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I respect the Second Amendment, and responsible gun owners and non-owners alike know that it goes hand in hand with commonsense solutions to reduce gun violence.  We can’t afford to keep ignoring the facts. Every day, 7 children and teens die from gun violence. Overall, 35,000 Americans are killed by guns every year. If any disease were this deadly, it would be considered a public health crisis. We need to start treating gun violence like one.

When young people in our district held a walkout to draw attention to school safety after the tragic shooting in Parkland, Faso criticized their effort, saying it caused a “loss of valuable academic time” and added it is “better to participate in such activities after school or on weekends.” I wholeheartedly disagree with this and support young people as they ask their elected representatives to take action.

Right now, our broken Congress does not provide any funding for the Center for Disease Control to do research on gun violence. That’s because the National Rifle Association has a chokehold on our political leaders, including John Faso. He has taken thousands of NRA dollars and continues to boast about his lifetime “A” rating from the organization.

I won’t take a cent of their money. That’s not because I don’t respect the rights of gun owners, but because the NRA’s leadership blocks even the smallest commonsense reforms that are supported by a majority of Americans. Reforms like universal background checks and closing the gun show loophole. Or banning bump stocks, which were used in the Las Vegas shooting to make an AR-15 fire like a machine gun. Or prohibiting the sale of guns to domestic abusers. Or keeping weapons of war out of our neighborhoods, churches, theaters and schools.

I support all of these measures, which will keep our children safe while allowing for the kind of responsible gun ownership protected by our Second Amendment. I am proud to be a Moms Demand Action Gun Sense candidate.

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