Let’s start with two positions with which most of us agree.
- We want to protect the Second Amendment.
- We want to protect ourselves and our children.
So how do we reach those two goals?
I believe a good legislator should be a teachable and critical thinker.
For example, last year, with school shootings and mass shootings filling the news, my initial reaction was to call for a ban of semi-automatic weapons. As a mother and teacher, I could not and cannot believe that the solution is to do nothing.
To find solutions, I have researched gun violence. I have talked with gun owners and law enforcement officers in our Thirteenth District. I have been willing to listen and seriously consider what I have learned.
I do not believe a ban on semi-automatic weapons will lead to the goal of REDUCING GUN VIOLENCE. We must not lose sight of the goal!
I talked with responsible gun owners in our district who said that they are willing to accept some inconvenience order to prevent gun violence. They did not consider it an infringement of their rights.
I support the following measures.
- Fully enforce current laws that deal with gun violence.
- Treat gun violence as a public health crisis and use a public health approach to find solutions.
- Strengthen suicide prevention programs as suicides are the leading cause of gun violence.
- Enforce and strengthen laws that help keep guns out of the hands of people who threaten violence to others or themselves.
- Create a state background check on semi-automatic rifles like the background check already in place on hand guns in Washington State.
- Pass child access prevention laws that also hold irresponsible parents responsible.
- Strengthen and enforce domestic violence laws that remove guns from people who commit domestic violence.
Here is some additional information.
Why we should treat gun violence as a public health issue:
- Each year, in Washington state, about as many people are killed by gun violence as die in car accidents.
- In Washington state, 75% of gun deaths were the result of suicide in 2015.
- I support Congress’s recent approval for the Center for Disease Control to conduct research on gun violence.
We can sharply reduce gun violence if we work together. For example, consider how public education could help deal with the points below.
- Over half of all gun owners have at least one firearm with no measures to prevent someone from stealing or misusing it.
- Almost half of all gun owners with children under 18 report having a gun in an unsecure state.
- Adolescents with easy access to firearms are 2.6 times more likely to die of suicide than adolescents without easy access to firearms.
- Ultimately we need to talk in a calm manner and find common ground to deal with a serious concern.