With possible gun legislation dominating talk in Washington, D.C., the Beacon Journal asked the area’s five U.S. representatives this question Tuesday:
What one legislative initiative can you support today related to the issue of guns and gun control?
Here are their responses:
Marcia L. Fudge, D-Warrensville Heights — “One initiative is not enough to resolve the complex issue of gun violence, but as a place to start, I support closing loopholes for private gun sales and gun shows, and requiring uniform background checks for all purchases. Along with banning assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition clips, I believe these measures would save lives.”
(Note: Fudge spoke on the House floor Monday night on gun violence prevention. Her full remarks can be viewed at www.youtube.com/user/marcialfudge)
David Joyce, R-Russell Township — “As the father of three, I believe it’s time we have a national conversation on public safety focused on the question of how we best protect our children. During my time as Geauga County prosecutor, I saw firsthand the tragic effects of when certain individuals slip through our mental-health system, and therefore believe it’s crucial that we address this as both a public safety and mental-health issue. That said, we cannot let recent tragedies be an excuse for groups to either sell more guns or infringe on Second Amendment rights. We must address this important issue logically and find common-sense solutions to ensuring the safety of our nation’s children.”
Jim Renacci, R-Wadsworth — “As a father of three children, I was heartbroken by the tragedy that occurred at Sandy Hook elementary last month. My thoughts and prayers remain with those we lost, their families and their loved ones. As we consider what actions can be taken to prevent incidents like this in the future, it is important to keep in mind that these murders were carried out by a madman, not by our Founding Fathers or our Constitution. The common thread between this incident and others like it before is the growing mental-health epidemic that is plaguing our country. How we as a nation identify and treat mental-health conditions must be the top priority as we take action to address this growing threat.
“With regard to our constitutional rights, when acts of violence are carried out in the name of religion, as we witnessed on 9/11, we did not move to erase our First Amendment right to the free exercise of religion. The same standard applies to the Second Amendment, and any restrictions on our Second Amendment rights must be narrowly tailored and meet the strictest standard of scrutiny our judiciary can apply.”
Bob Gibbs, R-Lakeville — Did not return a call for comment.
Tim Ryan, D-Niles —The Congressman wants to wait until the president’s proposals (due out today) are public before he comments.