Gun Control?

This might surprise you, but I don’t believe in the concept of gun control. I do believe the adage that guns don’t kill people, people kill people. If we need to think about how we solve the growing crisis of gun violence in this country, we need to think about how can people be safe around guns? I believe the number one thing we can do to curb gun deaths in South Carolina is to make completed background checks mandatory for every gun purchase. We need to know the people who have access to guns are people who will not use them to kill other people. This obviously includes people who have a history of domestic violence or a criminal past. This also includes the person who has left an unsecured gun in an unlocked car. This includes a person who leaves a gun unsecured in their home where their kids can get to it. This includes a person who is struggling with a psychiatric issue that may cause them to shoot themselves or other people. I believe, it is “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms”. I also believe that a right can be terminated if a person does not follow the laws of our country.

We must balance our constitutional individual rights and the need to keep guns away from people who will kill other people. We need more information from the Center for Disease Control, communication with all experts in the field, and a common-sense discussion about how to keep guns out of the hands of people that should not have them. The current debate is a polarized discussion reduced to a simplistic notion we can only be for or against guns. South Carolina is capable of a more productive debate that will save lives and preserve our constitutional rights.

NRA Grades for Nov 6, 2018 Election

NRA Grades for Nov 6, 2018 Election

My opponent has tried to avoid taking a stand on this critical issue before our legislature. She would not complete the survey the NRA sends to every candidate in the country. She won’t participate in any forums or town halls for this election where the public can ask her to clarify her positions on gun safety. We are only left with her past actions and statements to draw conclusions about her position. We know she accepted money from the NRA and she stated “I believe the debate over gun rights and gun control ended with the Second Amendment” multiple times*. Even though she seems to fall in line with the NRA’s platform, she doesn’t want to complete the survey that would surly earn her an A rating. I’ll take my F rating from the NRA. I gave honest answers about how I will vote. I believe in full transparency for all candidates. It is the best way for South Carolinians to make educated choices and fight the corruption plaguing our state House.

I am proud to be a Moms Demand Action Gun Sense Candidate, and I am proud to answer Yes and Yes to Arm in Arm’s Election Accountability Project. Vote like your life depends on it this November, because you or your loved one could be the next person killed by a person with a gun they had no business possessing.

MOMS DEMAND ACTION GUN SENSE CANDIDATE

MOMS DEMAND ACTION GUN SENSE CANDIDATE

Arm-In-Arm Election Accountability Project

Arm-In-Arm Election Accountability Project

* Source: 2013 Senate campaign website, www.nancymace.org, "Issues" Jul 2, 2013.

“I believe the Second Amendment, as written, is good enough.” Source: 2018 Forum on Daniel Island

Is School Choice a Myth?

This blog series is designed to highlight how my approach to legislating would be different than my opponent’s. A major difference we have is our stance on school  choice. She is a supporter of giving our tax dollars to private schools. I would vote against this legislation.

Jen Gibson with Students

I strongly oppose this legislation. I have a child with special needs. He attends a private school. For a time, I homeschooled him because I did not have any other suitable options. At first glance, legislation like this makes perfect sense for me and my family. It would take some of the financial burden off of us which is already significant because of what our insurance does not cover. So why would I oppose something that would make our family’s life easier? Because my deepest desire is to send my son to school with kids in our neighborhood. I want him to play tag football in the field with the other boys. I want him tearing down the street on his bike with a gang of kids. I want him doing flips off the neighborhood dock as his friends cheer him on. The reality is that my child does not fit in as easily as most kids. Without the everyday socialization that comes from attending school with his peers, he cannot create relationships with the kids in our neighborhood. 

As the mom of a child with special needs, I don’t want a tax credit to offset the expense of a private school. I want my neighborhood public school to be a school where my son will thrive.  

As a State Representative, I have to think of the big picture and what is best for our entire community. I believe focusing all of our financial resources on our public schools is best for everyone in District 99. 

School choice is a myth. Public choice, charter, and magnet schools are only an option for a select few. Admissions tests, limited classroom space, and geographical location are just a few of the many reasons that choice is only a choice for a privileged few. 

Tax credits can’t offset the entire cost of a private education. Families still have to provide additional funds and a way to transport their children to and from school. For many families, the tax credit will not be enough to facilitate a private school education. Those children will be stuck at their neighborhood public school which now has even less resources. We will see a greater disparity than ever for educational opportunities between children with access to financial resources and those who do not. 

Children thrive when their family and community are involved in their education. Taking children out of their neighborhood school prevents them from participating in extra curricular activities which provide opportunities to strengthen classroom learning. It also makes it more difficult for caregivers in low wealth environments to participate in their children’s education. These families need an easier environment to foster participation not more obstacles. 

For all the folks paying taxes that do not have children in the school system, your future depends on our kid’s success. They are your future pharmacists, nurses, hair stylists, and mechanics. Our community needs a well educated and equipped labor force. We can have a generation of young adults qualified to do a variety of jobs, or we can have a generation of young adults with a piece of paper and no skills to make a livable wage. Let’s invest in all of our futures. 

I believe creating tax credits for private education will end up costing South Carolinians more money and will result in an inferior education system. I want to get the most out of our tax dollars, and investing in our neighborhood public schools will give all of our kids the education they need at a price we can afford. 

Is Climate Change a Myth?

The topic of climate change has been on my mind as South Carolina begins to recover from the devastating damage done by Hurricane Florence, and Florida’s coastline was changed forever by a historic hurricane. A major difference I have with my opponent is our stance on climate change. I believe it is real. She does not. She endorsed and supported President Donald Trump who is an infamous climate change denier.

When we think of the number one threat against our coastline, many of us think of offshore oil drilling. While it is a threat my opponent and I both recognize, I do not trust anyone who denies climate change exists to be an effective advocate for our fragile environment on the coast. An oil leak is one of the many potential issues we could face in Charleston, but our coastline already faces a far greater threat, seal level rise and tidal flooding. In 2014, Bobby Mill wrote, “Charleston is also among the East Coast’s most vulnerable metropolitan areas to rising seas and a changing climate, which may threaten nearly $150 billion of infrastructure along the South Carolina coast.”

I am running because Charleston cannot afford to send a climate change denier to Columbia. We need a representative that understands our financial future depends on our understanding of the reality of climate change, what causes it, and how we can prevent the devastation it will bring to the Lowcountry.