Powerful voices

PHOTO: U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich meets with students from Aztec and Santa Fe High Schools in advance of the March for Our Lives, March 23, 2018.

March 23, 2018

Dear Friend,

Today, I sat down with high school students from Aztec and Santa Fe who traveled to Washington, D.C. to participate in the March for Our Lives to end gun violence and mass shootings in our schools.

As the father of two young boys, I can't even begin imagine what the students and families of Aztec are coping with after the senseless loss of two young lives in a school shooting. Hearing their perspectives was invaluable. Every student should feel safe at school, and no parent should have to live in fear of their child not coming home.

I want all New Mexicans participating this weekend in the March for Our Lives to know that I hear your message loud and clear. Student voices have been the single biggest thing to change the conversation. We can all agree that we have an epidemic of gun violence in this country that has touched far too many of us. We can no longer accept these horrific shootings--or the estimated 91 Americans killed each day by gun violence--as the status quo.

This debate brings up very emotional and difficult questions. But I am encouraged by our nation's students who are leading the way, challenging us to find solutions we can agree on. Those include universal background checks, funding for scientific research on gun violence, a sensible prohibition on military-style assault weapons and a ban on bump stocks, which have no practical civilian use.

The overwhelming majority of Americans--including gun owners like myself--agree on these real steps to address the gun violence epidemic while respecting our constitutional rights. We must listen to the young people desperately calling on us to act. It is long past time for us to finally turn our nation's grief and frustration into meaningful action to protect our children. 

Sincerely,

MARTIN HEINRICH
United States Senator