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LETTER: 18,000 Americans died by gun while I waited for Fenton's email response

I am horrified that 400,000 Americans have been killed by guns since 9/11, sickened that 20 6-year-old children were slaughtered by guns at Sandy Hook Elementary School, and appalled when nine Christians were shot and killed in their South Carolina church while praying. I made up my mind to do what I can to stop this gun insanity, and I vowed to take action before a mass murder occurred in Woodbury, not afterward.

Last Oct. 6, I sent an e-mail to my state representative, Kelly Fenton, asking her to explain what her policies were regarding firearms. She responded with an answer that was so general, it was unhelpful: "I won't support any new laws that infringe on the Constitutional rights of law abiding citizens of Minnesota to purchase firearms."

I sent another e-mail to further clarify:

"Does this mean the following: You will not support stronger gun background checks to help keep guns out of the hands of criminals, terrorists, and the mentally ill. You will not support closing the gun show loopholes. You will not support reducing or eliminating military assault weapons from society. You will not support a ban on high capacity bullet clips and canisters."

I waited several weeks, but received no answer. I submitted a second request, but, again, received no answer. My third and fourth requests met the same fate—silence! Finally, on my fifth request, Rep. Fenton answered—with exactly the same reply she had sent almost seven months before.

I estimate that 18,000 Americans have been killed by guns since I have requested the policies of Kelly Fenton. God forbid, I hope no mentally crazed assassin is preparing to make our city the next tragedy while Rep. Fenton avoids acting on this critical issue.

But as frustrating as this process has been for me, this does present an opportunity for our friends and neighbors to request that Kelly Fenton fully explain and clarify her gun policies to all the citizens of Woodbury. I hope and pray that she acts before there is a tragedy, not afterward.

Tom Hammond