I am writing to express my significant concern regarding Rep. Katko’s abhorrent record on gun laws. In early December, Mr. Katko co-sponsored and voted for a bill (231-198) that allows gun owners from any state to carry a concealed handgun into New York. That includes from states with significantly more lenient gun ownership laws than our own. It seems that, at a minimum, he has failed to protect the citizens of our state by disregarding our state legislator’s authority to govern. More concerning even than his violation of a long-held Republican tenant of less federal government and more state autonomy is his blatant disregard for the safety of our citizens, of my family, of my daughter
The other day, my daughter and her friends evacuated their school due to a gas leak. My 9-year-old daughter reported that students hypothesized it was everything from being “bombed by Korea” to a gunman in their school. A gunman in their school. Yes, my 9-year-old is worried about that. She told her friends that it likely wasn’t a person with a gun, though, because the teachers didn’t make the kids hide in their classroom. The school staff, by the way, were amazing and handled it so professionally.
I wish that these worries were purely abstract, but to my family they are not. My amazing brother is the current vice principal of Sandy Hook Elementary School. He taught there for years, thought about having his kids go there — they would have been first graders that year — and at the time of the shooting was teaching up the hill at the intermediate school, where he was put in lockdown with his students for the entire day. My brother lost friends and his friends lost kids that day. This is the reality that my brother and, by extension, my family lives. I panic when I get a call from or see community helpers parked at my daughter’s school. I know all too well this is real, this isn’t an abstract concept that a person with a gun could go into my daughter’s school one day and shoot at the children.
Mr. Katko’s co-sponsorship of and, yes, vote on this bill have made it more likely this can happen in New York. That this will happen in the 24th District. That this will happen in my daughter’s school. We all should wonder what is the motivation for our representative in Congress to put the safety of all of us, of our children at greater risk than we may be already.
If you are as concerned as I am about Mr. Katko’s disregard for the safety of citizens in the 24th District, I urge you to actively support efforts to replace Mr. Katko.