The tragic deaths of 19 brave people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida has once again placed gun violence and gun access in the minds of every American, every New Mexican, every student and every parent. What can be done? What should we do?
This question was asked again at the NM CD1 Democratic Congressional Forum, held at Edgewood Middle School. To talk about gun violence while standing inside a school cafeteria is a difficult thing, and we must continue to have these difficult conversations. Moderators asked each candidate:
“What will you do in congress to help prevent the kind of mass shooting we saw this week in Florida, while at the same time protecting our second amendment rights? And we specifically are asking also whether or not you would vote to ban AR-15 style semiautomatic weapons.”
First, while my prayers are for the families, we know that thoughts and prayers are not enough. There are several things I will do in Congress to address gun violence in our country.
- I will support legislation for an assault weapons ban. I recognize that New Mexico has a long heritage of hunting and recreational shooting, but assault weapons have no place in a home or in a school. Unlike our current senators, I would support and co-sponsor legislation like the Assault Weapons Ban of 2017 (S 2095) introduced in the Senate last November.
- I will support legislation to keep guns out of the hands of those who have committed domestic violence.
- Mass shootings and gun violence are public health epidemics and the Center for Disease Control should be not be prevented from addressing this epidemic. I will support legislation like HR 1832 and S 834 to fund research into firearms safety and gun violence prevention.
- I will pursue funding and policy solutions to improve treatment for mental health for all Americans. I will work to elevate and destigmatize the conversation around mental health. Improved access to mental health resources will strengthen all of our communities. Addressing mental health effects every part of our lives and communities.