All Americans deserve to be able to live their lives free from fear of injury or untimely death. From Columbine, to Sandy Hook, to the most recent shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, it is clear that something needs to change.
While it is heartrending to see these tragedies continue to occur, the grassroots student-led movement that has arisen over the past several weeks have been inspiring, and offer hope that meaningful reforms will overcome the intransigence of legislators who have been bought and sold by the NRA and other special interests.
In order to address Gun Violence in our schools, churches, and communities, I will fight for common sense Gun Safety reform measures including the following:
- Universal Background Checks – Currently, private sales are not subject to background checks at either the state or federal level. This is a potentially dangerous loophole that must be closed in order to prevent guns from falling into the hands of violence or threats to commit violence.
- Banning military-style semi automatic rifles and the pistols derived from them, high-capacity magazines, and bump stocks – The tragedies at Las Vegas, Orlando, Sutherland Springs, Aurora, Sandy Hook, and Marjory Stoneman Douglas all had one thing in common: military grade semi-automatic assault style weapons. In fact, of the 10 deadliest shootings over the last decade, seven involved the use of these types of assault weapons. Assault weapon bans have been shown to reduce the number of school shooting victims by 54.4% [Link] – these guns are designed solely to kill and maim as many people as possible and have no place outside military or law enforcement uses.
- 48 Hour Waiting Period – New Hampshire places in the top 20 states for most suicide deaths, exceeding national rates in almost every age category [Link]. This is chiefly due to the ease of access to firearms: more than 50% of those who took their lives in New Hampshire in 2016 did so using a firearm, and more than two thirds of gun deaths nationally are from suicide. 90% of suicide attempts by gun lead to death (compared to only 2% of drug-related suicide attempts), and in most cases the first time an individual seeks or receives help is after an attempt. Waiting periods have been shown to reduce the number of suicide attempts by firearm, and states with waiting periods show 51% fewer gun-related suicides, and 27% fewer suicides overall.