Boomer Opinion: A White House Form Letter doesn’t cut it

BoomerCafé contributor Erin O’Brien of Warwick, Rhode Island, is pretty mild-mannered. She often writes about the peculiarities of the weather and the scenery and the new life she lives since moving from Southern California to New England. But for now, she is changing course, because she is mindful that the massacre at Columbine High School in Colorado was 19 years ago, and that today’s high school seniors have always known that a campus shooting is a possibility. So Erin offers her opinion as a baby boomer about school shootings, and guns, and how the White House responds.

I hate form letters. They are detached and impersonal, especially when one comes from the highest office of our country.

I haven’t marched. I write, because I have a pretty good command of the English language. This is why it is disappointing — no, insulting — to receive another generic response from the White House that does not apply to my particular concern and, moreover, is obviously not from the person to whom my letter was addressed.

February 18, 2018, another shooting at a school in America. Parents wait to learn the fate of their children at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL. Photo by Joel Auerbach, Associated Press.

I was diplomatic. In my letter to the White House I wrote in support of enacting sensible gun laws. But when the response arrived, thanking me for “taking the time to express my views on the Second Amendment” and informing me that “undermining our Second Amendment rights will not enhance our safety,” I knew my voice had not been heard in the Oval Office. I had received The Form Letter.

The form letter Erin O’Brien received.

The letter from the White House, dated January 25th, referenced last year’s concert shooting in Las Vegas, and the church shooting in Sutherland Springs, Texas. However, three days before the date on the letter, there also was a school shooting in Texas, then the next day a deadly one in Kentucky. Yet these were not mentioned on the White House stationery. Here lies the necessity to update one’s Form Letter.

AR-15 assault style guns are plentiful and easy to acquire in many states.

Incidentally, there was an accidental school shooting in an Los Angeles Unified middle school on February 2nd. All of which came before the Valentines Day massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Broward County, Florida.

Catering to America’s culture of guns … Kimber Firearms promotes his and her semi-automatic pistols for February 14, 2018.

I did not call for rescinding Second Amendment rights. I called for the implementation of sensible gun laws.

Additionally, there is the vocabulary from the White House. I’ve never heard Mr. Trump use such words as “confronting” or “wisdom” or “enshrined” or “hallmark” or “sovereign” or “upholding” or for that matter, “undermining.” For me, his vocabulary alone was a huge and tremendous red flag.

Perhaps the “Change Gun Laws or Change Congress” t-shirt I sent Mr. Trump as a follow-up to accompany my letter was not well received. Maybe I will get a Thank You Form Letter from someone else in Washington, D.C. who is wearing it.

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