Beaty, Kotek speak on gun violence at Beaverton City Hall
Oregon Democratic nominee for governor Tina Kotek spoke Friday, June 10, in Beaverton calling for more "common-sense gun violence prevention" in the state.
Kotek joined advocates, including Beaverton Mayor Lacey Beaty, Rep. Lisa Reynolds, Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action at the Friday afternoon event outside Beaverton City Hall.
"Our students, our teachers, families who have been impacted by gun violence are saying, 'Enough. It's enough,'" Kotek said Friday. "We have to do what we can to enforce the laws that we have and do more." As examples, Kotek called for regulating ghost guns — unregulated guns people can buy and build — restricting access to assault weapons until age 21 and making it harder for people convicted of hate crimes to access guns.
Beaty also spoke at the event, calling for gun violence prevention alongside Kotek and the others.
"As a mom, as a veteran and as a gun owner, we have to do better for this county," Beaty said. "As a mayor, I bring all three of those identities into my role. And my number one job is community safety."
"We have an opportunity to be a national leader and to protect the young people of Oregon," Beaty tweeted after the event.
Beaty said Oregon can lead the country by requiring background checks on all gun sales, banning assault weapons and high-capacity magazines and requiring safe storage for all guns.
Julia Barto, a teacher in the Beaverton School District, spoke at the Friday event about how gun violence has affected her role as an educator.
"My first active shooter drill was right after Sandy Hook — my third year teaching. And in the nine years since, they have become a dreaded staple of the school year. 'Someone is going to come and bang on our door and twist the knob, you must not scream. It's only a drill, don't cry. You'll be safe, I'll protect you. Be brave,' I whispered to a class of scared 5-year-olds. … No educator wants to do this," Barto said.
"We entered the profession because we have hope and faith in the potential of our students, and yet now part of that work is trying to ensure their potential is not stolen due to senseless and preventable gun violence in the very place — in the very rooms — where we are supposed to protect their future."
Editor's note: This story has been updated to include quotes from Kotek, Beaty and Barto from the event Friday.
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