Feb. 27, 2018
Gun Violence and Student Safety
As a mother and community member, I’m deeply concerned that students and teachers across our country do not feel safe at school, and that yet another community is being racked by the grief, loss, fear, and sadness brought on by another school shooting.
I hear from parents, students, teachers, gun owners and many others about the frustration and outrage they feel at the nearly two decades of ineffectual statements by congressional leaders of both parties expressing condolences, saying their hearts are broken, yet not bringing any solutions forward which can actually be voted on and implemented.
As with any public health crisis, it is the responsibility of congressional leaders to invest in evidence-based solutions to reduce fatalities and injuries from gun violence.
As a member of Congress, I would not give in to polarization and the current logjam. I believe we don't have to choose between the Second Amendment and children's lives. We can enact policies that prevent and reduce gun violence, while not violating constitutional rights to own and use firearms legally and responsibly.
I would immediately sponsor legislation and vote for effective solutions backed by evidence and by public support, such as banning bump stocks, closing loopholes in the background check system, and enhancing mental health treatment.
I would also immediately convene meetings throughout eastern Washington to listen to the families of victims, domestic violence survivors, students, teachers, gun owners, local law enforcement, researchers and others - to find common ground and make recommendations for solutions.
My campaign will not accept contributions from the NRA, and I would not run my congressional office on a “pay to play” basis. All stakeholders, starting with residents of eastern Washington, would have an avenue for presenting their point of view on issues to my office.
Since congressional leaders, including Rep. McMorris Rodgers, won’t even bring forward a bipartisan commission or fund research, there is practically no chance they will take on more challenging issues, such as waiting periods for gun purchases and effective regulation of AR-15 style weapons.
I’m encouraged by students speaking out and demanding action. I did this myself as a student and I believe the solutions will come from grassroots and community action, in partnership with elected officials who are responsive to their communities, not beholden to donors and special interests.