Open Letter to Senator Marco Rubio

Senator Rubio, why did you vote against the Manchin-Toomey Amendment to S. 649?  Don’t tell us that is was because you support the 2nd Amendment.  This had nothing to do with the 2nd Amendment.  In no way did it infringe on any law abiding citizen’s right to own guns.  Do you want criminals and seriously mentally ill people to have easy access to guns?  You just voted for that. 

This is not a partisan issue.  It is a life and death issue.  Do you realize that by allowing irresponsible people to buy guns many people will be killed senselessly and that many more will be injured and crippled for life?  Is that what you want?

Why would you vote against the will of the people?  We want to know.  Why should we trust you in the future when you have not faithfully represented us on this important issue?  What other votes have you made that were not in our best interest?  How will you vote in the future, for us or for some interest group that supported your campaign?  It's a question of trust.  We want to know. 

Did the NRA pressure you? Do you know that the NRA represents less than 1.5% of the population?  Did you know that 91% of Florida voters support universal background checks for all gun purchases?  Do the math.  You just voted for the NRA over the wishes of your constituents.  We will not forget?  Maybe you should take a look at the website “We Will Not Forget”, www.wewillnotforget.org ?  Do you plan to run for a second term or maybe something more ambitious?  We will not forget.  Think about it.

Edward Goff
Bradenton, FL

PS - I phoned your office with these questions numerous times both before and after the vote. I never got through. I always got your voice mail. Usually I got a message that your voicemail box was full. Once I was able to leave a message and requested a return call which never came.

This letter appeared in the Bradenton Herald on Sunday, April 28, 2013

A copy was mailed to Rubio's Tampa office on Monday, April 29, 2013, a response to my questions was "sincerely requested".

Here is the reply I received from Senator Rubio's office on May 10, 2013.

Dear Mr. Goff,

Thank you for writing me regarding the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. I understand this is an important issue and I appreciate hearing your thoughts. 

The Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution states that "the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed." I hold the fundamental belief the Second Amendment should not be altered. At the same time, I have always been open to measures that would keep guns out of the hands of criminals and the mentally ill. 

In light of recent tragedies, some have suggested restricting gun ownership as a way to curb gun violence. I am always open to ideas on how to stop violent crimes, however, I have concerns when these suggestions are solely directed toward restricting gun ownership. To that end, I cosponsored a bipartisan piece of legislation, the Excellence in Mental Health Act or S.264, along with Senators Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and Roy Blunt (R-MO), to improve quality standards and expand access to mental health services. I believe mental health access is an important step to ensure tragedies like the ones we have seen recently do not occur again. 

As you may know, the Senate recently voted on gun-control legislation, S. Amdt. 715 to S. 649 introduced by Senators Pat Toomey (R-PA) and Joe Manchin (D-WV), which targeted law-abiding citizens. I believe this legislation would have had a profound impact on an individual's right to bear arms according to the Second Amendment. I opposed this legislation because it was not directed toward the major issue surrounding the gun control debate: violence. We should work to reduce tragic acts of violence by addressing violence at its source, including untreated mental illness, a lack of adequate information-sharing on mental health issues, and the breakdown of the family, not by restricting the rights of law-abiding citizens.

It is an honor and a privilege to serve you as your United States Senator. I appreciate you offering your opinion on this issue. If I can ever be of any assistance to you, please do not hesitate to contact me.


Marco Rubio
United States Senator

It is clear that this is a form letter sent out by Senator Rubio's staff. It does not answer my questions and is full of reasons why he didn't vote for amendments that were introduced by his cronies in order to make the bill less palatable.