I believe in protecting the freedoms guaranteed by our Constitution—including the right to bear arms as guaranteed by the Second Amendment. However, with rights come responsibilities. As a gun owner myself, I cherish my right to own a firearm, and believe that safe use of that firearm is my responsibility.

As an elected official, it will be my responsibility to stand up for common sense gun laws to reduce the gun violence that kills more than 90 Americans a day.

Beyond the tragedy, gun violence is expensive. If you add together lost wages and hospital charges, the annual cost of shootings in the US could be as high as $45 billion. Given the state of our national deficit, we should be thinking about gun safety as an economic as well as public health issue.

Gun violence often hurts children, and this is unacceptable. Children unintentionally shoot themselves or others every other day. Safe and responsible gun ownership includes knowing how to prevent children from hurting or killing themselves.

There is a sensible path forward where we protect our right to bear arms and also protect public safety. That’s why I oppose “concealed carry reciprocity,” dangerous legislation that would gut state’s gun laws, and allow countless people to carry hidden, loaded guns across the country with no background check or gun safety training.

“Concealed carry reciprocity” wouldn’t create a national standard for who can carry a hidden, loaded gun in public. Instead it would force every state to accept the concealed carry standards of every other state, no matter how weak or nonexistent those standards may be.

Over 90% of Texans support requiring a license to carry, and yet some politicians in the capitol fought hard to get permitless carry passed last year. This is not about our freedom; this is about serving the special interests that line the pockets of our elected officials.

I condemn the comments of my opponent Joe Barton in calling for a “Wild West” proliferation of guns as a solution to violence. In an age where guns are more powerful than ever before, and where madmen plot for months to kill innocent citizens, we need a common-sense approach to protecting public safety. Americans should not have to fear for their lives when they go to church, picnics or concerts.