The Promise for a Balanced Conversation on Gun Violence and Safety

Gun violence and laws on guns has become one of the most divisive issues in our country. Families and friends use guns to hunt, following traditions of years past and making critical memories. But guns are also used in cases of senseless violence. On this critical issue, Chris Jones values the need for a measured and productive discussion that addresses the issues at hand: the need to address a major public health issue and while protecting the constitutional right to own guns.

Arkansas is 8th highest among states in gun deaths—and gun violence is the leading cause of death among children and teens in this state. Arkansas also has the 47th weakest requirements for owning a gun. At the same time, most Arkansans are responsible gun owners. Nearly 10% of the state has a paid hunting license—the 15th highest in the nation—and nearly 50% of adult Arkansans are gun owners.

First and foremost, people need to understand the responsibility of owning and maintaining a gun, and the importance of protecting the rights of those who wish to own one for protection or recreation. At the same time, no one should want to take away individual rights to own guns. However, when people have access to other critical equipment and machinery (for example like driving cars), they must first receive training and have the requisite paperwork. Guns should be no different.

As a community, we need to recognize both the need for considering reasonable and smart measures to address the public health crisis while also protecting people’s interests, livelihoods, traditions, and history. We need to engage in community discussion with responsible gun owners and advocates for safety to reach common sense solutions to maintain healthy communities.

To uphold the second amendment and uphold common sense community standards, Chris Jones will:

  • Focus on increasing access to education and strengthening local economies to uplift communities, decreasing the likelihood of violence as a pathway.

  • Increase access to mental health resources to provide resources to those that need them and foster communities of care.

  • Support and encourage research on the public health issue to identify prevention strategies and uplift medical professionals to address the public health crisis.

  • Advocate for common sense measures to reduce unnecessary violence and treat guns seriously—including:
    • wait times for firearm transfer,

    • require training on safe storage and usage and universal background checks,

    • create restrictions for violent offenders and bump stocks,

    • address the proliferation of ghost guns, and

    • increase the minimum age for assault weapons purchase.