Kampf Calls for Restraint after CT Shootings

State Rep Warren Kampf calls on lawmakers and the public to take a broad view before rushing to gun control legislation.

State Representative Warren Kampf (R-157) is calling on lawmakers and the public to take a broad approach to responding to the Connecticut school shootings that left 20 children and six adults dead last Friday.

In an editorial sent to Patch, the newly re-elected State Representative says "I do not believe we can rush into a course of action.  For one thing, all of the facts about the Newtown shootings are not yet available.  To take action without the correct facts is to risk making decisions that do not meet our common goals and would waste our collective will on weak or useless measures."

Here is the full text of the Op-Ed from Kampf.

Reflections on the Horror of Newtown

By Warren Kampf

157th District

In response to the tragic events in Newtown, CT, there is a natural call to do something to prevent this from ever happening again.  I feel that call myself.

As a father of two young children as well as a former criminal prosecutor, I am shocked, disbelieving, grieving and saddened.  In the face of this, I do not agree with those who simply say, "No," to any future changes or declare there is no "political will" to make change. 

However, I do not believe we can rush into a course of action.  For one thing, all of the facts about the Newtown shootings are not yet available.  To take action without the correct facts is to risk making decisions that do not meet our common goals and would waste our collective will on weak or useless measures.

I believe we must also look at this problem in a very broad manner rather than simply focusing on one area or issue.  

Some change occurred years ago with the shootings at Columbine, and then with Virginia Tech, and in other somewhat similar moments.  Maybe we can learn from what was done in the wake of those events or build on those responses.  I feel we must again look at issues in our mental health system, possible common sense measures related to firearms or ammunition capacity, the security measures in place at our schools, the impact of violent content in our culture on our citizens, and even more. 

We must bring people together and study the facts, research, and reforms made around the world after events like this.  This can help us prevent such tragedies from occurring in the future.   

The actions of the Newtown shooter at their core, however, are inexplicable to me, and the deaths of those children and teachers make no sense. 

We must be honest about that no matter what actions we take, be they legislative or otherwise.  Of course, this awareness should not prevent us from trying.  We know that other forms of evil have indeed been driven from the earth by collective efforts, but an expectation that all pain, suffering, tragedy, and horror can be eradicated is as misguided as the belief that nothing can ever be done. 

Whatever we do, I feel we must make thoughtful and reasoned decisions on how to move forward.  Our nation cries today for the victims, and I believe tomorrow we can honor them with good works if we act wisely. 

