Gun violence is a health crisis in this nation. I will advocate for the health and safety of our children by responsible gun laws and campaign finance reform. Seven children die as a result of gun violence every single day in the United States whether in their neighborhoods, in their schools, or in their churches. There have been more than 2,100 mass shootings since the Sandy Hook tragedy in 2012. There were 846 firearm deaths in Indiana in 2015 and 997 firearm deaths in Indiana in 2016. These numbers are truly disturbing, and it is unacceptable that legislators have not taken action to curb gun violence. Nothing in the 2nd Amendment prevents us from removing weapons of war, designed to kill as many people as quickly as possible, from the hands of civilians. The 2nd Amendment has become a marketing tool for gun manufacturers and the NRA. This issue is more about money than it is the Constitution. Citizens have the right to bear arms under the 2nd Amendment. For example, to hunt and have a gun at home for protection or carry with a permit. Congress should enact commonsense gun laws that continue to protect the rights of responsible gun owners, while preventing tragic and unnecessary deaths. Here are some of the actions I support: Require universal background checks, close the gun show and internet loopholes, so that all gun purchases, including private gun sales, are recorded, and purchasers are verified through the National Instant Criminal Background Check System. 74% of NRA members, and 87% of non-NRA members support criminal background checks for all gun purchases. Universal background checks can protect Hoosiers by: Banning gun sales to people with a history of violent behavior, including domestic violence. Banning sales to people on terrorist watch lists. Banning or removing guns from homes with suicidal residents. Reenact the lapsed Federal Assault Weapons Ban. Assault rifles have become the weapon of choice for mass murderers in the US, and were used to kill innocent victims at Sandy Hook, Orlando, Aurora, San Bernardino, Las Vegas, Parkland and El Paso. These weapons of war are far too easy to obtain, and they make mass shootings far too common. Criminalize the possession of automatic and semiautomatic weapons. These weapons are difficult to defend against. While automatic weapons are no longer legal to manufacture for civilian use in the US, it is not hard or expensive to purchase kits that can convert semiautomatic weapons into ones that mimic the functionality of fully automatic weapons. Ban high capacity magazines. There is no purpose for high capacity magazines other than to maximize the loss of life. Repeal the “Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act,” which protects gun manufacturers from liability litigation. This would encourage manufactures to implement safety measures, such as “smart guns” that can only be discharged by authorized users. Fund the Centers for Disease Control to conduct research on gun violence. In 1996 Congress, at the urging of the National Rifle Association, forbade the CDC to advocate or promote gun safety measures. As a result, the CDC eliminated all funding for research on gun violence, and no funding has been provided for more than 20 years. Research can provide information on what measures would be most effective in decreasing gun deaths in the United States. Institute a waiting period for all gun sales in the US. Any law-abiding citizen should be able to wait for at least one day, or until a complete background check has been completed, before purchasing a gun. Institute required safety training and exams for all gun owners. Safety training will help to ensure that all gun owners are well versed in the safe and legal operation of the weapons they own.
As a local, I know that responsible gun ownership is part of life in our district; as someone whose life has been shaped by gun violence, I know that dangerous gun ownership must not be. Given the epidemic of gun violence in our country, we need to enact common sense gun legislation that keeps guns out of the hands of people who are most likely to use them to hurt themselves or others. Support lawful and responsible gun ownership for hunting and self-defense Encourage firearm training, including proper storage Pass H.R. 8 and H.R. 1112 to require universal background checks for all gun purchases Fund CDC study of gun violence as a public health crisis Pass extreme risk/red flag laws that let family members and law enforcement petition courts to temporarily restrict a person’s access to guns if they pose a danger to themselves or others Heavily restrict guns, gun modifications, and ammunition that maximize the potential to murder people by placing limits on key characteristics, including rate of fire, reload speed, magazine capacity, the lethality of bullets, and the like. Remove special protections for gun manufacturers so that gunmakers can be held responsible for the damage their weapons cause and how they market. Prevent forced reciprocity so that states can set their own gun laws including concealed carry, silencers, and other Make social and emotional learning part of all school curricula Recognize gun violence in domestic violence situations as a public health issue requiring mental and physical health treatment and intervention
