As a young girl, hunting was a way of life for me, as it is for thousands of Montana families. Each fall, my family filled our freezer with elk and deer. My father demanded that I adhere to rigorous safety measures when handling firearms by attending a hunter safety course at the nearby grade school. I also learned to have high regard for the animals we hunted, treated them respectfully, and knew the importance of a clean kill.
Gun violence has impacted many Montana families, including my own. Our awakening to gun violence occurred when my children's father died by suicide with a gun. I'm not sure what legislation would have changed this outcome for my family, but I know in my heart we must do more. And we must do it now.
As a former teacher, I am proud that children throughout the United States, and here in Missoula, are leading the charge for gun control reform. Children, who are being slaughtered in their classrooms, are standing up to Congress and other elected officials saying, "Enough". It is time that lawmakers everywhere come together to find solutions that stop the senseless slaughter.
We can't afford to wait another day or lose another child.
Hunters and sports enthusiast should not fear losing their firearms. That right is guaranteed under the 2nd Amendment, which I pledge to uphold. The long tradition of legal hunting and sport shooting treasured by Montanans is not under threat, but the lives of our children are.