dead in Qns. apt. – Daily News
                          Madman shoots boaters – Daily News
                          Clues Sought in Brooklyn Officer’s Shooting – NYT
                          Online Gun Dealer, Source for Killers, Says Sales Were Legal – NYT
8/10/09          Gabrielle Giffords Town Hall: Gun Left Behind – HuffPost
                          Blood money – Daily News editorial re online gun dealers
8/11/09           To the Editor: re shooting in a Pennsylvania gym; “America’s  gun         culture, itself verging on psychotic, was the reason for the murders.” – NYT
8/13/09           Mom dead in L.I. fire slayings – Daily News
8/14/09           Pump-action ending – Daily News
8/15/09           Shot in head and lives – Daily News
8/16/09           Boy on food run shot in foot – Daily News
5 shot on same Brooklyn block – Daily News
8/18/09           Robbed of his life – Daily News
8/20/09          B’klyn con slain in Pa. – Daily News
                          Harlem man shot dead – Daily News
8/23/09          Dad-to-be, 15, gunned down at B’klyn bash – Daily News
                          Seaport party turns deadly – Daily News
8/24/09          Bouncer murdered – Daily News
                          Livery cabbie is killed in the South Bronx – Daily News
                          B’klyn man, 25, slain a block from his home
8/25/09          Man shot at LaGuardia – Daily News
                          Bx. store clerk shot twice in fight with armed robber – Daily News
8/28/09          Shoots wife, cat and self on Staten Island – Daily News
8/29/09          2 critical in L.I. drive-by – Daily News
                          B’klyn man shot dead – Daily News
8/31/09           3rd livery cab driver shot dead in 2 weeks – Daily News
9/1/09             Two shot ded in B’klyn park – Daily News
9/4/09             Ex-cop’s son shot dead – Daily News
Police: Bklyn robber won’t drop gun, gets shot – Daily News
                          Her 11 months of hell – Daily News
9/7/09             2 die in predawn B’klyn mayhem – Daily News
9/8/09            2 shot dead, 2 hurt at all-night party – Daily News
9/10/09          Queens man is shot dead in a home invasion robbery – Daily News
9/11/09           ‘Don’t Leave Me!” Ma wails after son dies protecting dad in vicious rob try – Daily News
                         2 dead, 1 hurt in deadly B’klyn feud – Daily News
9/12/09          Gun found at LaGuardia – Daily News
9/13/09          Good Sense in Tennessee – NYT
9/14/09          Rob suspect nabbed after firing upon cops – Daily News
9/15/09          Hardhat shot three times in B’klyn deli – Daily News
9/17/09          B’klyn courtyard slay – Daily News
9/18/09          The Senate Brandishes a Gun at Amtrak – NYT
                         Drug suspect killed – Daily News
9/21/09          2 shot dead after bar fight – Daily News
9/22/09         Man, 18, slain in B’klyn – Daily News
9/23/09         Killer of teen sought – Daily News
                         Gunplay kills mom protecting kid – Daily News
                         Gang Members Rounded up in Sweep of Los Angeles – NYT
9/24/09         Enthusiasts stockpile guns, ammo – Daily News
                         Man shot dead in B’klyn – Daily News
9/25/09          4 Officers Shot in Raid at New Jersey Home – NYT
                         Son shoots mom to stop her nagging – Daily News
9/26/09         Gun ambush in Brooklyn: shooter hits female driver in head near school – Daily News
9/28/09         Luck runs out as B’klyn man shot in Feb. Is gunned down – Daily News
                         S.C. fund-raiser’s a real blast – Daily News

I don’t know. As I typed out all of this, I felt awful at all these lost lives. Doesn’t this insanity get to you at all?

Remember, this was a couple of years before Sandy Hook. 

My brother was right: Gillibrand should have responded to me.

NEXT: My idea for our own mass protest against guns.



This entry was posted in The Facts of Life and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.