My beliefs on this issue are simple and straightforward. Everyone has the right to own a gun, unless they have done something to lose that right.
Reasons that an individual would lose their right to own a gun:
- They have been convicted of a violent crime or domestic abuse.
- They have been involuntarily committed for psychiatric care.
- They are on any government ‘watch list’ related to terrorism.
I believe that there must also be a comprehensive, fair and open mechanism in place to allow for the reinstatement of the right to bear arms, when it is appropriate.
I propose that one way to protect the people of the United States, without infringing on their rights, is to have a universal background check system that must be used for all gun sales. While it may be inconvenient to have a short wait while a background check is being processed, I would happily give that time up in order to know that the weapon will not be used for criminal purposes.
Let me be clear; I DO NOT WANT TO TAKE YOUR GUN. I do think it’s time to have a constructive conversation about guns that preserves our rights to own them, while doing our best to keep them out of the hands of people who would use them for criminal activity. Furthermore, I don’t see a need for high capacity magazines for firearms, and would support capping magazine capacities at a reasonable level for hunting, sporting and self-defense purposes.
An issue that has been recently gaining traction both in North Carolina and more so nationwide is legalizing the use of Marijuana both for medicinal and recreational purposes. Every day, more evidence is brought forward showing the efficacy of medical marijuana in the treatment of a wide range of issues. I don’t understand the reason for refusing to allow our medical professionals to fully explore the medicinal uses of this plant. I believe it’s time to allow for the comprehensive research and development of drugs and treatment programs that are derived from marijuana.
Because the federal government has not acted in a forward thinking manner, several states have taken on this project. While I understand and agree with the desire to make this treatment available, I believe that the fact that there is no program in place to regulate the drug properly, allows for the potential danger of improperly formulated drugs.
Instead I recommend the following steps:
- We must immediately remove all the barriers that prevent the research of this plant.
- Through proper research, we can standardize programs for processing medical marijuana into usable forms and dosages.
- Rigorously test its treatment success rates.
- Only through a thorough exploration, can we fully confirm the usefulness of this drug compound.
- Once that process is complete, it can quickly be brought to market
- This will allow everyone who is prescribed the drug to be confident in its safety and effectiveness.
The Federal Government continues to drag its heels in regards to marijuana, and it’s been far too long. Because of this trepidation, the lives of patients are being affected, whether or not they have access to safe forms of marijuana. Instead the Federal Government has chosen to focus on incarcerating individuals on marijuana related charges, filling our prisons with non-violent offenders, and costing tax payers hundreds of millions of dollars. I believe that it is in the best interests of North Carolina, both socially and economically to pursue the steps mentioned above.
Healthcare is one of the biggest issues in any political race, and the North Carolina race is no different. The reason for this is that healthcare affects every single person in North Carolina and the United States. We all see doctors many times in our lives, so naturally every person should be interested in an issue that is not only universal but also quite personal.
It is the personal aspect that shapes my stance on the Affordable Care Act. I believe that it is a moral imperative to make sure that all people have access to quality affordable healthcare.
To make that stance actually become a reality, there are three things we need to address as a nation:
- Cease our political infighting over the need for comprehensive healthcare. We are a world-wide leader in many areas, unfortunately health-care is not one of those. It is time that all politicians understand the universal health care coverage should be considered a right, and not an option. Politicians are elected to represent the needs of their constituents, and every person needs to have access to affordable health care.
- We must work with the states who have not yet fully adopted the Affordable Care Act. North Carolina included. This way we can make sure to cover the unfortunate gap between the individuals who don’t make enough for the subsidies, but too much for the current Medicaid system.
- Make the Affordable Care Act more business-friendly. As the owner of a small business I know how confusing, convoluted, and continually changing the system is. While the content contained within the plan is good, we must work to create a simple and straight-forward process of adoption for businesses of any size.
While the current Affordable Care Act is unwieldy and has its kinks, it is a necessary part of North Carolina and the U.S. taking good care of her people. We need to work hard to both iron out any issues within the current system, as well as to push all states to join in. We cannot stop until all people have access to affordable and quality health care.