On December 21, 2018, we received another periodic letter from Representative Andy Harris updating us on his current work in Congress. This full page letter included five paragraphs, four of which dealt with his “fight to defend the 2nd Amendment and advocate for our constitutional right to keep and bear arms.” This included discussions of bills he is cosponsoring: Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act (which would allow someone from another State with concealed carry rights to carry those concealed weapons into Maryland) and Hearing Protection Act (which deals with issues relating to silencers); plus his fight against the Assault Weapons Ban of 2018.
While he again touted several ways to deal with gun violence, we have not actually seen any legislative efforts from him or other Republicans which actually take an aggressive stance on solving the on-going slaughter of our school children. According to a Washington Post article updated January 19, 2018, more than 220,000 children at 225 schools have been exposed to gun violence since 1999. This stunning number does not even take into account the massive number of students practicing active shooter drills throughout the US – including in our own congressional district. When will we read a letter from Representative Harris that includes any type of legislation which will actually tackle this horrifying problem?
While we recognize and support the right to keep and bear arms and the importance of owning weapons and the livelihood of hunting as an important aspect of the local way of life in this district – yes we love our venison steaks and goose breast chili-, we suggest Representative Harris spend more time listening to the students in our district who have walked out of their classrooms to bring increased attention to their right to attend classes without the fear of being shot by someone carrying an assault rifle into their schools.
Or, if Representative Harris actually visited our Congressional district and talk with some of his constituents, he might actually realize the importance of farm land and waterways which predominantly make of his district. Then, rather than voting against the “Farm Bill”, he would realize the importance of the Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018 which provided funding for not only many programs that directly support our farmers but also provided millions of dollars for cleaning up the Chesapeake Bay.
At the very least – we ask that Representative Harris get back to work and vote to reopen the government for your constituents who either work for the federal government and need those pay checks to pay for their own livelihoods or for your constituents who receive important services from those agencies that are closed. As retired, 30 year senior level federal employees, we never once came across a single issue for which the federal government needed to be closed.
John and Ellyn Vail