Two domestic terrorists, at least one a white supremacist, murdered 29 people – and left dozens more in critical condition – in less than 24 hours this weekend. It’s never been more obvious that we have a hate problem and a gun problem in America today.
We of course support victims and their families as they grieve and praise the first responders who put their lives at risk to save innocent lives. But thoughts and prayers bring no change. It’s time to act.
If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem. Donald Trump and Sen. Ryan McDougle (R-SD4) are part of the problem. My opponent won’t condemn Donald Trump’s racist rhetoric or the white supremacism he saw right here when the KKK rallied in front of the Hanover County Courthouse in July. And he welcomed NRA members to the Senate gallery just before voting to adjourn the Special Session called to address gun violence after Virginia Beach. Ryan McDougle won’t stand up to Trump or the NRA, but I will. That’s why I’m running to fight for you in the State Senate.
The hate problem is nothing new. Americans have faced discrimination because of skin color, gender, sexuality, religion, country of origin, and cultural differences since the Founding. We managed to expand civil rights protections since the 1950s, largely by shaming open bigotry and condemning people who voice the hatred they feel.
Donald Trump has actively sought to make hatred and bigotry acceptable again. He failed to condemn self-described Nazis screaming “Jews will not replace us!” as they marched. He tweets racist attacks on immigrants and people of color, including sitting Congresswomen and the parents of war heroes. His rhetoric has made white supremacists bolder, and with predictable results: a domestic terrorist attack targeting people of color by a young man who expected to be part of a race war.
Americans have also always been well-armed. I grew up around rifles and learned to shoot before I entered my teens. Many of my schoolmates hunted and sometimes brought shotguns to school after an early-morning deer hunt. But until the NRA became the lobbying arm of the gun manufacturers few people understood guns as necessary for individual self-defense during trips to the grocery store. Fewer still stockpiled high-powered weapons and ammunition as a hedge against government tyranny.
Today almost anyone can collect an arsenal of firearms and accessories far beyond what they need for individual self-defense. Semi-automatic rifles designed to fire military-grade ammunition make no sense of any kind for this purpose. And let’s face it: the days of citizen militias protecting liberty against a standing army are long past us. These weapons make sense only for use in terrorist attacks by the radicalized or disaffected.
I’m running for the State Senate to be part of the solution. I condemned the KKK and white supremacy openly and in public. Nothing but crickets from Senator McDougle. I’ve called for real change in gun policy. McDougle lacked the moral courage to stand up for his pro-gun beliefs on the Senate floor.
Please support my campaign by donating, volunteering, joining us on social media, and telling all your friends that this year voters have a chance to elect a Senator who wants to be part of the solution. And please remind them that McDougle doesn’t.