Recently I received a survey from the National Rifle Association asking for my views – as a candidate for Congress – on a number of Second Amendment issues. This was my response: Dear Mr. Ouimet: I recently received your survey for Federal candidates for public office to find out where they stand on second amendment issues. I must admit that I found the questions in this survey to be rather biased, in some cases markedly so, so instead of answering your survey questions I will outline my position on second amendment rights in summary form. First, I grew up with guns, and I support the second amendment in principle. I have owned handguns, rifles and/or shotguns for most of my adult life. I currently own two handguns, and I am licensed by the state of Texas to carry them openly, on my person, in public. With only a few exceptions, I carry one of them almost all the time I am outside. In addition, while on active duty with the US Navy (I am a Vietnam veteran) I was on the Navy Match Pistol Team while stationed in Subic Bay, R.P., and I am authorized to wear the Navy Pistol Marksmanship Ribbon with silver “E” for “Expert.” So I consider myself a “second amendment” supporter in both words and deeds. I also believe in certain restrictions to the second amendment. For example, I believe: – That no civilian needs or should be allowed to possess a fully-automatic firearm; – That no civilian needs or should be allowed to possess a silencer; – That no civilian needs or should be allowed to possess a high capacity magazine – i.e., a magazine that holds more than 15 rounds; – That no one be allowed to obtain a state or federal license to either own or carry a firearm without a background check, without adequate training, without an adequate mental health evaluation by a licensed professional psychologist or psychiatrist, without appropriate liability insurance, and without a demonstration of proper handling before a certified firearms instructor; – That no one who has been prosecuted for domestic violence be allowed to own a firearm of any kind; – That no one who has been convicted of a violent crime of any kind be allowed to own a firearm of any kind; – That no one with a diagnosed mental health condition that makes him (or her) a risk to the public be allowed to own a firearm of any kind; – That no civilian be allowed to own a functioning mortar, rocket launcher or “crew-served” weapon of any kind. In addition, I believe that each state should be allowed to decide how to license people to carry firearms, whether to recognize reciprocity in firearm licensing with other states, and whether to modify their criminal statutes to address gun ownership and gun violence. I realize that there is a counter argument on the constitutional basis of “full faith and credit” for carrying firearms either openly or concealed, but I also recognize that there are exceptions to this clause (e.g., legalized marijuana) that apply to gun ownership, licensing and carrying. As far as veterans returning from conflicts with “liberated” weapons, I would allow them to keep such weapons only if they are permanently rendered incapable of “fully automatic” functioning. This is my position, so grade me as you will.
— Greg Sagan
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
Most gun owners I know agree that our current inaction in response to mass shootings cannot continue. 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.
The Second Amendment provides the right to bear arms, but some are quick to dismiss the “well-regulated” part. We need common sense gun regulation that enforces current law and adds further safeguards to keep guns out of the wrong hands. Recent polls show 94% of Americans are in favor of background checks for all gun purchases. This needs to happen immediately. The gun show loophole must be closed. We need to encourage responsible gun ownership that comes with safety training. There must be a way that responsible gun owners can continue to own and use their weapons while still maintaining reasonable control on the dissemination of firearms to those who should not have them.
Tedra Cobb is committed to maintaining an individual’s access to firearms for safe hunting and personal protection, while working to minimize gun violence, an escalating public health crisis. She calls on Congress to reject partisanship and address the issue with reason, integrity and cooperation. By working together, we can ensure public health and safety while maintaining the freedoms guaranteed by the 2nd Amendment. Congress has a moral and legal obligation to institute gun-related policies that protect the people. We must reject partisanship and approach discussions about gun rights and public safety with sensitivity, objectivity and pragmatism. Fully fund and allow the Centers for Disease Control to research causes of and solutions to gun violence. Implement effective universal background checks for all gun sales, whether at gun shows, via the internet or at retailers. Ban bump stocks and all other modifications that make a firearm fully automatic. Expand protections under domestic violence statutes for domestic partners and victims of stalking. Prohibit people who have committed hate crimes and/or who are on the terror watch list from purchasing guns. Increase mental health service screenings to make sure questions are asked to determine whether those at risk of self-harm or harming others have access to firearms. Revoke conceal-and-carry reciprocity that allows persons with permits from states with looser laws from carrying a firearm in states with stronger laws, like New York. Increase funding and support for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF). RELATED POLICY POSITIONS Repeal the Tiahart Amendment, which requires that ATF gun traces be performed on paper, effectively making them useless in prevention of trafficking, and prohibits the ATF from requiring gun dealers to perform regular inventory checks. Support campaign finance reforms that prevent organizations from bribing their representatives with campaign dollars. Reject the idea of arming teachers in public schools. Require gun safety courses and exams before issuing a license to purchase any gun.
