In the wake of more high profile mass shootings – including at a neighborhood grocery store in Buffalo, New York where 10 people were killed while shopping, and at an elementary school in the small town of Uvalde, Texas, where 19 children and two teachers were killed in their classroom in Spring 2022 – I am angry and heartbroken. As a state senator, and more importantly as a mother, I call on my counterparts at the federal level to stop the madness, end the filibuster, and enact meaningful gun violence prevention laws now. We need political courage, stronger federal gun violence prevention laws, and honest conversations and action to change the culture of power, fear, and distrust that fuels the proliferation of firearms.
This session, after four years of no new gun laws, we did make some progress in Vermont. After the Governor vetoed a stronger version of the bill, we passed a “compromise” bill, now Act 87, that strengthens our red flag and domestic violence laws, improves data collection, prohibits guns in hospitals, and partially closes the “Charleston loophole” that enables some gun buyers to skirt the federal background check system.
But still, there’s much more to do to keep Vermonters and all Americans safe from gun violence. Most gun deaths in Vermont are the result of domestic violence or suicide and other gun violence is on the rise, and national gun violence trends are especially tragic. More can be done at the state and federal level. Read my full post on gun violence issues on on my legislative updates blog.