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A Letter to My Senator

From VA constituent Nicki Fellenzer

Dear Senator Warner,

It appears, from the form letter you had some flunky write to me, that you either did not read the last letter I sent you, or you did not comprehend it. Since you are an attorney by trade, I seriously doubt you misunderstood my objective. Ergo, I have to assume, that your constituents’ views mean about as little to you as the Constitution on which you have decided to spit.

Therefore, I find myself writing you a very public letter in reply to the note I received from your office a few days ago.

Your letter states:

"During the Senate’s consideration of S.1805, the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, I offered an amendment to the gun immunity bill based on legislation that Senator Feinstein and I introduced, S.2109 (the Assault Weapons Ban Reauthorization Act). This amendment would have extended the Assault Weapons Ban for another ten years, and it passed the Senate with bipartisan support by a vote of 52-47. However, the gun immunity bill, S.1805, failed in the Senate by a vote of 8 to 90. Our bill, S.2109, is still pending before the Senate."

Well, no kidding, Senator! We all know what happened in the Senate that day. You and your gun banner friends polluted a decent piece of legislation meant to protect lawful businesses from destructive lawsuits aimed at simply shutting them down and destroying the gun industry. Thanks to the very public outcry of gun owners all over the United States, your pathetic attempt to slide through the so-called “Assault” weapons ban extension on the back of a popular piece of legislation failed. And please don’t try and pass the nine traitors who, along with you, voted in favor of this unconstitutional ban as “bipartisan support.” I know better. Senators Chaffee, Collins, DeWine, Fitzgerald, Gregg, Lugar, Smith, Snowe and Voinovich can hardly be described as conservatives. None of the RINO Nine received above a “C-“ grade from Gun Owners of America. In fact, most of them merited the lowest ratings possible.

Your letter continues:

"Signed into law in 1994, the Assault Weapons Ban placed a 10 year prohibition on the domestic manufacture, transfer or possession of certain semi-automatic assault weapons. The ten year ban ends on September 13, 2004. Consequently, unless Congress and the President act prior to September 13, 2004, weapons like Uzis and AK-47s will once again be produced in America, and more and more often, these weapons will fall into the hands of criminals who lurk in our neighborhoods. …"

And here I thought vacuous scare tactics and emotionalist rhetoric were endemic to Democrats! Implying that there are criminals “lurking” around every corner just waiting to get their grimy little paws on “assault” weapons …

… trying to scare the public into buying your fascist agenda is despicable.

But it is even more despicable, because your claims are false. We all have access to the Bureau of Justice Statistics website, Senator. But for those who do not, their study entitled, “Guns Used in Crime,” illuminates a few important facts:

  • Although most crime is not committed with guns, most gun crime is committed with handguns.
  • Surveys of inmates show that they prefer concealable, large caliber guns.
  • The FBI's Supplemental Homicide Reports show that 57% of all murders in 1993 were committed with handguns, 3% with rifles, 5% with shotguns, and 5% with firearms where the type was unknown.
  • Research by Wright and Rossi in the 1980's found that most criminals prefer guns that are easily concealable, large caliber, and well made. Their studies also found that the handguns used by the felons interviewed were similar to the handguns available to the general public, except that the criminals preferred larger caliber guns.
  • A study by the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services reviewed the files of 600 firearm murders that occurred in 18 jurisdictions from 1989 to 1991. The study found that handguns were used in 72% of the murders (431 murders). Ten guns were identified as assault weapons, including five pistols, four rifles, and one shotgun.
  • In the 1991 BJS Survey of State Inmates, about 8% of the inmates reported that they had owned a military-type weapon, such as an Uzi, AK-47, AR-15, or M-16. Less than 1% said that they carried such a weapon when they committed the incident for which they were incarcerated. A Virginia inmate survey conducted between November 1992 and May 1993 found similar results: About 10% of the adult inmates reported that they had ever possessed an assault rifle, but none had carried it at the scene of a crime.

Therefore, Senator, your contention that somehow criminals are lurking in our neighborhoods just waiting to get their hands on an “assault” weapon, which they hardly used in the first place is disingenuous at best and an outright lie meant to scare us into supporting your political agenda at worst.

Your letter continues:

"Some in the Senate, including myself, opposed the ban a decade ago, believing it would do little to reduce crime, and fearing it could threaten the Constitutional rights of law-abiding gun-owners and hunters. However, a decade of experience has provided us with key facts, and, consequently, my opinions on the ban have evolved."

