Hartford, CT – On the same night that survivors and parents of victims of the Parkland shooting made their voices heard on CNN, Republican gubernatorial candidates dodged questions on gun legislation.
When asked what he would do as Governor to protect students Tim Herbst responded that “a deadly weapon is made deadly by a deadly person.” He then advocated for increased school security and addressing the opioid epidemic, which is an important issue that Democratic leaders have taken major strides to address while still dealing with gun violence, but does not answer how he would protect students.
Peter Lumaj said that he would issue an executive order to have an armed guard at every school in Connecticut. Mark Boughton also called for increasing security presence on campus.
Erin Stewart echoed a similar sentiment on Twitter, stating that her heart goes out to the victims in Florida and that she supports funding to increase school security, refusing to address common sense steps that students and parents in Connecticut have been asking for over the last six years.
Shortly after Stewart sent this tweet, Parkland survivors and parents asked legislators for real change and real action on gun violence prevention. If Erin Stewart and the rest of the Republican candidates want to support victims in Florida, victims in Connecticut, and victims in an unfortunately growing number of states across our country, they can start by listening to them and educate themselves on the facts. Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School had an armed guard on campus, and in large schools like Douglas, and many in Connecticut, increasing safety itself is not enough. Students, activists, and parents across the country are demanding gun violence prevention legislation that will make a difference as Republican candidates for Governor dodge questions and flip flop their answers–and it’s a disservice to Connecticut.
“We are a pivotal moment in changing the conversation and taking action on gun violence–and the Republican gubernatorial candidates revealed themselves to be out of touch,” said Connecticut Democratic Party Communications Director Christina Polizzi. “Enough is enough. Every single Republican gubernatorial candidate has had the opportunity and failed to take a clear stance on gun violence prevention and has held multiple opinions over the last few weeks as to whether or not they would uphold legislation passed in the wake of Sandy Hook. Their ideas to protect our children from gun violence inexplicably included addressing the opioid epidemic, having armed security guards at schools, and increasing security–but no candidate was willing to address an issue so close to Connecticut: guns. It’s time for a leader who has courage to stand up to the NRA and the CCDL and address actual issues.”