The 2nd Amendment & Gun Violence

I support the 2nd Amendment and recognize the need to address gun violence as a public health issue.

The debate should not be between gun control versus gun rights. We should be discussing ways in which we can work together to prevent gun violence and preserve the 2nd Amendment.


This topic engenders strong emotions because so many Americans have been the victims of—or have lost loved ones—to gun violence. And gun-rights advocates view firearm ownership as a fundamental American civil liberty.

I support the 2nd Amendment.

At the same time, it's crucial to recognize that gun-related deaths and violence in the US claimed nearly 21,000 lives, and suicide by guns claimed 25,000 last year. We have a problem in this country.

There is also an epidemic of mass shootings — incidents in which a shooter claims the lives of at least four victims. Denying this as an issue does not help the Nation. Nearly one-third of the world's public mass shootings occurred in the US, and 2021 saw 693 mass shooting incidents, up from 417 in 2019.

Mass shootings account for a fraction of gun-related deaths. As the numbers demonstrate, domestic violence, police shootings, gang activity, and accidental deaths make up the majority of non-self-inflicted, gun-related casualties.

My support of the 2nd Amendment — and the right to bear arms — does not exempt me from supporting proven measures to address curbing gun violence. Evaluating our current practices is vital if we are to actively manage the heart of the issue.


Universal Background Checks for Firearm Purchases


Over 81% of the Nation supports universal background checks. Congress recently passed HR8 and it sits on Sen. McConnell's desk without going to a vote. It should move forward.


Research on Firearm Injury and Death


Research is needed to better understand the causes and consequences of gun violence-identifying, testing, and implementing strategies to reduce these events is vital.


Safe Storage of Firearms


Safe storage is essential to reducing the risk for unintentional or intentional injuries or deaths.


Decrease Rapid and Extended Shooting Capacities


A common-sense approach to reducing casualties in mass shooting situations must effectively address high-capacity magazines and firearms with features designed to increase their rapid and extended killing capacity. These weapons systems should be subject to special regulation.


Mental Health


Improved access to mental health care will save countless lives. Read more. >>


End immunity for firearm companies


Waiting Periods


Evidence indicates waiting periods reduce the rate of death by suicide.


These common sense, bipartisan solutions are backed by science and data. I defer to nonpartisan gun violence experts to provide further guidance on all, but I demand action.


I do not support unproven strategies, as suggested by Texas AG Ken Paxton:


“We can’t stop bad people from doing bad things. We can potentially arm and prepare and train teachers and other administrators to respond quickly. That, in my opinion, is the best answer.”


We know little, if anything, about the effectiveness of arming teachers in deterring gun violence in schools. And, of course we can stop bad people from doing bad things.

There is disagreement over the legal implications of the Constitution's 2nd Amendment and the ongoing public health crisis of gun violence. In addition, the debate centers on whether restrictions on gun manufacturing, sales, and ownership is unconstitutional, and a disagreement over whether or not stricter rules would lower the occurrence of violence.

We need to research the facts — What prevents gun violence?


Democrats and Republicans have been in a stalemate over how to prevent gun violence for years. But, new research could help avoid partisan gridlock and find bipartisan solutions to preserve the 2nd Amendment and save thousands of lives.

 

Finding common ground on the gun debate

"We've got to get back talking, and right now, we're just throwing out solutions that one side rejects completely, and one side accepts. And all they're saying is, 'When I get the majority, I'm going to force it upon you.' That's probably not the way to pull a nation back together." — Dr. Bob Lorinser, The Daily Mining Gazette - March 2022


"A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed." This law is part of our Constitution, and it shall not be infringed. Gun-rights advocates view firearm ownership as a fundamental American civil liberty.


Gun violence like cancer has no single cure or cause. There are many types of gun violence with different risk factors and different prevention strategies:

  • Suicide

  • Urban gun violence primarily affecting minority young men

  • Family violence

  • Mass shootings

  • Police/law enforcement

  • Accidental shooting (children at homes with guns)

Federal gun violence research restarted after nearly 25 years of absence in 2019. Federal money for gun research essentially stopped in 1996 with the Dickey Amendment, which barred the CDC from spending money to "advocate or promote gun control."


Limited research continued at the state or local levels and other branches in the federal government, like the National Institute of Health (NIH), support moving the country forward.


We must move forward together addressing gun violence with the support of science in our decision-making. This is an interesting article for your reading. We can and will work together to address gun violence and its tragic impact on our communities.


It's time to find common ground in the gun debate and move forward, united, together.