What facts are those, Senator Warner? What has the “assault” weapon ban done to reduce crime, when these weapons were hardly ever used in crime in the first place? Are you claiming now that the ban does not threaten the Constitutional rights of law-abiding gun owners? And if that’s the case, please point out the portion of the Second Amendment which allows you and your fellow fascists to make certain types of arms unavailable to the people, whose right to keep and bear arms the Bill of Rights defends. I’ll give you a clue, Senator Warner – there is NOTHING in the Bill of Rights that authorizes you to infringe upon my rights as a gun owner in such a manner. The Second Amendment clearly states that “…the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” The dictionary definition of “infringe” is: To break or disregard the terms of requirements of, as an oath or law; violate; To transgress or trespass on rights or privileges; encroach. So which part of “shall not be infringed” is unclear to you, Senator Warner?

Your letter states:

"The Assault Weapons Ban has made our communities safer, and has not infringed on the rights of law-abiding citizens. Recent Department of Justice records indicate that the use of banned weapons in crimes has declined measurably – by 65 percent in one analysis – since the measure took effect, and law enforcement officials from across Virginia, and indeed across the United States have supported an extension of the Assault Weapons ban because they know it makes America’s communities safer."

According to the National Institute of Justice, which conducted a study on the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban, the following is true:

  • The ban has failed to reduce the average number of victims per gun murder incident or multiple gunshot wound victims.
  • The public safety benefits of the 1994 ban have not yet been demonstrated.
  • The ban triggered speculative price increases and ramped-up production of the banned firearms.

And even IF the 65 percent analysis was true, may I remind you that the number of crimes in which these weapons were used is so miniscule, that even a tiny reduction would give you that 65 percent figure. In other words, Senator Warner, using percentages when your initial sample is inadequate is another gun banner manipulation technique, and you fell for it.

You also mention that law enforcement “officials” support the ban. Since when do the views of a relatively small number of bureaucrats matter more than the views of the people whom you are supposed to represent? Believe me, Senator, I respect our men and women in blue. However, considering that according to the National Association of Police Chiefs Survey, 92.7% of law enforcement officials believe that citizens should be able to purchase firearms for self-defense and sporting purposes, one has to wonder who these supporters of the ban are.

And yes, Senator Warner, these weapons ARE used for self defense purposes. Remember the Rodney King riots in Los Angeles in 1992? Remember those Korean shop owners sitting on their roofs with armed with the very same weapons you are so eager to ban? Would you and Senator Feinstein disarm those people and place them at the mercy of criminals?

Any normal citizen who encounters multiple attackers is better off with the very weapons you seek to deny them. A number of police departments are beginning to realize the usefulness of these types of weapons and are beginning to purchase them for their officers, claiming their officers’ safety as incentive. Are our lives worth any less than the officers in question, Senator Warner?

Apparently to you and your ilk they are.

Your letter continues:

"Please be assured that I understand your views on this legislation."

No, Senator, apparently you do not. If you did, you wouldn’t have some staffer spew Brady propaganda into my mailbox, while claiming to respect my Second Amendment rights.

"As a gun owner and hunter, and as a United States Senator privileged to represent the citizens of the Commonwealth of Virginia in the United States Senate, I am a strong supporter of the Second Amendment."

No, Senator Warner. You obviously have no clue what the Second Amendment means and what it seeks to preserve. You give lip service to freedom, while at the same time seeking to deprive Americans of their rights. You cite faulty statistics and perpetuate outright lies in order to violate the Constitution you swore to uphold. And you claim to represent me and Virginia’s gun owners in the United States Senate, while you specifically ignore the concerns I addressed in my letter and attempt to foist your hysterical rhetoric on me and my fellow gun owners in a vain effort to scare me into believing that you and your fellow gun banners know what is best for me.

I assure you, Senator Warner, that you do not.

I furthermore assure you that I will do everything in my power to see you defeated if you decide to seek reelection. I promise to encourage everyone I know to vote against you if you continue your attempts to violate my rights. As a matter of fact, Senator, I will make it my mission in life to ensure that you are sent home humiliated at the hands of your opponent. My rights are not yours to violate. And my rights are not yours to use to further your political agenda.

You did not take my letter seriously when I contacted you during the Senate debate on S.1805. I encourage you to take me seriously now. I assure you, the gun owners who read this letter will.


