Congress must act to strengthen gun control laws in our country – the deaths, injuries, and trauma associated with gun violence are simply too significant to ignore any longer. At the very least, comprehensive background checks on ALL gun sales and banning anyone on no-fly lists from obtaining guns should be passed immediately. These are common sense policies supported by the vast majority of Americans – it is the NRA that is preventing their passage. Now is the time to stand up to the gun lobby and protect our communities.
Ayanna believes that we must take additional steps to reduce the numbers of guns in our communities. Banning assault weapons and accessories like bump stocks is a first step. We must also raise the age limit to buy guns from 18 to 21. How can we restrict young people from purchasing alcohol before the age of 21, but allow them to easily purchase military-style assault weapons?
And Ayanna will work in Congress to require the CDC to study the epidemic of gun violence as a public health issue, because that’s what it is. Beyond those killed and injured, gun violence leaves an indelible mark on others in the affected community. As a Boston City Councilor, Ayanna convened the first-ever listening only hearing where she and her fellow Councilors heard from more than 300 surviving family members of homicide victims. This hearing, along with her work across Boston, has led Ayanna to consistently advocate for wrap around trauma support services for victims, their families, and community members.
Few issues that Ayanna has addressed in her career have been more urgent than ending human trafficking. She has worked tirelessly to address this issue in Boston and believes that federal policies can not only raise the profile of this critical issue, but also put an end to the tools that enable this awful practice. Increasing penalties for those who engage in trafficking, holding executives of websites that serve as marketing tools for traffickers criminally responsible, and providing resources for federal and local law enforcement to track down violators are ways Congress can help.
Ayanna believes that the majority of law enforcement officers want to protect our communities fairly, and that members of the community want law enforcement that is respectful and responsive. Ayanna has worked for years to advance policies like ensuring police diversity, so the force resembles the people they serve, and providing Boston Police Department Community Liaisons, who serve as translators between the force and the community, helping build crucial relationships and often intervening when tensions rise. Ayanna believes that the right resources and policies can help law enforcement across the country to serve their communities better.