Why The Face December 21, 2012 at 08:10 PM
Warren Kampf is by-partisan? What a joke... He's ALL partisan. Doesn't have a by partisan bone in his body. Let hope he puts more effort into this discussion than he did with Tredyffrin's budget.
Gail December 21, 2012 at 08:14 PM
why does any hunter need a hand gun or assault rifle? I heard the Oaks Gun Show was a huge success-What does that say about us as a people. The second amendment needs to be clarified and not used as a bully pulpit for the lobbyists for gun manufacturers
Devon Resident December 21, 2012 at 10:16 PM
Gun advocates warn of a "slippery slope" and "taking away our second amendment rights. This is pure paranoia about some vast left-wing conspiracy to make us all communists or minions of the government. The vast majority of gun control advocates are not opposed to rifles and hand guns when obtained legally and used responsibly. I don't understand this complete wall against any kind of regulation. It's irrational. Yes, this is an emotional issue, but as another poster commented, this is not the first time this type of massacre has happened, and it will surely happen again.
Devon Resident December 21, 2012 at 10:18 PM
I agree completely, and think we've gone mad. I think the founders of this country would be saddened if they could come back and see the situation we have put ourselves in.
Lani Frank December 21, 2012 at 11:55 PM
Speaking recently with a psychiatrist who works with troubled teens, part of the problem is that there is no where for them to go after they turn 18. The only option is a group home which has limited supervision.Medication doesn't help. Nothing helps but to keep them supervised, which places all sorts of problems on society. We have closed down mental hospitals, and our veterans come home with no jobs and no where to live, with PTSD and no safety net. For those of us with health insurance, we have limited mental health care benefits. We need to start looking at all these issues, including providing health care for ALL. I would also like to suggest that anyone owning a gun should be required to register that gun, and to be required to carry liability insurance for each gun, covering anyone harmed by that gun. Also, it should be a felony for anyone who's gun is not reported as stolen, if it turns up in a crime. If guns are legal to own and purchase, there needs to be much more responsibility placed on the owner. If the mother had put her guns safely away, her son would not have been able to kill her or cause this terrible tragedy. We should have much tougher requirements for gun owners.
John V. December 22, 2012 at 03:06 PM
Warren Kampf obviously needs a handler. Badly. What a misguided op-ed. What was he thinking?
Interested Observer December 24, 2012 at 02:14 PM
John V. - you did such a great job handling Mr. Drucker for all these years that he lost twice. Good job!
Interested Observer December 24, 2012 at 02:15 PM
Actually, many people hunt with handguns. As for an "assault rifle" do you even know what that really is - or do you base it on looks? What is your definition? Because without a definition, there is no way to act. (I know it when I see it won't work.) The Second Amendment is clarified - read the Federalist Papers and the other documents of the time it was written to see what the arguments were about. Part of the reasoning behind the 2nd Amendment was to ensure the people would never be defenseless against their government if it should ever turn on them. (That sounds conspiracy theorist today, but remember the situation at the time the Bill of Rights was written.) I say this not in defense of anything, but simply to point out that so much of what we are hearing today is emotionally based, not reasoned thought. And the emotions are easily understood and shared. I disagree with the NRA (their press conference was, and many of their stances are, a travesty) and I think we can do some things. What I do not believe is that many of the people calling for immediate action actually understand the facts behind what they want.
Paul G. Celentano December 24, 2012 at 05:21 PM
Why don't you just find out instead of "just saying" your innuendos?
Paul G. Celentano December 24, 2012 at 05:24 PM
Do we ban the small trucks?
Paul G. Celentano December 24, 2012 at 05:26 PM
Elizabeth: The 2nd amendment was written and became law based on the wisdom of those who studied the history of how governments have treated the general population.
Paul G. Celentano December 24, 2012 at 05:30 PM
Please support your argument.
RosiesDad December 24, 2012 at 09:44 PM
Yes, the 2nd Amendment was written in response to how governments treated the general population in the 18th Century. Do you think your AR-15 and your Glock 19 will protect you from the government today, should it decide to abuse its power? If you do, you are detached from reality.
Jenna Reese December 27, 2012 at 01:31 PM
The second amendment was written for a reason. The deterioration of this society has more to do with these tragic shootings than anything else. Progressive policies have pushed an agenda of "not hurting feelings" so that holding children and adults responsible for the choices they make is discouraged. With the taking G-d out of the dialogue, bashing the 10 commandments - as we don't want to offend the atheists or islamists-There is no higher moral authority to be accountable to. you break up the family with welfare entitlements, teach sex ed from k-12 but don't teach morals, infuse our culture with sex, perversive sex, violence in the music and film industries - a steady diet of all this filth along the extremely graphic, violent video-gaming available...oh and parents who have been told they must "talk " to their kids instead of discipline them - and the rights of the mentally ill to refuse treatment - THESE are the factors we must talk about first....not guns. We have a constitutional right to defend ourselves. The one ammendment the govt despises. It is not outdated. It is more relevant and necessary than it has ever been
Concerned Mom December 27, 2012 at 03:42 PM
I am so sorry that Warren Kampf can't get up the energy to try to start doing something now. All that reviewing and committee meeting about these issues will get us nowhere. While I agree that we need to look at this horrific experience in all of it societal difficiencies, that does not mean we can not start acting now. The issues relating to health care and mental illness will take years to understand and change. But gun control can be started immediately. As others have said, there is absolutely no reason that any regular citizen should need access to assault rifles or guns that shoot loads of bullets with out reloading. All of these guns and types of bullets should be outlawed to the general public. Also, all guns should be purchased only after some sort of cooling/review period and there should be mandatory training. I can not understand why anyone who respects guns and respects life would not be able to live with these types of requirements. I also don't understand why Rep. Kampf is so afraid of his constituency/party that he can't stand up and be a leader in this issue.
Elizabeth December 27, 2012 at 04:10 PM
