Mike Levin on School Shootings & Gun Control

Question #8 to Mike Levin, asked by Piper Randolph (’25) on behalf of Grade 10.

“What do you think are the best ways to reduce school shootings in the US and what can you do as a Congressman to make that happen?”

I have to tell you I think about this not only as a member of Congress, but as a parent. I mentioned to you I’ve got a 10 year old and an 8 year old at home, and one of the worst days in recent memory was the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, where 4th grade children–I mean, just the lack of humanity of anybody to target 4th grade children. The very next morning I took my two kids to school, and at the time they were in 4th and 2nd grade. And that particular morning, you know, I dropped the kids off at the lot and I’m sure, as your parents do, they drop you off and they dont want you to be late and they send you on your way. But that morning I took an extra long time to give them the biggest hug I possibly could because I recognize that a tragedy like that can happen anywhere. You hear a lot about mental health, and there’s no question that mental health is a factor in gun violence. But we are the only industrialized nation in the world that has this level of gun violence. And my belief is that, yes, mental health is important, but we have too many guns. And I believe in the 2nd amendment, I believe in the right to bear arms, but I do not think we need weapons of war in our schools and our communities. I also think that we need universal background checks. I also think that we’ve got to do everything possible to ban assault weapons. And so I’ve been working very hard to do all that and because of that I got an F with the NRA. It’s only time I’ve gotten an F, I promise you. But the National Rifle Association gave me an F rating because I’m willing to stand up to them. I can tell you that recently we’ve passed something called the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, which is the first bipartisan piece of gun violence legislation to pass the Congress since 1994, which should tell you that, number one, it’s not impossible to get change. Progress happens in Washington DC. It doesn’t happen as quickly as we’d like, it doesn’t happen all at once, but that doesn’t mean that you give up. It means that you do everything you can and you keep fighting. You keep fighting day in and day out, year in and year out, through an imperfect political system, but it’s our system, it’s our democracy. And so, what we have to do is keep fighting. At the end of the day, though, this is a massive difference between my opponent and myself. My opponent doesn’t believe that there should be any federal gun legislation, of any kind! He says “leave it all up to the states.” He also has funded radical gun organizations, unfortunately. And so on this issue, the differences between us are vast and I think you want a representative that’s going to stand up to the radical gun lobby and stand up to the NRA.

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