Stopping school shootings isn’t a Republican issue or a Democrat issue. The Senate seems to understand that – as evidenced by the serious efforts underway in that chamber to craft a bipartisan bill that addresses the root causes of these heartless crimes and directly improves the safety of our communities. The same cannot be said for the House.
I am a staunch defender of the Second Amendment.
But I have also supported targeted red flag measures, voted to strengthen background check laws, and called for a ban on bump stocks. If the bill before me last week prevented school shootings from becoming an everyday reality and preserved the Constitutional rights of law-abiding citizens, I’d gladly support it. Unfortunately, it did not.
By choosing to legislate their preferred partisan argument on guns rather than working across the aisle to protect our children from these unspeakable tragedies, the majority is continuing Congress’ persistent failure to tackle gun violence.
I remain committed to passing bipartisan solutions to gun violence that can garner the support necessary to become law, help prevent these shootings, and preserve the Constitutional rights of the American people.
As the only Member of Congress to have prosecuted a school shooter, I have repeatedly offered to sit down with my colleagues on the other side of the aisle and establish bipartisan agreement on solutions to reduce gun violence and keep American children, families, and communities safe.
Last week was the first time I was taken up on that offer.
Invited by Congressman John Larson of Connecticut and Congresswoman Robin Kelly of Illinois, I spoke my Democratic colleagues about my experience as a prosecutor, including the Chardon school shooting, and discussed possible gun violence prevention proposals that can garner support from both conservatives and progressives alike.
My focus isn’t on “doing something just to say I’ve done something” but rather on finding a substantive solution that can pass both chambers, get signed into law, and advance the effort to prevent these horrific mass shootings from becoming an everyday reality.
Congressman Dave Joyce, a Republican, has represented Ohio’s 14th District since 2013. Prior to that, he served as Geauga County prosecutor.