Sen. Tim Kaine joined Wakefield High School students this morning (March 16) to discuss gun violence and school safety.
Students offered their own perspectives and asked Kaine questions ranging from what he would do regarding the Dickey Amendment to school security measures to mental health treatment.
Advanced Placement U.S. Government and Sociology students were invited to the hour-and-a-half long event, which was also attended by Wakefield’s Michelle Cottrell-Williams, Virginia’s 2018 Teacher of the Year.
Over 40 students sat in the classroom, surrounded by members of the local press, most raptly attentive and occasionally emotional as they asked detailed questions of their senator.
“You’re shaking us out of our complacency and challenging us,” Tim Kaine said while introducing himself and his legislative background.
One student asked the senator whether or not he agreed that protection is emphasized over prevention, or that there is more concern with adding security than preventative gun control measures, which the senator affirmed he did.
He mentioned several times a desire to allow the Center for Disease Control and Prevention to conduct public health research on gun violence, as well as expanded mental health services and funding. He also said he supports cutting down on the power that interest groups have over Congress.
Kaine focused many of his responses not over assault weapons but on high capacity magazines, at one point saying that it is easier to write a bill outright banning high capacity magazines with over ten rounds than it would be to describe every permutation of what is broadly called an “assault weapon.”
He added that “every constitutional amendment has reasonable limits within it,” emphasizing the “well-regulated” aspect of the second amendment.
“You won’t eliminate violence, you won’t eliminate gun violence,” he began.”But that’s not the goal, the goal is to reduce it.”