Notes from the Campaign Trail (6)

I shared the stage with ten other Congressional candidates last night at the Concord-Bethel Democratic Committee's Candidate Forum at the Maris Grove Retirement Community. I received two questions from the audience, the first asked the proper age to be able to own a rifle. I responded that all automatic weapons and bump-stocks should be banned for all ages. Teens who receive training should be able to own a hunting rifle but all other weapons should be purchased by adults only. I said background checks had to be expanded to close the gun show and internet sales loopholes. I said criminals should not have access to guns. The mentally ill should not have access to guns. Minors should not have access to guns." 
The second question was, "Should prisons be privately owned?" I replied, "No! The motives to protect the public and rehabilitate those in prison should not be replaced with the profit motive. We have over 2 million people in prison. China has four times our population and as far as we can tell, no where near 2 million in prison and they are a communist dictatorship and we are a democracy. The reason is our failed war on drugs with over half the two million in prison for drug charges. The irony is that the overwhelming majority of our prisons do not provide drug treatment so that these drug users can overcome their disease before thy are released. The second solution to our recidivism problem is providing education to prisoners. A degree will provide them with a fighting chance to support themselves once they are released and enable them to live clean lifestyles.
I worked the room afterwards asking folks how I did. Everyone said I did well. Two said I was their favorite and signed my nominating petition. Most people who come to these events already have a horse in the race and are there simply to support him / her. So getting two signers was an accomplishment. This candidate stuff is hard work!