Nicki Fellenzer

Armed Females of America


Nicki is a US Army veteran, who spent nearly four years in Frankfurt, Germany on active duty at the American Forces Network. She is a former radio DJ and news anchor and a Featured Writer and Newslinks Director for Keepandbeararms.com. She is also a former contributing editor to the National Rifle Association's newest monthly magazine, Women's Outlook and she is currently the contributing editor to Concealed Carry Magazine and writes occasionally for the Libertarian Party. She resides in Virginia with her family. We are also proud to have Nicki as regular contributor to Armed Females of America.


Copyright © 2004 by Armed Females of America. All rights reserved. Permission to redistribute this article for noncommercial purposes is hereby granted, provided that it is reproduced unedited, in its entirety and appropriate credit given.

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I assure you, cops who support the ban are very few. Cops who support gun control are even fewer. The "Cops" the dear Senator refers to are political cronies who are appointed police brass who know how to get perks for their perspective departments must kiss up to elected officials who in the majority, support gun control in varing degrees.

I should know, I have been a decorated law enforcement officer with over 20 years in my agency.

We are all getting screwed in many ways ... People are ignorant in general and feel helpless nevertheless. All of us need to wake up ... We are the front line ...

Yesterday, 05/02/05 I was present at an NY Shields honorarium, a police support group held at the Intrepid Museum, there were over a thousand cops from throuhout the state. One of the recipients was New York Post Columnist Michelle Malkin, she was honored for her "indepth truthful columns dealing with the Second Amendment and law enforcement."

I remind you, this was a law enforcement event ... Not sponsored by the NRA, present were chiefs of all departments and she wasd given a standing ovation!

I remind you ... Most politicians are entrenched and are liars ... Its up to the people and its up to all of us to get the word out. To effect change.

I know all of you have families, work hard and live to survive ... We have a duty and I have tried so very hard ... We must reach out to our communities like Jesus (I'm Jewish) reached out to his flock ... We must get out there, we must articulate ... We must or history will haunt us ... Our Familes and this nation.

Please all of you, I love this nation, I have served it with compassion and dedication and now I'm pleading with all of you ... No more internal fighting ... We must be one voice ... Enough!

Ralph J. Rubinek
Area Representative
Law Enforcement Alliance of America

Howdy.. now this is a real good rebuttal of this Senator who like this lady said is a damn TRAITOR.. good for her.. Semper Fi. Jim..

Hooya ! Well said! V J Deputy Sheriff

THANK YOU for standing up to this supporter of a police state. May I suggest, in future writings, that you include an email address for such people ? By doing that, I could write him more easily and help support persons such as yourself. Those types of persons need to know that you are not alone and others support your position. m. e. m.

E-mail address for Sen. Warner: senator_warner@warner.senate.gov

Ms. Fellenzer-

I just finished reading your open letter to Senator Warner. Bravo! Will you be attending the Second Amendment Sisters rally at the Capital this coming weekend?

Best Regards,
Dave R.
(Upstate NY gun owner and 2A activist)

Ms. Fellenzer,

Hello. My name is Nick O. and I’m from Indiana. I just read your letter to Senator Warner and I applaud you. I have done the same thing with my respective congressperson(s)/senators. As a person who carries on a daily basis and keeps firearms in the home, I also find these pieces of legislation chock full of fascist rhetoric and down right crap. I applaud the stand that you make and join with you in this cause. Our rights are being infringed upon and we shouldn’t be forced to take it. Good luck in your future endeavors in this matter and I hope to read more letters like yours in the future.

Best Wishes,
SPC. Nick O.
Indiana National Guard

Dear Ms. Fellenzer:

I just read an emailed copy of your letter to Senator Warner.


Best, JHJ

Read your reply to the form letter you received from the honorable (?) gentleman from Virginia. Just wanted to drop you a note saying amen and nice shooting. But damn! Don't hold anything back, let him know what you really think.

Hooahh Army gal, stay the course.

Greg E., TSgt, NVANG

THANKS!!! Brilliantly composed. I think it just might get his attention.

John B.

Great response to the Senator. I received the same letter to an email I sent to him. Haven't replied yet because I don't like to talk or write while angry. To see a Republican profiling with Schumer and Feinstein is revolting. I'll not vote for Warner, ever.