Did you ever think you could go into a bar or restaurant or bowling alley or airplane and not be asphyxiated by cigarette smoke? Would you even consider not buckling your child into a car seat? Do you remember when you could meet your passenger at the arrival gate? Ten years ago did you worry that your teens were texting while driving? Public opinions and procedures change and penalties change--the time has come to re-evaluate the second amendment with regard to guns in general and assault weapons in particular. To Jenna, BTW, what does G-d mean? And how do you "teach" morals?
Paul G. Celentano December 27, 2012 at 04:46 PM
Rosie's Dad: Therefore, by your own logic, the 2nd amendment means we have the right to bear even bigger arms? Besides, many a strong willed ill equipped populous has derailed the plans of oppressive rulers: The French Resistance, the French Revolution, and the Continental Army are but a few.
Paul G. Celentano December 27, 2012 at 04:47 PM
Amen, sister!
Paul G. Celentano December 27, 2012 at 04:55 PM
Everyone knows what Jenna meant by "G-d" but apparently the censorship reference was lost to you. However, many of us know what you mean by "re-evaluate the second amendment." RE: Your comment, "And how do you 'teach' morals?" A good place to start would be with, "Only those with morals can possibly teach them."
Elizabeth December 27, 2012 at 05:15 PM
Who censored her? OK. So a teacher has morals--except by example, how do you teach them? Parents teach morals by example. I've even heard my friend brag that they "taught" their children how to drink. Sex education isn't taught that way--but the facts can be taught. You can teach your children how to use guns. Like Nancy Lanza did.
Concerned Mom December 27, 2012 at 05:19 PM
I am sorry. I don't believe we have removed G-d from the school, only from requiring one who does not want to, to not have to be forced to pray. There are no laws that a child can not bow down his/her head before taking a test or eating a meal. But there are protections for those that do not believe in such things from being forced. There is G-d in the schools, every time a person helps another and there are morals too. These incidents don't happen because you can't pray at school. They happen because some sorry lunatic (not just anyone who plays violent games does this) is able to get their hands on weapons of mass destruction. Because that is what an assault rifle is. I do not believe that anyone who has morals or truly is a god fearing person should be worried about the ban on assault rifles or registration or requiring owners of guns to take training courses. Everyone knows that if someone came at you with an assault rifle all ready aimed, you would not be able to pull your gun (if it was on you) or go and get your weapon before you were decimated by the assault weapon. You would also not be able to save many people before you took down a lunatic, even if you were able to get off a shot that hit him. But, if that person was not shooting assault weapons, but had to reload all the time, the ability to stop them would be improved. Most of this disc is about assault weapons, be real!
Paul G. Celentano December 27, 2012 at 07:56 PM
I am sorry. I can no longer argue with you if you do not understand and if you continue to argue from speculative premises.
RosiesDad December 27, 2012 at 10:41 PM
Paul Celentano: I think there is an element of paranoia living within anyone who claims, in this day and age, that they need to arm themselves to prevent government tyranny. That said, if the government does become tyrannical, your AR-15 will do little to help you when the government sends the Army into your neighborhood in an Abrams M1 Main Battle Tank to subdue your uprising. In other words, it's a GI Joe fantasy and I am not sure that anyone who has it is mature enough to own an AR-15.
Paul G. Celentano December 27, 2012 at 11:51 PM
Rosie's Dad: I will ignore the ignorance and consider the source.
Elizabeth December 28, 2012 at 12:53 AM
As a teacher in North Philadelphia, I read the papers to see if the latest shooting victim was someone from school. I knew parents who put their children in the bathtub when they heard gunshots. In Philaburbia shootings are not a daily event on the streets--yet.
Jenna Reese December 28, 2012 at 01:04 PM
What has happened to this society is the outcome of progressive policies and agendas. Rot the society from the inside out, break up the family, increase crime, flood the culture with drugs, take out religion, all so the people will turn to the govt to stop the madness....bottom up, top down, inside out. Alinsky would be very proud of all the useless idiots willing to give up their freedoms, unravel the constitution and look to the "state" to fix our ills. I don't think you have any idea of the price you will ultimately be paying..
Devon Resident December 28, 2012 at 09:06 PM
God had nothing to do with Newtown. If he did, he should have stopped the slaughter of children and all the other random cruelty that occurs every day of every year all over the world. Maybe he likes randomly picking innocent children to suffer violent deaths. If so, I want nothing to do with him and don't know why anyone else would. As for the 2nd amendment, I haven't heard anyone suggest repealing it. I don't know why you're even discussing that. I do agree completely with your views on progressive parenting, however. I think the blame for Newtown lies all over the place, with mass-murder weapon fans, and the "progressive" parents telling their children how perfect and deserving they are just for being born. I bet a lot of these young killers are young men angry that the rest of the world doesn't think they're as great as their parents said they were.
RosiesDad December 28, 2012 at 10:48 PM
@Devon Resident: Pretty much spot on. No, God had nothing to do with it. And being Christian, Jewish, Muslim, agnostic, atheist, had nothing to do with it. Mental illness is a common problem in mass shootings although refusal to receive treatment is usually less of a problem than inability to get treatment. And in the case of Adam Lanza, we don't know how severe his mental illness problems were but you've got to ask yourself why, if he had mental health issues, his mother kept an unsecured arsenal in the house she shared with him. The Federal instacheck system is not tied to comprehensive mental health records on a state by state basis and it should be. And not only for the person seeking to buy a firearm but also for all members of their household. The VA Tech shooter had a long history of mental health issues but bought his guns legally only a year after being brought in for a psych consult. The N Ill U shooter was discharged from the army because of mental health issues but was able to buy his guns legally. Jared Loughner was known to have mental health issues and he bought his Glock legally. How many more shootings need to be committed by mentally ill individuals before we try to make it more difficult for them to get guns?
Jenna Reese December 29, 2012 at 02:46 PM
Its the principles Concerned mom. Our founding documents state we have the right to bear and carry arms (to fight tyranny and to protect ourselves). Are govt officials going to continue having their body guards with their automatic assault weapons? while we cannot? ....they talk out of both sides of their mouths. This is not about protecting anything but our right to carry and bears arms and nothing more
Jenna Reese December 29, 2012 at 02:47 PM


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