How a Governor Should Respond to Gun Violence

It cannot be repeated how horrific it is that mass shootings in the United States are becoming a part of our daily life. The factors are numerous: inadequate access to mental health treatment, toxic masculinity, easy access to semi-automatic and automatic weapons, and a culture that values machismo and toughness over empathy and compassion.

Photo courtesy of The Atlantic

Photo courtesy of The Atlantic

We’re fortunate here in Massachusetts to live in a state that has some of the strictest gun laws in the nation; according to the CDC we have the lowest rate of firearms deaths in the nation. I’ve been a vocal supporter of nationally strengthening our gun laws, but sadly someone like President Trump would rather place more guns in our schools and homes than remove them. This is why I stand with Senator Ed Markey and endorse his idea to incentivize other states to adopt our own gun laws by providing them with a $20 million grant from the Justice Department.

The facts have clearly shown that it works here in Massachusetts. Our federal government has failed us time and time again, and we’ve seen how the NRA has infected our political process. It’s times like these that the states must pick up the work that our national leaders refuse to consider. We’re in a crisis. Gun violence is at an unprecedented peak and there are those who want to weaken our gun laws. 

As governor, I plan on strengthening our own gun control laws, but believe we can take it a step further. Here are a few things I plan on doing in office:

  • Pass “Red Flag” legislation like H.3610. This would allow family members of an individual to request an Extreme Risk Protection Order from a court that temporarily restricts a person’s access to guns if they are exhibiting warning signs of violence.
  • Fight any attempt on the federal level to weaken our own gun laws such as a recent congressional bill that would force Massachusetts to recognize out of state permits.

  • Ban the purchase of ammunition online in Massachusetts.

  • Support the ban on copycat weapons of assault rifles

  • Expand background checks to private transfers of weapons and ammunition

  • Expand and fund more treatment for mental health throughout the state, and make sure those with a history of violent behavior are able to get the treatment they need.

Alex BauschComment