I am a firm believer in the Second Amendment. I believe people should absolutely be allowed to keep their guns. I also believe that with great power comes great responsibility and we need laws in place to ensure proper licensing and training goes into gun ownership. I also think we need to protect the second amendment with researching gun violence and ways to prevent it from occurring. Only by making gun violence less common and gun ownership safer can we truly protect the Second Amendment.
I want to start by saying, protecting people from the epidemic of gun violence is not the same as taking people’s guns. I was advised not to address the issue of gun violence at all, because the powerful gun lobby in our country has shaped and controlled a segment of gun-rights enthusiasts who are vocally confusing the two. But the amount of gun violence in our nation is staggering, and we must confront it head on. The 2nd Amendment was beneficial to arming our militias against the British in the 18th Century, but has nothing to do with what will best keep Americans safe in 2018. I point this out as a former corrections officer and a gun owner, and the wife of an infantryman and gun owner. Addressing the issue of guns in our country is about having sensible protections for society. This is not too much to expect from our Congress. As of the writing of this, January 31, 2018, there have been 4,559 shooting incidents this year in the U.S. In that one-month period, 1,219 people were shot to death. Last year in the 1st District of Georgia, 38 people died from gun violence, 17 of them were children under the age of 17. This is a public health crisis and we need to treat it as such. We can reduce gun violence together by creating a culture of gun safety — funding CDC research, passing sensible gun laws, and collaborating as communities to address the issue. Sensible gun legislation would include: Universal background checks for all gun sales (which 95% of Americans support). Required training and on-going refresher training. Banning accessories for assault style weapons that use the recoil to fire shots in rapid succession and high capacity magazines for civilians. Limiting bulk purchases of handguns, requiring reporting for lost or stolen guns, and keeping guns out of the hands of domestic abusers and those at-risk for violent behavior. Keeping guns out of inappropriate areas, like school campuses and establishments serving alcohol. Since there are almost twice as many suicide deaths by guns than homicides (22,000 per year), mental health treatment and the removal of its stigma, as well as suicide prevention programs, are crucial components to reducing gun violence. While sensible gun legislation greatly reduces gun violence, we must also work within our communities to address the causes of violence, particularly in our underserved urban communities where homicide rates are often 10 times the national average. By creating mentoring programs, group violence intervention programs, cure violence intervention programs, and hospital-based intervention programs, we can follow the lead of Richmond, California. At one time, Richmond was one of the most violent places in America. Through the passage of strong, sensible gun laws, and collaborating with respected leaders in the community to form and implement violence intervention programs, their gun homicide rate dropped over 75%. We can do the same across our country. It is beyond time to fix the scourge of gun violence that has gripped our nation. In my lifetime, we have lost over a million and a half people to gun violence. That number is greater than the number of Americans lost in all wars combined. It’s time for lawmakers and communities to stand together to end this senseless loss of lives to gun violence.
I am a traditionalist- we need to work toward the “well-regulated” provision of the Second Amendment written by our Founding Fathers. I support universal background checks for all firearm sales, nationally standardized education and licensing programs, prohibitions for abusers, safe storage requirements, and banning equipment such as suppressors, high capacity magazines, and bump stocks.
