Letters: Is Congressman Walker only pretending to care?

Posted 10/25/19

To the editor:

When asked about gun violence in your October 4 feature article, Congressman Mark Walker replied: “As far as making sure that a weapon, a gun is not in the hands of the wrong …

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Letters: Is Congressman Walker only pretending to care?

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Posted

To the editor:

When asked about gun violence in your October 4 feature article, Congressman Mark Walker replied: “As far as making sure that a weapon, a gun is not in the hands of the wrong people, yeah, I want to do everything I can...What I want to do is make sure that we don’t go after law-abiding citizens. If there’s loopholes out there with background checks, I’ve got no problem closing them.”

Someone reading this might think that Mr. Walker agrees with the 90 percent or so of Americans that closing purchasing loopholes would make fewer guns available to people who commit mass murders. But in January of this year, when the U.S. House voted 240-180 for the Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019, Walker voted against it. Shortly before the that vote was taken, the House voted 310-119 for an amendment intended to clarify that “great bodily harm” included domestic violence, dating partner violence, sexual assault, stalking and domestic abuse. Walker voted against that also.

While the bill was being considered, I had written to Walker urging him to support it. In March he wrote back:

“As a Member of Congress, I swore an oath to ‘support and defend the Constitution of the United States,’ and will staunchly fight any attempts to weaken our constitutionally protected rights to bear arms. This new legislation infringes on law-abiding citizen’s rights while failing to address the deeper-rooted issues behind gun violence.”

I responded:

“Thank you for your letter of March 17. My psychiatric career included examination of murderers and court-ordered evaluations of people to determine their dangerousness. Please send me your list of ‘deeper rooted issues behind gun violence’ and indicate what legislation can address them.”

He did not reply. I wrote again — seven more times. He did not reply.

Gun rights? I would like the right not to be shot when I go to a public gathering. Congressman Walker has displayed no interest in protecting me. But what bothers me even more is pretending that he cares.

Stephen Barrett

Pittsboro

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