Bryan Berghoef (MI-02), "The work to do"

This past weekend was another heartbreaking reminder that we have a lot of work to do as a nation around violence and hatred.

Our hearts go out to the families and loved ones grieving in El Paso and Dayton. A friend of mine was in Dayton just days before this event and noted that the site of the shooting was a place he has been with friends before and it could easily have been him sitting there on that fateful evening. This is not an issue we can ignore because “it happens elsewhere.” The next time it may be in our own neighborhood.

I fully believe that we can no longer stand idly by and do nothing—and most gun owners I know agree with me. We are the only major developed nation in the world which continues to tolerate such violent and deadly shootings with no meaningful response.

I am willing to work across the aisle to fight for sensible gun legislation which expands background checks, eliminates loopholes, and adds training requirements while preserving second amendment rights. I’m also ready to listen to what residents in the 2nd District believe will make a difference on this issue.

This is in contrast with my opponent, who receives thousands of dollars in funding from the NRA and already twice this year has voted against bipartisan background check legislation. We can and must do better.

We must also not ignore the reality that the white nationalist subculture that has become more visible, and violent, in the past two years. On Sunday, many Republican leaders, including Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush, said that white nationalist terrorism is becoming a significant problem in the United States.

The former assistant secretary at the Department of Homeland Security, as well as many others, believe that the race-fueled rhetoric of President Donald Trump has helped to contribute to a political climate in which white supremacists feel emboldened to express their ideas and act on them.

We must oppose such rhetoric and call such acts of violence what they are: terrorism and a threat to our national security.

Please join me in calling on our elected officials to denounce any language which emboldens such acts of hatred, and to return to our core American values of welcoming people of all races, ethnicities, and backgrounds.

We are ready to work for a safer, more welcoming America, and are grateful to join you in that effort.
— Bryan Berghoef