Reducing Gun Violence
I am so proud of our State Legislature’s recent progress on gun issues!
Every time I leave a classroom I’ve just taught in at the University of Minnesota, I see posters instructing me what to do if a hostile intruder enters the building: I have been trained to “Get Out, Hide Out, Keep Out.” I’m angry that our response to gun violence has been to train our students and teachers to hide. We have let our children and students down: they should not have to be the brave ones who are forced to face hostile intruders and deal with the stress and distractions of a potentially-unsafe learning environment. Instead, it is the gun manufacturers, violent gun users, and the NRA who must change to fit our desire for a peaceful and safe society.
I first ran for office because I wanted to address gun violence after the back-to-back mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton in August 2019. Nothing has changed since then, and in the two years since I first ran for Senate, there have been countless additional shootings. Death by suicide account for the majority of US gun deaths (accounting for 54% of all gun-related deaths in the US). In 2020, the most recent year for which complete data is available, 45,222 people died from gun-related injuries in the U.S., according to the CDC. That figure includes gun murders and gun suicides, along with three other, less common types of gun-related deaths tracked by the CDC: those that were unintentional, those that involved law enforcement, and those whose circumstances could not be determined. The total excludes deaths in which gunshot injuries played a contributing, but not principal, role.
I watched with pride as my friends and former colleagues began to make progress on controlling gun violence in Minnesota, with passage of the first common sense gun legislation and reform during the 2023 Legislative Session! We can and will do more, but only if we maintain the DFL majority in both the Minnesota House and the Senate.
We keep rifles in our house, and they’re locked and secured (away from the ammunition). My dad was my first gun safety instructor and my daughters have taken gun safety and have hunted with their father and brother. I come from a hunting family, and I understand the needs of hunters. I’m not interested in taking guns away from responsible and law-abiding individuals. I am interested in keeping our children safe at school.
Prepared and paid for by Campaign of Ann Johnson Stewart, PO Box 46505, Plymouth, MN 55446