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Dr. Tom Sherman: I'll be a governor who stands up to gun lobby

In case you missed it, the Union Leader published an op-ed by Dr. Tom Sherman, Democratic gubernatorial nominee and State Senator, about the gun violence epidemic and the NH GOP’s inaction in the face of so much tragic loss.

As governor, Dr. Tom Sherman will fight for common-sense gun safety legislation and stand up to the gun lobby.

LIKE FAR too many Americans, my life has been touched by gun violence.

A disgruntled client armed with three guns killed eight people and injured six others at my brother-in-law’s law firm in the San Francisco Bay Area’s second-deadliest shooting. The gunman never made it to his intended target — the floor where my brother-in-law worked — only because the elevator stopped first at a lower floor. It wasn’t just my brother-in-law, my oldest son was so close to a killing spree that left six people dead and 14 injured that he could hear the gunfire.

We’ve all watched the news with horror and grief after Sandy Hook. Aurora. Parkland. Buffalo. Uvalde. Tulsa. We’ve watched it after the tragic death of Lebanon (PA) police Lt. William Lebo earlier this year, and after the senseless death of Quarius Dunham, an 8-year-old from Portsmouth who was randomly shot this month while on vacation in South Carolina.

As a doctor, I know the damage these guns can do. I have seen it firsthand, and I know exactly how devastating it is. I have seen families destroyed, grieving loved ones, and the immense pain caused by preventable gun violence.

Doing nothing is not an option, yet it’s the path that Governor Chris Sununu has chosen time and time again. We cannot allow our leaders to continue to cave to their gun lobby donors instead of putting in place common-sense measures to protect our children, teachers, and police officers.

Governor Chris Sununu has already had the chance to sign common-sense gun safety measures into law, but instead he’s weakened protections for our communities and our police officers. And just last week after Uvalde, he said we didn’t need any changes to our gun laws.

Sununu vetoed a bill that would close loopholes in our background check laws to make sure guns don’t get into the hands of people who should never have them. He vetoed a bill that would have required a three-day waiting period before purchasing a gun. He vetoed a bill that would have created gun-free zones at our schools.

The one bill Sununu did sign — the very first bill he signed as governor — was legislation to weaken our existing gun laws. The New Hampshire Association of Chiefs of Police called the bill “dangerous.”

I have no interest in taking guns away from responsible gun owners. I know many people across New Hampshire who use firearms for work or recreation. But we’re putting our children, our police officers, and even responsible gun-owners in danger if we don’t take basic, common-sense measures like closing background check loopholes, implementing waiting periods, and making sure guns stay out of the hands of domestic abusers. Gun traffickers are exploiting loopholes in our existing background check laws — it’s just common sense to stop this.

As your next governor, I’ll actually have the courage to stand up to the gun lobby and sign legislation to help keep our children safe in schools and our police officers safe on the streets. We can’t allow our elected leaders to keep refusing to act. This is a matter of life and death.

Read the full op-ed here.


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