Ed B.
Hampton, VA

Dear Nicki,

I just read your letter in response to the junk mail you received from Warner's office, and I have to say that I totally agree with everything you say. I am a security guard in the totalitarian dictatorship of New York State and I am so tired of people infringing on our rights. The more that they infringe upon us, the more likely we are at risk to be a victim. If I want to be an armed guard in New York, I have to take a 47 hour course that will cost me $500 out of my own pocket. It seems to me that the fascists in New York don't want the sites that I protect to be safe. If an armed thug comes through the doors at my work, I'm the first person he'll shoot at because all he'll see is a blue uniform and a badge. Instead of being a first responder, I'll be the first victim. If the majority of people in this country were armed, there would be so much less crime, not more crime as the gun grabbers want us to believe. Sorry for rambling on but I just want you to know that I have the utmost respect for you and that it is a relief to know that there are people out there like you spreading the truth. Keep up the great work and remain vigilant.


Erik A. A.

Hi Nicki,

Just a quick note to tell you how much I enjoyed your open letter to Virginia Senator Warner. In my state of Michigan, we're "blessed" (said VERY sarcastically) with two anti-gun Senators; Carl Levin and Debbie Stabenow. I've written them similar letters, and received almost the same canned response. It's frustrating, but once in a while you can score a small victory, so plug on we must. Excellent letter!!!

One thing I've been including in my letters and e-mails about the AWB: that there are, in fact, no true "assault weapons" on the list! At a recent town hall meeting, I got to speak with Senator Sander Levin, another of Michigan's Levin boys, anti-gun to the last. Before I broached the subject, another person brought up the gun issue. Levin started talking about machineguns and bombs. "Should you be allowed to have those?" he shouted. I couldn't help it. My hand went up.

"Have you ever been in the military?" I asked. "No," came his reply. This gave me my opening. I mentioned that, if he had been, then he would know that a true assault weapon, as defined by both our own military, the BATF and the UN, is either a fully automatic machinegun or one that has a select-fire switch, which will allow it to go from semi-auto (single shot per trigger pull) to full auto (machinegun). I then told him that these weapons were all banned in the 30's, and further restricted in the 80's. None of the guns on the list of banned weapons is actually a real assault weapon!

All the people around me, mostly Democrats, were saying, "Ooh! I never knew that!"

I went on to say that the only differences between legal and banned weapons are cosmetic features, and that they are no more deadly, nor do they use more powerful ammunition than the rifles available at the gun shop down the road.

The senator gave me a blank stare. He simply had no answer. He said, "Well, we'll discuss that later," and went on with his meeting. After he was done talking, I had more people coming up to me with questions than the senator! None of these Democrats had any idea that this was the case!

So now I include it whenever I can. When people understand they're being lied to, they're more open to hearing the rest of the argument's other side.

Anyway, sorry for the excess verbiage! (I'm a DJ and part-time writer, too!!!) Again, I just wanted to say THANK YOU for your very eloquent efforts. You ROCK!!!


~Stu C.
Legislative Committee, SAFR

You Go Girl !!!
I am so with you. I have written letters nearly verbatim to my so-called elected officials here in the Peoples Republic of NY with nary a response from ANY of them.
Not even the flunky form letters thanking me for my time.
I am up to my ears with the trampling of our Constitution by ALL of our politicians. I am still waiting to find more than the pitiful handful that actually understand what the Constitution is and what it means to us.
The second amendment has been illegally crapped on since the ban on full auto in NY and the subsequent licensure for firearms ownership.
Vermont is about as close to fully compliant with the Second Amendment of the Constitution as any state could hope to be, and I only pray that others see the wisdom and practically non existence of crime due to this.
NIC check, maybe at best. While Constitutionally speaking, all released prisoners INCLUDING felons must have their ownership rights restored, I do understand that there are certain members of the US that really shoudn't play with guns and the NIC check is supposed to help. Registration, licensing, fees; Absolutely not.
We as freedom loving citizens need to step up the pressure on ALL of our officials and make them ALL understand that the "right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed" needs no supreme court justice interpretation nor is it subjectable to one. It is loud and clear to me.
I just wanted to thank you personally for writing that letter. Betch fifty bucks it ends up in the "files" just like your first one.
You'll probably get another one of those convenient form letters too !!
Take care,
Julian B.
Massapequa Park, N.Y.

I enjoyed your letter that was posted to the awbansunset website. I thought that it was VERY well written. Because of my job, I cannot publically speak my opinions as I would certainly get into trouble for it. Believe me when I say that most of the rank-and-file field officers do not support these ridiculous laws, and it makes my stomach turn when a politician uses us to further their agenda. Most agency heads are appointed by a politicain thus making them politicians. This is why a large number of police chiefs appear to be yes-men.

Please do not use my name as a reference if you write other items because I would get fragged. Thanks.


