Americans are 25 percent more likely to die from gun violence than in any other developed nation, and guns are the third leading cause of death in American children. It doesn’t have to be this way – we have the tools to address our epidemic of gun violence, we just need to elect leaders with the courage to stand up to the gun lobby.
As a mom and pediatrician, I know how important it is to take action on common sense gun safety. Like many parents, I trust that my third-grade son will be safe when I send him to school, but we know that nowhere is really safe in a country that allows guns to get into the hands of people who would do others harm.
We cannot accept these shootings as normal, nor can we accept any notion that we are powerless to stop them. It is long past time for Congress to take common-sense steps to prevent gun violence. If elected, I will fight for solutions that protect our children and families.
These are my commitments to addressing our gun violence crisis:
- Implement universal, comprehensive background checks. Guns should never be allowed in the hands of someone with a history of domestic violence, a violent criminal record, convicted stalkers, and those with severe mental illness.
- Keep military-style weapons out of the hands of individuals with criminal histories, people in crisis, and those under 21 years old.
Work to create a national center for reporting — to ensure that no individual falls through the cracks.
- Repeal the Dickey Amendment, which prohibits the Centers for Disease Control from researching gun violence as a public health crisis. We base all other health challenges, from highway safety to cancer, on data. But the federal government is not allowed to investigate gun violence in the same way. This is unacceptable and must be reversed immediately.
- Reject money from gun manufacturers and their lobbying group, the NRA. It is time to say “enough!” to politicians who profit from an industry that spends millions to stop what the vast majority of Americans consider to be common-sense gun safety policies, which makes it easier for individuals to do harm to children.
- Expand Washington State’s Extreme Risk Protection Order policy nationally, which will enable families and law enforcement to petition the court to temporarily restrict an individual’s access to firearms if there is evidence that he or she will do harm to themselves or others. Let’s not forget that most gun deaths are from suicide.