The toll that gun violence has taken on my family and my community has been far too high. Growing up, I knew friends and cousins who were shot in gang violence and from accidents stemming from unsafe gun storage.
Americans can agree on fundamentals; support for background checks and clamping down on gun purchases from those who are mentally ill or on a terrorism watch-list.
Today, there is someone who is killed from a gun almost every single day in Arizona. Arizona is the 11th-worst state for gun deaths and Phoenix's level of homicides is equivalent to Mexico's. As a State Representative, I met with the bereaved families of those who had lost their lives from senseless gun violence. As a Congressman, I will work to ensure that the awful toll of gun violence can be stemmed back in our communities.
I often hear from NRA members that the solution is more individuals with guns. In the Arizona State House, I stood up against proposals to allow guns in our parks and public buildings. I know as a U.S. Marine who is trained in close quarters combat that having untrained individuals carrying guns can make the work of law enforcement officers more difficult.
In my first term in Congress, I'll work across the aisle to help end gun violence. I'll continue my work on closing the "terror gap" to ensure that suspected terrorists can't buy guns. I will work to protect gun buyback programs, such as those in Phoenix, that remove unwanted and dangerous guns from the street. I will stand up to the NRA and be a voice for gun owners who want to see universal background checks.
I will not back down in fighting to protect our community. I don't want anyone to grow up with family and friends senselessly gunned down.