Kansas Trooper

Way to go Nicki. I have tried to do the same thing only when I got my reply, I was so disgusted that I just trashed the response. You have galvanized me to try again and I will do so immediately. I have a couple of democrats in Oregon that need to be sent home from the Congress, one a Senator and one a Congressman. They both claim the same thing but they vote otherwise. I am going to get the results of my Senator's votes and lets see what they have to say about that. Thanks for standing up for the 2nd Amendment in Virginia. I lived there for 27 years while a Marine and later as an Auditor for GAO. I left in 1980 to come home to Washington only to find that it was not the same Washington I left. Instead it is now made up of left coast liberals with no clue about what the Constitution means or is all about. They even administratively overturned a vote not to build a Stadium with taxpayers money after we turned it down at the polls. The State then adopted a tax to fund it anyway. That is when I said good bye and came to Oregon. If they try that again here and there is some indication they will, then it is bye bye again and back to the East Coast. Semper Fi and Keep up the great work

Richard E. N.

Winchester, OR

Nicki, that was probably the best response to the issue that I have ever read. I am in the USAF and am stationed in a state that has two very powerful gun grabbers, Tom Daschle and Tim Johnson, the esteemed senators from South Dakota. However, I still vote absentee in my home state of Wyoming where you will find one of the “8” who voted for the final version of S. 1805, Senator Mike Enzi. While Senator Enzi voted against the AWB amendment, he voted for the bill that contained the very amendment he voted against. Trust me, my vote in his bid for reelection will go to another, more capable candidate.

We all must remain vigilant or our rights will be stolen from us like a thief in the night. Thank you for stating to your congressional delegation what so many folks only dream of saying to theirs. We cannot be bought, we cannot be bullied, and we will not go quietly into the night.

Rapid City, SD

What can I say exept Wow! That is one great article. It is good for our side to have such an articulate spokesperson.

Thank you,

Nick J. Y.

Excellent, very well written and not to mention all to factual. I am a CCW Holder and an FFL holder as well as being a Licensed New York State Private Investigator. I am sick and tired of all these politicians spewing this nonsense. They should be talking about getting tougher on these criminals and reinforcing our 2nd amendment.
Thank You
Rick G., NY

Dear Ms. Fellenzer:

A good friend of mine forwarded a copy of your leter to Senator Warner. You are RIGHT ON TARGET (no pun intended). I have testified here in Maryland when the gun grabbers were in full throat. I have testified AGAINST the self-styled, "Assault Weapons Ban." I am fortunate to know two courageous individuals who were willing to go with me and wait an entire day in order to testify in the Maryland House of Delegates against the "Assault Weapons Ban." Mrs. Irmgard Perrin is a German war bride. She was born and raised in Germany. She saw what happened to innocents when Hitler required all guns to be registered. She saw friends and neighbors picked up during the night never to be seen again. She was adamantly OPPOSED to the "Assault Weapons Ban." Mr. Andrew Lutyk was born in Poland. He and his family fled Poland and were barely ahead of Hitler's troopers. Again, they saw first hand, close up and personal the ramifications of mandatory registration and then the confiscation of weapons.

Both Irmgard and Andy are in their late 70's. Theirs is a dying generation. These actual witnesses to the history of what actually happens when only the government will own the guns and thus "protect" the citizens are dying out. Although we were kept late into the evening before we were allowed to testify AGAINST the "Assault Weapons Bans", these good and hearty souls persevered. Although Sarah Brady was first up as a witness and was able to speak as long as she liked, the powerful testimony of Irmgard and Andy coming with their obvious accents could not be buried.

Sarah Brady is a living witness to ONE man's encounter with a gun in the hands of the wrong person. Andy and Irmgard are living witnesses to the deaths of hundreds at the hands of the government that was supposed to protect them. Andy fled. Irmgard, as a German citizen, had no place to go. She and her family endured and survived because they were able to stay below Hitler's "radar screen." They were, nonetheless, unarmed and defenseless against Hitler's storm troopers.

Keep up the good work.

Best regards. Joyce E. T. (gun owner)

Wonderful comments and right on the nose!

Way too many people just take for granted that the politicians in office are in touch with their constituents concerns. If there were a way to honestly confirm this, I'd bet less than a third of senators and those in congress do so.

It is imperative we watch them closely in all issues, to ensure our rights, all of them, are not stripped away a little bit at a time!

Praise the Lord and pass the ammo!
Terry D. G.