"My focus is that firearms are handled safely and that we can continue to enjoy them here in North America." ― Steve Kanaly
Our right to bear arms is enshrined in our Constitution and embedded in our national psyche. As with all rights, there are legitimate limits and commonsense restrictions that are consistent with this right. As a gun owner, I support the Second Amendment. I understand on a personal level that many Americans have a need to own firearms. More importantly, we have a right to own firearms.
Because so many Americans die each year due to of gun violence, we as a nation, must look for ways to curb these deaths. Reducing gun violence benefits society. We should approach this in a thoughtful, evidenced-based manner.
As a physician, I have witnessed the devastation to families when a loved one dies from a firearm. Comforting distraught mothers and broken families reminds me that we can do better.
I believe in a careful, scientific approach to this issue. The most important first step is to restore funding to agencies that study gun violence. We must gather the data on causes and solutions necessary to guide our public policies.
Concurrently, several key measures can be enacted and enforced immediately. People with documented mental illnesses, those on no-fly lists, and perpetrators of domestic violence should immediately be prohibited from owning guns. Background checks must be strengthened. The gun show loophole must be closed. Reciprocity legislation must be prevented from being enacted.
We can uphold the Constitutional right to bear arms, and reduce the violence associated with easy access to firearms. Like all things, it takes courage and thoughtful debate.