The brutal attack at Parkland High School in Florida where 17 students and staff were killed on Valentine’s Day has people across the country calling for action from their political representatives.
U. S. Representative Ted Budd visited a Walgreens Pharmacy in High Point on Monday, to discuss the opioid epidemic. The conversation quickly turned to the epidemic of gun violence in America. But Rep. Budd, a Republican who owns a gun retail store, made it clear he believes this is a violence problem and not a gun problem.
“We have to make sure at its very core, we deal with violence and whether that comes from something that could be radical Islamic terrorism or it’s somebody that’s deeply mentally disturbed we have to get to the core and it’s usually those two things that cause these mass killings,” said Rep. Budd who represents the 13th district.
Rep. Budd presented no new ideas for change to protect school children and others from this violence. Instead, he says the problem can be handled by better carrying out rules and laws already on the books. He cited the mass killing of 26 people at a Texas Church in November of last year and the Parkland, Florida shooting as incidents where shooters with red flags fell through cracks.
“These are two examples of when laws were not followed and law enforcement didn’t follow up. So you have to make sure law enforcement has their proper resources to be able to follow up, to be able to track down these leads on these very, very dangerous and very disturbed people,” said Rep. Budd.
Representative Budd says background checks should be used to identify and stop people who are mentally disturbed from buying a gun.
Budd’s views are frustrating for those who believe sweeping change is needed to stop mass shootings. Teen survivors of the Florida shooting are planning a rally for March 24 in Washington D. C. where they demand a comprehensive and effective bill immediately be brought before Congress to specifically address gun issues.
During his stop at the Walgreens in High Point, Rep. Budd also talked with pharmacists about how Congress can better work with medical professionals to address the opioid epidemic.
“This is medication. It is supposed to do no harm. It is supposed to help people that are in need. But when it becomes an abusive problem and it’s killing, we think, maybe a half million Americans over the next decade could die just as a result of opioids. If we don’t do something we are going to lose generations of people. It’s hurting our country. It is hurting families and we have to be very serious about that. It is an urgent matter and it happens at every socioeconomic level -- rural or city -- and this is a pervasive problem,” he said.
They discussed bi-partisan legislation that would require all doctors and pharmacists to use an online database when prescribing the addictive drugs.
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