FREDERICKSBURG — Democrat Jessica Foster has said that Del. Mark Cole’s refusal to allow the Equal Rights Amendment bill to come out of committee was “a defining moment” in her decision to run for the 88th District House seat in November.
Mackler opened the topic of gun violence solutions by saying that while he was a strong advocate for the Second Amendment, the continued mass shootings were still “such a solvable problem,” citing measures like more extensive background checks.
An audience member asked Mackler why normal citizens need to have assault weapons.
“I don’t feel the need to have an assault weapon,” Mackler said. “As I said, I’m a gun owner, [and] I don’t have an AR-15, I don’t have an [AK-47], I don’t feel that need, so I couldn’t tell you why someone else has [that].”
Another audience member followed up on Mackler’s response, asking him if he would support an assault weapons ban.
“I understand your question, but I don’t have an answer for it,” Mackler responded. “As I sit here today, what I support is thorough background checks for any gun owner, close the gun show loophole… I support the red flag laws. As I stand here today, I don’t support necessarily that plan, but I believe this is a solvable problem, and if we had some research to back up one plan or another, I might change my opinion on that.”
“You all know that there are so many things that we could do,” said Gideon. “But a couple of them that are right at our fingertips — and yes, that we have not gotten over the finish line, but by golly, we will — are universal background checks, and red flag laws.”
The debate over gun control is expected to be prominent in the 2020 elections.
“Gun safety, without any question, is one of the biggest issues that we face in this nation right now,” said Gideon. “We have seen across this country, mass shooting after mass shooting take place, and there has been no action at the federal level to actually make sure that we pass smart gun safety measures.”