Braun seeks ‘practical ways to lower’ gun violence

By ALLEN LAMAN
alaman@dcherald.com

Two days after gunmen unloaded bullets in separate mass shootings in Ohio and Texas, U.S. Senator Mike Braun issued a statement on Monday expressing his condolences and calling on lawmakers on both sides of the political aisle to come together to tackle the issue of gun violence.

“Mass shootings and gun violence across our country is a complex situation; watching Congress do nothing is unacceptable, and I agree with President Trump’s call for bipartisan legislation to address this crisis,” Braun, who is Republican, said in part of the statement. “Any bipartisan legislation needs to include: stronger background checks, red flag laws known as extreme risk protection orders that address mental illness, commonsense solutions that complement the Trump administration’s ban on bump stocks so we can crack down on modifications that turn guns into military-style assault weapons, and steps that are responsive to a culture that glorifies violence.”

The combined death count of the El Paso and Dayton shootings rose to 31 on Monday.

In an interview Monday at his Meyer Distributing office in Jasper, Braun said he believes change will come from the killings that occurred over the weekend.

“I think there’s gonna be something [that comes] out of this, I really do,” Braun said, adding that there has been talk about getting back in a legislative session this month. “To me, that’d be something that, if anything would require it, this ought to. Even though it takes you away from what you intended to do back here in the state. And I think this time, it’s gonna have to be focused on things in a real way.”

Braun, who is an avid believer in and defender of the Second Amendment, voiced support for protecting those rights for law-abiding citizens, but he also said the Second Amendment is imperiled by people who “use guns in the wrong way.”

Whatever needs to be done to keep a weapon out of the hands of someone “that shows a proclivity towards this kind of action, we need to really get serious with it now,” Braun said. “I’d love to see it at the community level, and whenever there’s the indication that somebody is out there with threatening language, you start to keep track of it. In a way, that might give an uneasy feeling in terms of privacy, but I think it’s gone past that point.”

The weekend’s massacres are the latest in a growing line. According to Time, 62 people have been killed in eight mass shootings in the United States during 2019. (Time defines a mass shooting as a shooting in a public place in which at least three victims were killed.)

“We’re gonna have to look at what can be done to really crank up the scrutiny on assault weapons,” Braun said. “And I’m gonna have to learn more and look into it. But I think this time, it’s different.”

President Donald Trump took to Twitter on Monday afternoon to call for a unification to seek bipartisan solutions. In recent days, Democrats have called on Mitch McConnell to end the Senate recess to hold a vote for a bill that has already passed through the House and would create new background check requirements for gun transfers between unlicensed individuals, according to NBC News.

“I think we need to realize that this is a pattern that’s not gonna go away,” Braun said of mass shootings. “And even though when you look at death from guns, suicide is by far the biggest [form], that’s a whole other issue. And I think that when it comes to gun violence or death from a gun, as a staunch Second Amendment supporter, I want to find some practical ways to lower it.”

Braun will go on a “Summer of Solutions Tour” in August and September, during which he will visit more than 50 cities across the state and meet with Hoosiers to discuss solutions to lower drug prices, fix the opioid crisis and further economic policies that will keep Hoosier businesses strong. The first part of the tour includes a stop in Evansville on Friday afternoon for a tour of Kron Farm.




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