Richard Hudson represents North Carolina’s 8th Congressional District
We all share the same goal to end gun violence in this country. But in the course of this debate, House Democrats say they want to “do something” to end gun violence and anyone who disagrees with their policies doesn’t care. That’s simply not true.
I know that in my heart that folks on both sides of the aisle care about the victims of gun violence and the children in this country.
It’s a shame that in their rush to “do something”– anything – Democrats have made this critical debate a partisan show. Last week, my Democrat colleagues rushed to pass two partisan pieces of legislation that would have done nothing to stop some of the most prominent mass shootings in recent memory.
H.R. 8 would not have stopped Newtown.
H.R. 8 would not have stopped Parkland.
It would not have stopped Las Vegas, or Sutherland Springs, or San Bernardino or many other tragedies.
But the proponents of gun control don’t want you to judge them based on outcomes; they want you to judge them based on intentions.
Instead of working together to do something and pass common sense solutions that can actually help prevent tragedies—like supporting local law enforcement, ensuring laws and protocols are followed, improving mental health and implementing my concealed carry reciprocity—gun control proponents are targeting law-abiding citizens.
In their efforts to pass the so-called “universal background checks” bill last week, House Democrats failed to mention every single commercial gun sale in the United States already has a background check. This bill, H.R. 8, would mean you have to do a background check every time you lend a shotgun to a buddy when you go dove hunting, take a friend shooting and let them handle your weapon, or if you were to lend a handgun to a neighbor who had an abusive ex and they wanted to borrow it for self-protection.
If this legislation became law, any of these acts would be a criminal offense. Meanwhile, criminals are going to continue to get their firearms – whether it’s through theft, or the black market, or on the street.
We owe it to the American people to look past the intention and the emotion and focus like a laser on outcomes. What can we do to actually end gun violence once and for all? This problem is too severe, too far reaching, and too dangerous for us to sit idly by and have votes just for show on legislation that’s not going to accomplish anything.
That’s why House Republicans have passed meaningful reforms over the past four years such as strengthening the background check system – which would have prevented Sutherland Springs; improving mental health care – which could have prevented many of these shootings such as Newtown, and Charleston, and Parkland; and giving schools the tools they need to protect students. All these bills received bipartisan support in the last Congress.
Like you, I pray for the day when we will no longer see headlines of mass shootings. Congress needs to work together to solve this problem and not just “do something,” but do something that will actually make a difference. I will continue to work with anyone to end gun violence while also protecting the rights of law-abiding citizens – and I reject the false dilemma that we can’t do both.