Gun Reform and Gun Control Cris H 2018-02-21T20:50:02+00:00
GUN CONTROL AND GUN REFORM
Not even two months into 2018, Americans have had to bear witness to 18 separate instances of school shootings in this nation. That’s roughly three incidents a week.
Guns, especially high-capacity, automatic rifles, are too accessible. The 19-year-old who killed 17 people at a South Florida high school on February 14 did so with an AR. Despite obvious warning signs that he intended to hurt people, such as online posts in which he said he wanted to shoot people with his AR-15, no action was taken to stop this disturbed young man. The FBI had intelligence that he was a threat, but the agency’s Miami field office failed to act on the information.
Congress and the agencies in place to protect Americans aren’t doing anything to stop the plague of gun-related violence in our nation. Children are afraid to go to school, and parents are afraid to let their children go to school. When we send our kids off to school every morning, we shouldn’t have to wonder if it’s the last time we’ll see them. Frankly, I’m sickened that, in the almost 20 years since the Columbine school shooting, our elected representatives have failed to institute policies that would make America safer.
I share the frustrations and fears that many of you harbor in these uncertain and violent days. For me, as a father, husband, American, and candidate, this is an issue of morality.
As a representative, I will engage leaders of faith communities to tackle gun violence and stand up against the money interests of the NRA.
From a policy perspective, I would:
Reinstate the assault weapon ban;
Demand legislation enacting policies that require stringent background checks for all firearm purchases, checks that would require biometrics so we know who owns a weapon and really know about their criminal history;
Invest in mental health in this country and provide insurance coverage for those who need rehabilitation and therapy;
Authorize the CDC to document and investigate the gun violence epidemic;
Advocate that anyone convicted of a violent crime, including domestic violence, will have to give up their right to own a weapon. – including those in a dating relationship and those who are convicted of stalking;
Require a universal permit to own, sell, and purchase a weapon – this will close the loophole that allows individuals to just purchase a weapon from another individual with no background check;
Reform our campaign finance rules so groups like the NRA are not controlling campaigns and policy in our country;
Ban semiautomatic weapons, military-grade weapons;, and bump stocks;
Craft and enact gun safety education;
Instate an AR-15 buy-back program, due to this specific weapon’s use in so many mass shootings;
Vote for enhanced mental health programs and care, nationwide; and,
Call on federal and local agencies to act immediately on intelligence about threats and hold them accountable to their responsibilities.
It’s time for the NRA to stop using its vast resources to control policy in this nation, and it’s time for us, as citizens, to stand up for moral solutions to this epidemic of violence. To the NRA I say: You seem to misunderstand the true moral question behind this issue. It’s not about the right to bear arms, it’s about the responsibility to create a peaceful and productive society in which you don’t need them.