Thank you for contacting me regarding President Obama's decision to issue 23 executive orders in response to the horrible tragedy that took place on December 14, 2012, in Newtown, Connecticut. I appreciate hearing from you.

The atrocious shooting of innocent children and teachers is too tragic to put into words. As a father and a Christian, my heart and prayers are with each of these families and the community of Newtown.

Instead of identifying the true causes of mass shootings President Obama ignores the collaborative process and politicizes a terrible tragedy to fulfill his agenda of increased gun control. Let me be clear, we must address the issues that are causing these violent acts. However, I believe until we are willing to sit down and have an open and honest debate about the causes of violence, we will continue to witness more and more vicious acts in our country.

Blaming symptoms instead of the virus is not the way to find a cure. Violence is on the rise for a number of complex reasons ranging from the glorification of violence in Hollywood, violent video games such as Grand Theft Auto that encourage players to randomly beat and murder, the breakdown of families and faith in our culture, a media filled with divisiveness, as well as the desensitizing of society.

What we do know is there is one common thread that connects the shootings in Arizona last year, the shootings in Colorado this year, and the shooting in Newtown and that is mental health. Each of these murders was committed by disturbed individuals who did not receive proper treatment. We have to reexamine how our communities are dealing with people who have mental health issues to ensure they are treated properly and with compassion.

There are not always simple answers to complex issues, but working together to find a solution, instead of politicizing a national tragedy for political gain, we can strengthen our country and make our schools and neighborhoods safer.

As a member of the Congressional Sportsmen's Caucus and a lifetime member of the National Rifle Association, I believe sportsmen, gun enthusiasts and citizens concerned for their personal safety should be able to exercise their rights to own a gun.

Again, thank you for contacting me. If there is ever anything I can do for you please do not hesitate to contact me at anytime.


Stephen L. Fincher
Member of Congress
U.S. Representative for Tennessee's 8th congressional district