Martin Heinrich discusses school safety reform on eve of March for Our Lives
March 23, 2018 10:18 PM
WASHINGTON – Before tens of thousands of students, including a handful from New Mexico, march on Pennsylvania Avenue and across the country Saturday to demand safer schools, KOB's Chris Ramirez met with U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich, D-NM, for a conversation on how those students are applying pressure on lawmakers to take action.
Ramirez and Heinrich met in his U.S. Capitol office, which could double as a moose lodge. The following is only a portion of that interview; watch the above video for more.
Ramirez: There is certainly a perception that Democrats or the left advocate to take guns away, and we hear that a lot. Is that what your party is advocating?
Heinrich: It's not and I think that's part of the problem. I think the conversation has become so polarized, the Wayne LaPierres and the NRAs of the world would have you believe this is either black or white.
Ramirez: What are your solutions? What are your solutions to make them feel safer in their schools again, especially for the Aztec (High School) students?
Heinrich: I have legislation with (Democratic) Sen. (Jeff) Flake of Arizona to ban bump stocks. There is no legitimate reason that anybody needs a bump stock. We have really good bipartisan legislation to make background checks more universal.
Ramirez: Congress doesn't agree on much these days. So how do you move that conversation forward? How do you pass legislation that would increase school safety in the current political environment that Congress is in right now?
Heinrich: I think the spotlights that Aztec and (students) across the country have put on this issue will have an impact on the Congress. And if people don't support those solutions now, I suspect it will have an impact on their reelection or being reelected in some cases.
Ramirez: The president believes a possible solution would be to arm teachers and to have guns in classrooms. Is that a solution in your opinion?
Heinrich: So I was thinking about my mother-in-law, who taught elementary school for decades. I cannot imagine her carrying a firearm in her classroom, and the other teacher I've talked to about this, I just don't think it's a credible solution.
Updated: March 23, 2018 10:18 PM
Created: March 23, 2018 09:26 PM
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