I grew up in a family of gun owners and learned about respecting gun safety early. I support the Second Amendment. Much of my family lives in rural Tennessee and keep guns for safety on their land and occasional hunting. I would never want to infringe on their ability to keep their guns. I even sent my children to a summer camp where they were taught how to shoot guns safely. Most Tennesseeans believe in safe, legal gun ownership AND they believe in common sense measures to ensure safe, legal gun ownership.
Safe, legal gun ownership
- Review effectiveness of present gun laws see if any changes should be made to keep our society safe.
- Research gun violence to determine where and who may have issues using guns responsibly, and actions should then be taken that address those target areas. There are several policies that have bipartisan support and have been shown to be effective.
- Permit-to-purchase policies that make sure all gun owners have a background check have been shown to be most effective at keeping guns from criminals and people who have committed domestic violence. These policies have been shown to significantly decrease both homicides and suicides while maintaining the right to safe, legal gun ownership.
Keeping our children safe in school
We need to have an honest discussion about school safety. Every time we practice a shooting incident, I see how scared and traumatized my students are by the threat of violence. And after each incident of violence individuals go to their partisan positions but no real changes are being made – so our students feel like it is only a matter of time before it is their school and their friends being shot. There were 45 school shootings in 46 weeks in 2019 – we must do better! We need to have a non-partisan discussion about: facilities, mental health, security staff and procedures, class size, awareness, and guns. We also need to make a non-partisan plan that focuses on evidence-based and expert-endorsed actions that schools can take to address warning signs of violence and to keep shooters out of schools. My plan would create safe schools, address violence at its earliest stages and block easy access to firearms by those who would do harm:
- Establish threat assessment programs in schools to understand and intervene when a student is a risk to themselves or others.
- Address mental health needs and increase access to mental health counselors.
- Smaller class sizes doesn’t just improve instruction, it helps teachers know their students better. Teachers are able to identify each student’s individual issues and increase student involvement leading to higher levels of learning.
- Implement basic security upgrades to prevent access to schools and classrooms;
- Modernize buildings to meet today’s issues.
- Add security, don’t make teachers carry guns. Teachers are unable to protect students, neutralize a shooter, and not be a risk to themselves and to their students.
- Plan in advance for emergencies so staff can immediately lock out schools and law enforcement can respond quickly.
- Establish safe schools to help reduce gun violence.
There are also ways that we can address these issues on a community-wide level.
- Help law enforcement and family members act on warning signs of violence and temporarily prevent access to firearms.
- Responsible firearm storage.
- Requiring background checks on all gun sales so people exhibiting warning signs, minors, and people with dangerous histories can’t evade our gun laws.