Flowers: The high rate of gun deaths is an urgent public health problem that has been a long time in the making and will take some time to resolve. Changes will need to be made to reduce access to guns by people who would use them to kill others or themselves, either intentionally or by accident, and to reduce the socio-economic factors that lead to violent crimes. Congress should regulate the sales of all guns and require universal background checks. Assault weapons and magazines that can carry a large number of rounds should be banned in the US, and this should be combined with a program to buy these back. All gun owners should be licensed and required to take basic gun safety courses or to otherwise demonstrate competence. This should include how to store guns so that children do not have easy access to them. And there should be mandatory reporting of gun thefts to law enforcement.
Q: Your reaction to the mass shooting?
A: It's tragic. It's heartbreaking. But it's also sickening, because we see this mounting death toll from mass casualty shootings--but also every day in our neighborhoods, in our cities--and we know there are common sense gun safety measures we can take to dramatically reduce the death toll and we're not doing anything about it. And the definition of gross negligence is when you know you have a solution that will help prevent gun deaths and you don't do anything about it.
Q: What are the solutions?
A: If you have a universal criminal background check to help keep guns out of the hands of criminals and dangerous people, you will reduce gun deaths. We know that. You should have a permit to purchase a weapon just like you need to get a license to drive a car.
Brown's TV ads zero in on social issues. The Brown ad claims Hogan is against background checks for firearm purchases. It's in reference to his opposition to sweeping gun control laws passed last year that included increased scrutiny. Hogan supports instant background checks tied to the federal system.
This year, I need your help to further toughen the enforcement of our gun laws. And while nobody believes we should criminalize poverty, there are things we can do--must do--to bring Maryland in line with what every other state does and expects when it comes to preventing the willful neglect of a child.
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