Views & Perspectives | Congress should debate and pass laws to protect innocent, law-abiding citizens

RAY LAHOOD

RAY LAHOOD

As Congress returns from the August break to Washington, there is an urgency to seriously protect innocent, law-abiding citizens from those who are mentally ill or just simply intent on killing fellow citizens. New laws that significantly fund mental health programs to enable communities and families who recognize mentally ill family members or citizens should become law immediately. Coupled with significant new funding for community mental health should be new laws that require background checks and waiting periods to examine a person’s mental capabilities to own a firearm.

In addition, a ban on assault weapons such as AK47 weapons should become law immediately. Also included in a bill to ban all assault weapons should be a federal gun buy back program to get these assault weapons off the streets of America and send a message that there is no place in America’s homes and communities for assault weapons. This legislation in Congress and in Washington should be the number one legislative priority for Congress in September. There is a real sense of urgency for this legislation following the tragic killings of innocent Americans in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio.

Our Country’s political leadership owes the American people this type of protection from those who suffer from mental illness or who have a political agenda to harm innocent citizens. In response to school shootings in Florida, Connecticut, Texas and other places in our country, school districts in our community and around America are developing protective systems and adding security personnel to protect students, faculty and school personnel. Congress must do the same for American citizens.

There are many urgent and important issues such as immigration reform, our crumbling infrastructure, our fiscal mess and our trade policy facing Congress this fall. Finding answers and solutions to gun violence and the killing of innocent America has to take center stage as soon as Congress reconvenes. The American people are demanding answers and results to save innocent lives in neighborhoods and communities all over America. Encourage and email Congress to take action now, no more waiting for more innocent people to be killed.

Ray LaHood



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