Anne Marie Kershner lives in rural Washington state. Her husband is a logger and frequently works away from home falling timber, and she stays home with their two young kids. The emergency response time in their area is over 20 minutes, so Kershner must be largely self-sufficient and prepared to handle unexpected situations.
She carries a handgun on her daily walks to protect herself and her sons against wildlife predators in the woods surrounding their home. She carries when traveling as a defense against human violence.
“I have used a gun a couple times throughout my life to scare someone off my property. I was a young teenager the first time and I don’t know what would have happened if I didn’t have that 9 mm on my mom’s bedside table,” said Kershner.
She recently wrote to her state representatives to voice her opposition to two proposed gun control laws, SB 6077 and SB 6294. As a SAHM with small children and a tight budget, she feels powerless to influence policy but felt that sending these emails was one way she could potentially make an impact.
SB 6077 would make magazines that can accept more than ten rounds of ammunition illegal. SB 6294 would require anyone who applies for a permit to carry a concealed firearm to undergo mandatory training including firing exercises, basic safety rules, self-defense, and more. The bill would make Washington’s concealed carry laws similar to 40 other states require training to obtain permits.
“I cannot be left defenseless,” Kershner wrote in her email. “I have many animals and there are large predators within ½ mile of me caught on camera regularly (wolves and cougars). I need to be able to protect my animals. All these laws are doing is making it more difficult for us to do that effectively. We are not the ones committing crimes. We all know this isn’t about safety but disarming the public.”
As reward for her efforts, Kershner’s email was blocked by two representatives, both of them Democrats. Three of the emails bounced back with a notice saying the address didn’t exist. She received one response from the office of Republican State Senator Mark Schoester.
“Thank you for writing in to Senator Schoester…These bills potentially create felonious criminal liability for lawful citizens, the very lawful citizens that need to be protected by the 2nd amendment. Senator Schoester…will not vote for any legislation that infringes on your 2nd amendment rights,” read the response letter.
Is blocking constituents’ emails a common response for elected officials? An online searched turned up some info.
“Every Member of Congress hires a staffer…whose job it is to receive, sort, and respond to every communication…the goal is to respond to every constituent who contacts the office,” wrote Carter Moore on a Quora forum. Moore previously worked in the US Congress.
It’s plausible to extend the standard operating procedures of US Congressmen to state Senates as well.
“Members of Congress do listen. That’s kind of their job (if [sic] at least the jobs of the people they’ve hired to read and respond to their mail),” Moore wrote in a separate Quora answer.
Democratic politicians in Washington state are failing by turning a deaf ear to personal correspondence from their constituents, the very people who elected them to represent their interests and protect their rights. Their indifference to citizens’ concerns are part of the reason they will continue to pass laws that are not in the people’s best interest, but rather serve to expand the government’s infringing on our individual liberties.