As a strong supporter of the Second Amendment, the individual right to own a gun is very important to me. I believe that our Founding Fathers meant for all law-abiding citizens to have the right to bear and maintain firearms. Whether it is for hunting or marksmanship, firearms are an integral part of American sportsmanship and recreation. Furthermore, inividuals should always possess, as a last resource, the right to defend themselves and their families. For the majority of Americans, these rights are exercised responsibly every day, and it is important not to punish people who obey the laws.
I do believe, however, that a number of other issues related to recent shootings must be aired and discussed as part of a national dialogue. We all should be involved in a broader conversation seeking ways to prevent tragedies that take the lives of so many innocent people.
The American people deserve to have a comprehensive dialogue on all the underlying causes of violence. I believe that there is more we can do to explore mental health and its role in these cases of gun violence and also ensure that records are being shared among the proper authorities to boost our current background check system. I am committed to being a part of the real solution and am looking forward to working with my colleagues to address these issues.