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Second Amendment Rights

As a gun owner and retired Colonel of the U.S. Army Reserve, I approach our Second Amendment rights with a deep respect for firearms. Millions of Americans safely and routinely own and use firearms for hunting, sport, and self-protection. This includes many residents of southern and southwest Ohio, and many of our friends and neighbors. Our founders enumerated firearm ownership as a right alongside the right to free speech and the right to a fair trial in the original Bill of Rights.

As witness to a mass shooting, I know there are legislative steps we can take to make mass-casualty shootings even rarer, including examining how we identify, diagnose, and treat mental illness; promoting strong family structures; and addressing the root causes of violence. I believe that these efforts, especially in regard to gun ownership, will have a more positive and dramatic effect and will lead to increased safety for all Americans.

I have serious concerns that broad attempts to limit the use and sale of firearms for legitimate purposes, such as hunting and self-defense, would not only limit the rights of law-abiding Americans, but would also not solve the problem of gun violence in our nation. As we explore potential policy solutions, we must not forget nor minimize the Second Amendment, which states, "...the right to bear arms shall not be infringed."