One of our nation’s greatest threats to our public health is gun violence leading to the most common cause of death for young men. 22,000 lives are taken by guns every year. We must take swift action to curb gun violence by implementing data-driven gun safety regulations. Repeal the Dickey Amendment and encourage and fund gun violence research and solution implementation Require licensure and education on handling guns Address root causes including bullying, mental health, and poverty Universal background checks for EVERY gun sale Federal buy back program for all military grade guns
While some states are already taking strides in passing common sense gun safety laws, we need to address the gun violence problem at the federal level. Half of the states with waiting periods have a 10 day or longer waiting period, and all of the states with waiting periods have seen significant reductions in gun-related deaths. Here’s what I’m advocating for: Federal Universal Background Checks Closing the Gun Show Loophole for private-party gun purchases Federally mandated safety and maintenance training certification and licensure Federally mandated Ten Day Waiting Period Institute Federal Red Flag Laws Rescind the Dickey Amendment which prevents the CDC from engaging in gun specific research and gun law advocacy Prevent gun sales to individuals who are convicted of domestic abuse or stalking Federally ban weapon modifications that make semi-automatic firearms into fully-automatic firearms Regulate the production and distribution of ghost guns Ban military-grade assault weapons
There are 27 amendments to the US Constitution. The 2nd Amendment is but one. As a matter of record, in District of Columbia v. Heller in 2008, Justice Antonin Scalia of the Supreme Court ruled that the right to possess firearms in America “is not unlimited.” During the assault weapons ban that began in 1994, there was a dramatic decrease in the number of deaths in mass shootings. When Congress refused to renew the ban in 2004, the number of deaths dramatically increased, even though there were only 7 more incidents. Even gun owners agree on an assault weapons ban. So do I. As a parent and public school teacher who routinely practices active shooter drills, I believe we have a moral obligation to cherish the lives of our children more than we cherish our right to bear arms. Ban assault weapons; ban sales to those with serious mental illness; universal background checks; national gun registry database; standardized waiting periods; gun ownership insurance which includes annual safety training, physicals, and mental health screenings; a ban on sales to those on the no-fly or watch lists. These common-sense laws cross party lines and help to protect our children and our communities from the tragedy of mass shootings.
As a gun owner and member of the CA Waterfowl Association, I strongly support increased gun safety and training laws including verification of gun locker ownership before purchase, stricter rules for gun show permits, and mandatory safety classes tied to permit renewal just like getting a driver’s license.
— Bobby Bliatout
I grew up in a family that safely and responsibly used firearms, and I am a gun owner. I respect farmers, ranchers, and sports enthusiasts right to own firearms. Yet every American can agree that no one wants innocent lives taken when guns get into the wrong hands, and there are things we can do at a federal level to keep our kids safe at schools. Work with gun owners and sporting associations to promote responsible gun ownership and safety education Enforce universal background checks for the purchase of firearms, without exception Ban bump stocks and binary triggers Expand Gun Violence Protection Orders - where family members can get a court order to have firearms removed if they are concerned that a loved one will commit a violent crime Close the gun show loophole on the federal level
As an ER doctor, I’ve seen the trauma, suffering and devastating loss of life from gun violence up close. The destruction it causes to the victims, their families and communities is heartbreaking and, oftentimes, avoidable. I also support Second Amendment rights overall for law-abiding Americans to obtain firearms through legal channels to protect their homes, themselves and their families, and for hunting and sport. I do not see supporting both the Second Amendment and commonsense gun safety reform as mutually exclusive, though, and I find it increasingly difficult to follow arguments justifying the possession of military-grade weapons and similar accessories by the general public. America, the only industrialized nation with this degree of violence, should address it as a public health issue. The U.S. has a history of using data-driven policies to make us safer – seat belts, child car seats, airbags. We should restore funding for gun violence research so that our policies actually have a positive impact on public safety. Are current laws effective? If not, why and what can be done to improve their implementation, or should the law itself be completely reformed? The discussion should include innovative technologies, such as biometric locks and affordable, safe storage solutions. I believe commonsense gun safety reform can ultimately be accomplished while protecting the rights of lawful gun owners. There is already consensus between households with firearms and those without, which include: Closing the Internet and gun show “loopholes” by requiring background checks; “No-fly, no buy” so that those on terrorist watch lists have harder access to firearms; Ensuring that purchasers have passed necessary background checks, properly registered their firearm(s), and received appropriate gun safety training. Finally, mental health must also be part of equation. Mass shootings are truly horrific and instantly capture our attention. However, suicides and homicides make up nearly 90% of gun-related deaths according to 2016 data available. When addressing the issue of gun violence, we too often ignore the contributing role of mental health issues, including substance abuse and addiction, to our regrettable detriment.
We can and must be consistent with the Second Amendment and still protect our families from senseless violence. This protects responsible gun owners just as much as it does everyone. Let’s protect our rights by making sure they aren’t abused. Implement background checks for every person and every transaction, no excuses. End gun show loopholes for third-party sellers and loopholes online. Expand gun safety training to keep families safe. Fund mental care and behavioral health to curtail gun violence.