After each mass shooting the question is raised, “what can be done to prevent this from happening again?” Following the Valentine’s Day killing of 17 students at a Florida school, local leaders are answering that question.

VIDEO: Joe Lovvorn on Protecting our schools

"When it comes to our children’s safety, I feel that all subjects should be on the table," expressed Republican State Rep. Joe Lovvorn.

Lovvorn represents Lee County in the Alabama House of Representatives. He is also a father and a first responder.

"Safety is an issue for all of us," said Lovvorn.


I drop a 9 and 10-year-old off every morning at a public school and it is on my mind, 'Are they safe today?'.

- Joe Lovvorn (R) House District 79


VIDEO: Elaine Beech on gun laws

Elaine Beech, a Democrat and member of the NRA, realizes she is in a special situation.

"It is a hard question to decide coming from the background that I have," said Beech. "There is no way I could say ‘take the guns away from everybody’ but I don’t feel like everybody needs a gun."

Elaine comes from a family of gun owners. Like many of her constituents, hunting is deep in the family blood.

"My son is a big hunter, my late husband was, my late father was, my whole family is."


"I am an NRA member and I am a pistol packin’ mama."

- Elaine Beech (D) House District 65


VIDEO: Mallory Hagan on Gun regulation

There is a newcomer to the political field. Former Miss America and TV news anchor Mallory Hagan has announced her candidacy for Alabama's 3rd congressional district. Hagan hopes to unseat Republican incumbent Mike Rodgers.

"I am a proponent of the second amendment," said Hagan. "I do not carry a gun but my dad certainly has."

Following the shooting in Parkland, Florida, Hagan hosted a listening session with local parents and students about how to solve the issue.

"We need to prevent violence," she said.


Personally, I don’t see a reason for an individual to own an assault weapon, but I do understand that people do enjoy assault weapons or high-powered weapons for game or for sport

- Mallory Hagan (D) Candidate for Congressional District 3


Hagan and Beech agree that mental health is a key factor in dealing with the gun issue in America.

“The incident in Florida, that individual had undoubtedly shown mental illness signs over the years. Once again, don’t we need to take care of that issue,” Beech said.

Hagan said solving other issues will help with this one.

“One of the things that I do think is going to be very important is the expansion of Medicaid,” she said.

According to government records, Medicaid is the single largest payer for mental health services in the United States.

Hagan understands that Medicaid is a large part of our mental protection in America but says it doesn’t do enough.

“As someone who suffers from depression and anxiety - and it is hereditary on both sides of my family - it is something that I think is important and something that we need to be hyper-focused on.

As a local firefighter and father, Lovvorn is focused on what he and his colleagues can do to keep schools safe.

“I look forward to working with our education committee and law enforcement to say what do you need from us, how can we make our schools safer, what is your suggestion?” he said.

Following the shooting in Parkland, President Trump has expressed interest in arming teachers to defend students.

Lovvorn says he is not decided on the issue.

“We have all probably had teachers that should not have a gun. We have had teachers that should be able to have a gun.” Said Lovvorn. “In working in public safety for 21 years in this community, you don't want to create a new problem by trying to solve an old problem.”

Rep. Beech is also not sure about the idea, “I don’t see giving everyone a gun as the answer to saving the issues,” she said.

“I think the answer is working with our education system and our law enforcement community and getting the ideas and pull those together for the best solution,” Lovvorn said.

Hagan sees the solution being solved on the federal level. She believes tighter restrictions are the way to curb the violence.

“I think that what we need to be looking at is a way to make sure that people have a universal background check,” Hagan said. “I think that 97% of Americans agree with that topic, one that is federal and across the board. And also, universal waiting period, one that is federal and across the board.”

Another place Hagan sees room for improvement is in closing the loophole for selling guns online.

“I would love to see some better restrictions on internet purchases and sales and of course with a universal background check and a universal waiting period, that would close our gun show loopholes,” she said.



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