I am seeking an endorsement from Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. Here, I answer several questions, discussing the need for sensible gun regulations to end the madness of American homicides and suicides, and explaining why strong gun regulations are actually in the interests of both the NRA and lawful gun owners.
Why are you interested in seeking the Moms Demand Action Gun Sense Candidate distinction?
I am a progressive Democratic Congressional candidate for Florida’s 6th district. I believe everything you have proposed makes sense, and that the status quo, pushed by the NRA and 2nd amendment alarmists, is ridiculous and deadly for far too many Americans. In Congress, I will fight to enforce the “well regulated” component of the 2nd amendment, which is exactly what Moms Demand Action Gun Sense seeks to do. (Although our modern definition of “regulated” has changed, such change is appropriate for modern times.) Your endorsement will help voters see that I take gun violence seriously.
Around Thanksgiving, 2019, we had a rash of gun violence in Daytona Beach—9 deaths in 3 weeks, including the mayor’s nephew. These deaths and many others could be prevented with sensible gun laws.
Have you been personally affected by gun violence?
My wife used to work at the Starbucks in Target in Orange City and I would work there on my laptop during her shift. Many times, I sat across from Scott Paul Beierle, the 2018 Tallahassee yoga studio murderer. In fact, I have several photos of my wife on her break with him in the background. As a husband and father to a 1-year-old, I hate that we have to be afraid going out, or that my son might be traumatized in school by active mass-murder drills, let alone an actual mass murder. If you look at other advanced nations, we are an aberration when it comes to gun violence. I feel strongly that the founding fathers never intended it this way. In fact, a “well regulated Militia” is mentioned quite clearly in the 2nd amendment. Although the Supreme Court has ruled the militia is not necessary, we don’t even follow the “well regulated” stipulation in this country.
Is there any additional background you would like to provide on any of your answers?
I’m a 28-year-old husband, father, and teacher of future teachers. I have a PhD in Education including an advanced statistical certificate. I like to look at facts and data. I am very data-driven. Gun violence is off-the-charts in the USA, and a big part of it is suicides. People who decide to commit suicide often do it with a gun and make the decision quite quickly, sometimes in 5 minutes or less. It’s a public health tragedy that could be ameliorated with better regulation of firearms, and many homicides are preventable as well.
I would also like to say something about the NRA and gun-rights activists. Ironically, you guys are collectively shooting yourself in the foot. There is no scenario in which it makes sense to support unfettered access to guns by criminals and the mentally ill. Many Americans, along with the entire world, are continually surprised that endless mass murders in the USA do not result in meaningful gun regulations, but the tide of public sentiment can turn, and when it does, it may be quite swift.
I am not a gun-grabber—in fact, I own a shotgun for home defense. The NRA’s support of gun ownership and gun rights for lawful Americans is undermined by their support of an anti-regulation Wild West free-for-all where innocent American adults and children are continually mowed down by preventable mass murders. If you support gun rights, you should support closing gun loopholes and preventing guns from falling into the hands of people who abuse them. Do not forget that we are a nation that, just 100 years ago, prohibited alcohol, and then repealed that constitutional amendment 14 years later.
Lastly, it is a common refrain to criticize gun regulations by saying they will not stop criminals from acquiring guns. This is a bogus argument. Many criminal acts will be prevented by stronger regulations. A burglar alarm does not prevent all burglaries, but it dissuades a majority of would-be burglars. Applying this sort of logic to other situations reveals its lunacy—should we not regulate opioids because people will steal them? Should we get rid of driver licenses and driving tests?
Details and particulars matter. You or a friend or loved one will eventually be touched by gun violence. Let’s take it seriously.