Army sniper writes letter to all 535 members of Congress.
Members of Congress,
I am twenty-eight years old and a medically retired US Army sniper. In 2013, I was honorably discharged with a ninety percent Veterans Administration disability rating. Since I once served under your policy agendas and still maintain high respect for your elected positions, I ask that you take a few minutes to review my ideas on how to 1) provide equity to the millions of Americans who suffer under The Fourth Level of Societal Punishment and 2) open a new market for approximately eighty million Americans.
It’s important to note I am not seeking an elected position, nor do I work for anyone but myself. My motivation as a writer is pure: I focus on bipartisan topics that matter.
As you are all intelligent statesmen who serve your constituent body to the best of your ability, and according to what benefits the majority, I hope you will respect my effort to, as House Leader Paul Ryan recently voiced during a bipartisan address, “put something on paper and passionately pursue it.”
My idea is simple: allow US citizens who have a nonviolent criminal background the same socioeconomic movement and liberty as a US citizen without a criminal record. Of course, they must 1) not have committed a violent crime, 2) not be a repeat DUI offender, 3) have met all requirements of the courts, and 4) have been off probation for a certain amount of time.
After a summary review of my academic quality inductive theory construction of The Fourth Level of Societal Punishment. You will find that over 6,000 people living in the US, including me, agreed that such punishment exists and needs to be removed in order to align with the constitutionally given right to not be restricted during one’s pursuit of happiness.
But I fear without a full Supreme Court, law itself is in jeopardy. The Framers intended for US law to be pure, without obstruction from humans acting in self-interest. You see, when I was a child and a ward of the court, living in and out of group homes, the law was compassionate to me. It kept me safe when my family was unable to. Please see a short excerpt from a book I’m currently writing:
At age eleven, I’d never seen a courtroom before—at least not in person. I did love the show Cops. It was just as I had imagined, except there’s no jury in most juvenile cases. The only people present were the judge, a lady who typed everything we said, my defense attorney, and a man who spoke of me as if I were Lucifer himself—the California District Attorney.
My attorney spoke first: “Your honor, Mr. Stevens knows he has done a bad thing. This is his first crime, and it was a nonviolent one at that. He himself suffered minor injury from the crash, but no innocent persons were injured. He lives at home with his father and three siblings. I have spoken with Gary Stevens, Chris’ father, who was not able to make it to court today because he has to work. However, he told me that he wishes for the court to send Mr. Stevens home.”
The judge looked me in the eyes and said, “Mr. Stevens, what you did is serious. You stole a vehicle—your first felony. Although it was your own father’s, in the State of California, that is still a felony. Furthermore, you then took a joyride in a residential neighborhood and put other lives at risk. This ended with your partner in crime crashing into a parked car, after he had been speeding, while under the influence of marijuana. Even though you were not driving, being a passenger makes you liable by association—your second felony.”
The district attorney took control. “Your Honor, Mr. Stevens is clearly a threat to society. He does not attend school according to his academic records, his toxicology report showed that marijuana was in his system, and he could’ve killed another person that day. There is no way that after just one week of incarceration that he should be allowed to go home. The State of California believes that would defy basic logic and reasoning.”
My attorney hastily replied, “Your Honor, the State of California does not believe in compassion when they speak of Mr. Stevens. His father makes under $34,000 a year as a copy machine repair man, and he is supporting four children as a widower. Three of his children have state-recognized disabilities. Mr. Stevens is the only sibling who does not have a state-recognized disability. The father needs Mr. Stevens at home to help with daily tasks. This is the first crime he ever committed; he should be released today and placed on probation.”
The district attorney spoke again. “Your honor, Mr. Stevens is the classic latchkey case. His father couldn’t show up to court today because he is buckled with taking care of three disabled children. Mr. Stevens does not enhance his family dynamic—he damages it.”
My attorney snapped back, “You Honor, that is simply not true. Gary Stevens was once married before he and Laurel adopted four children, and he raised Jake, Chris’ older brother. Jake is Mr. Stevens’ mentor; he can provide better guidance than the staff at juvenile hall can. He needs focused attention, not broad-stroke punishment.”
The judge paused and sat back in his chair while soaking in both sides. After a few moments, he leaned over and compassionately said, “Mr. Stevens, you have committed two serious crimes, both of which are felonies that carry individual max sentences far greater than you know. I agree with the State of California by saying that it would be illogical for me to send you home today. I am sentencing you to two weeks of incarceration, with credit for one week’s time served. You will be going back into your cell today. You should think about the lives that you could’ve hurt, and the fact that you totaled your family’s van, which it sounds as if your father needed. You should be ashamed of yourself. I hope the next seven days serve as a time for reflection on where you plan on heading in life. Because if you keep this up, you will end up in prison.”
After a bit of a learning curve, on my nineteenth birthday, a judge sealed my record and said, “Not even God will know you’ve been convicted of a crime. You now have your liberty back.”
And after all that, I grew up and learned from my mistakes. I went on to serve policy created by you, intelligent statesmen who defend the law. Unfortunately, the law results in Americans losing their lives in defense of your ideas on how to carry out such policy. American blood is the true cost of your decisions as statesmen.
Congress, I urge you all to review The Federalist Papers, US Constitution, and Bill of Rights – and ask yourselves, is there any good argument that says our justice system should be gridlocked because of self-interested politics? I have found nothing of the sort. What if a big case comes about? Those seeking justice will be put on hold, too.
But the most damaging fact: if you don’t allow the nomination of Merrick Garland, in a bipartisan fashion, it will result in self-interested statesmen deciding their needs are more important than those of the majority. Because whatever God or Big Bang you believe in resulted in creating mankind, and humans then created US law that was meant to purely protect the majority. This can only remain the case if the 535 Congress members protecting the law itself do so purely.
Imagine stepping back into your halls and restricting your actions to those based on the Constitution. As the bad ass Framers intended, you would win every argument on why you are doing the right thing. And as you know, well-framed arguments are used to defend your state and body of people. Millions of Americans are ready to have their liberty back, just as I was granted mine. I held true to the promise I made to the California District Attorney by joining the Army in 2008 and attending college—the first person in my family to do so. I’m sure most other Americans will, too, if you give them their fair shot at life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
I have attached some submissions in which the American people speak for themselves. Please take their thoughts and feelings into consideration during your well-earned two-week recess. Thank you for defending the freedom of over 318 million American souls.
Chris J. Stevens