The election is over. Our course into the 21st Century is charted. A new Congress soon will be seated and state legislatures across the country are gearing up for their 2001 sessions.

This is your opportunity to (re) introduce yourself to your new state legislators (Representatives, Assemblymen or Delegates and State Senators). Most, if not all, will be busy meeting with constituents, collecting input and gathering data on a wide variety of issues. This is a golden opportunity for law-abiding gun owners to sit down with their elected officials and tell them that we’re tired of being blamed for the misdeeds of a very small percentage of the population.

Less than one-half of one percent of the guns in private circulation are used in a crime in any given year. That means that we – the 99.5 percent of law-abiding gun owners – take the heat for that very small portion of society. The media is presenting only one side of the story – the bad side. The public is being given a cost-benefit analysis…but the media is leaving out the benefit side.

The gun control laws being proposed, taken right out of the Democrat platform, won’t have any impact on criminals. But they will impose unreasonable burdens on YOUR right to keep and bear arms. It isn’t fair. It probably isn’t constitutional. And it certainly isn’t the American way. Mass punishment may be OK in the gulags and concentration camps, but not in a free America.

Your state legislators’ telephone numbers and addresses are listed in the “blue pages” at the front of your local telephone directory under “state government.” Call and make an appointment. Fifteen minutes of your time, and your legislator’s time, can make a big difference in January when most state legislatures go back into session.

An appointment can be just like a letter: neat, clean, nothing fancy; just stick to a few points (what gun-related issues are hot in your state: gun shows, one-gun-a-month, mandatory trigger lock laws?). Be reasonable. We all support gun safety, but most so-called “gun safety” legislation has nothing to do with safety. Neutral gun safety legislation in our schools is probably the most effective tool in preventing accidental shootings than any mandatory safe-storage law.

Keep it short and polite. And let your legislators know that this visit is just the first of many contacts: visits, calls, letters, etc. Frequent contact with your elected officials is the best way to keep them on the straight and narrow.