Today the American disease that is our national obsession with handguns spread to Leonardtown. I am saddened beyond words at today’s events at Great Mills High School and stand with the community at this time. But as saddened as I am about today’s events, I become strengthened in my resolve to rid Maryland of this disease, once and for all.
Our national handgun debate is too much about hot-button buzzwords and too little about action. On the right,”thoughts and prayers” have prevented absolutely zero handgun deaths. Ever. And on the left, calls for “common sense” legislation have fallen upon deaf ears of executives of both parties on the state and Federal level. How many more children must be slaughtered, how many more lives must be forever altered, before we have said “Enough!”?
Today, I say “Enough”. As your State Delegate, I will take the following steps to repeal and replace the Second Amendment in the State of Maryland:
- I will sponsor legislation to ban all assault weapons in the State of Maryland;
- I will sponsor legislation to make possession, sale, or advertising any item that makes a non-automatic weapon an automatic weapon, or the alteration of a firearm to make it an automatic weapon– a criminal offense;
- I will sponsor legislation to make illegal any sale of a firearm that does not happen in a brick and mortar store. No gun shows. No online sales. No classified ads;
- I will sponsor legislation to make background checks, cross-referenced with every possible local, state, national, and international law enforcement agency, part of every firearm sale. This will necessitate the waiting period for a firearm to be extended to a longer time period. Such as 180 days;
- It is time to regulate the right to operate a firearm like the right to drive a motor vehicle. I will sponsor legislation to require the licensing of anyone in the State of Maryland who wishes to operate a firearm. There will be a training requirement which a prospective firearm user must pass. And there will be an evaluation by a licensed mental health provider that must be passed as well;
- I will sponsor legislation to ban contributions to the National Rifle Association or similar pro-handgun groups through charity programs such as the United Way, Combined Federal Campaign, etc. And if not possible through legislation, I will pressure these groups to end their support of these organizations; and
- I will work with the Attorney General on the possibility of a lawsuit, perhaps to be enjoined with other states, to seek damages from firearms manufacturers, much as what happened with the big tobacco companies a few decades ago.
These will be my first steps. There will be others.
It is beyond time for Maryland’s leadership to realize and act upon the existential threat that handgun violence poses to our society. And if current leadership won’t get the job done, new leadership will.