August 10, 2019 I hate to disappoint my opponent and critics who say that I am against the Second Amendment. At no time have I ever stated nor insinuated that I was against the Second Amendment. I believe that it is a right in this country to own a gun and no one should be able to take away that right. No one can take away the right. I am, however, in favor of the training and proper licensing before anyone can legally own as well as use a gun. Note, that I am making a distinction between owning and using. Proper licensing keeps guns out of the hands of those that shouldn't have them, and training, guarantees that those that have a license to own a gun understand the ramifications of owning one as well as how to use, clean and store said weapon. I do not want anyone to use a weapon unless they are trained to use it. All gun clubs in the country advocate training including the NRA, who are probable the biggest advocates of training for gun owners. My opponent believes as I do, but makes false accusations that my beliefs on training and the Second Amendment are different than theirs on this point. An article on his congressional website, “Gun Laws, the NRA and the Democrat Socialist/Globalist Agenda,” Dated May 9, 2019, he states, “What I see as a possible solution involves two steps. The first is for the Democrats to turn in ALL of their guns".... a statement that I totally disregard and consider nothing more than a paragraph of colorful political rhetoric. He then goes on to state, "The second phase would be to make an NRA membership mandatory for any person that owns or purchased a gun. The proceeds from these memberships could be used for safety courses and greater training materials being distributed to all NRA members. The more educated people are, the more lives that would be saved.” If this was to happen, someone will have to talk to the NRA on how to spend their profits. This is not the resolution we need. I believe it is imperative that I end the confusion and and eliminate the lie. Again, I support and believe in the Second Amendment just as I am in favor of training, however, what I disagree with is that all should go through and be handled by the NRA. Why only the NRA? Gun training can and should be from any certified training provider. I will not force people to join the NRA, or any other private gun club. Where one gets their training should be their choice - Dictating where one goes as a means to facilitate the earnings and control of one entity, now that my friends, is unconstitutional.
EL PASO AND DAYTON SHOOTINGS On the morning of August 3, 2019 a lone gunman killed 22 people and injured 24 others at a Walmart store in El Paso, Texas. A day later another shooting was carried out in Dayton killing 10 and injuring 27. These horrific slaughters were on the news again all over the world. These events filled the papers, network news and was all people could talk and read about on social media. Politicians and news anchors cried for solutions. The country cried for solutions. But as happens too often, Democrats and Republicans criticized each other while promoting their own answers and solutions to a problem that deserves better. So what are the solutions? Even the solutions my opponent advocates will not work for everyone - except maybe for those Democrats who following his direction, handed in ALL their guns. In my opponent’s plan, these crazed murderers could become NRA members, buy guns, be trained, then use the guns to kill innocent people. What the President said made more sense. He asserted that mental illness and internet bigotry is a cause (In my opinion not the only cause). But the logical outcome of that statement, if it becomes law, would be to restrict those who are mentally ill, who have a history of domestic violence, hate and bigotry. When it comes to mental illness, there are wide ranges and types of mental illness that professionals do not agree upon. Who then will decides what mental illness would lead to restriction? Will tens of thousands of paid psychiatrists will be sent out to evaluate gun users? Who pays for this healthcare when our health care is consuming much of our spending at over $3.7 trillion per year? And if and when a person is diagnosed as being unable to use a gun, will there then be restrictions to his 2nd Amendment rights? Restriction that will probably be subject to appeal? I am more in favor of more FBI searches on the “Dark Web" for these crazed people. Even though I am painfully aware that this will restrict free speech - not hate speech - in the 1st Amendment, the “Right” has the same rights to the internet as the “Left.” And if the government - state or federal - finds these hate groups, they must have their guns taken away from them. Still, looking for “dark web” sites seems doable and affordable. But determining if millions of people are mentally qualified to use a gun is a slippery slope that would also be too expensive for our country. Finally should we address the “elephant in the room” and a less costly solution to this problem, restrict the use of military weapons, or at the very least, high capacity magazines? To my critics, I said, “RESTRICT.” We actually have laws that restrict rapid fire guns. On March 26, 2019, the ATF amended its regulations and classified bump stocks as machine guns, effectively banning them. I certainly feel I would need a very good reason ( and I can't think of any) to use these weapons and I know I would need A LOT of training on the working of these type of weapons. Restricting them will no doubtably save lives and limit the casualties caused of by rapid fire rounds. There are ways to make a difference, and we must.