I respectfully disagree with the president, though I thank him for his courageous leadership on this issue. The congressmen and senators who represent the people of the Delaware and Lehigh valleys should not just allow a vote on these issues - they should honor our overwhelming support for sensible measures that will reduce gun violence by voting to support them. In short, "We deserve a 'yes' vote." They need to stand with us, not the gun manufacturers. They need to honor the memory of the children slaughtered at Newtown, not kowtow to the NRA.
So Sens. Casey and Toomey, Reps. Brady, Schwartz, Fattah, Meehan, Gerlach, Dent, Fitzpatrick, Andrews and Runyan, it's time to be counted. The Daily News will give you space to tell your constituents where you stand. We ask you to respond to the following questions:
1. Will you support mandatory universal background checks?
2. Will you support stronger laws to stop "straw purchase" gun-traffickers?
3. Will you support mandates to strengthen our mental-health- reporting system?
4. Will you support limiting the legal sale of magazine clips to those that can hold no more than 10 bullets?
5. Will you support reinstituting the assault-weapons ban, or legislation that's even stronger?
6. Senators: If there is an attempt to filibuster this legislation so it never gets voted on, will you vote to end the filibuster attempt?
7. Congress members: If the House leadership refuses to bring these issues to the floor for a vote, would you sign a discharge petition that would force them to do so?
We need to hear from you. The People Paper will be contacting you for your responses, but we want straight answers - no ducking allowed. The victims of Newtown, Aurora, Tucson and Blacksburg deserve a "yes" vote. The countless victims of daily gun violence in Camden and Philadelphia deserve a "yes" vote. And our brave policemen who are so often outgunned by criminals with assault weapons and high-capacity magazines deserve a "yes" vote, too! Stand with them and stand with us!
Editor's note: Friday we'll publish Sen. Bob Casey's responses to these questions.
Ed Rendell served as Pennsylvania governor from 2003 to 2011.