Rep. Mia Love said that Congress "must listen carefully to our students as they express the real problems they face" to develop effective ways to end gun violence in the nation's schools.
"They have a story to tell, and our deeper understanding can very well save their lives," the second-term Utah Republican said in an op-ed Friday in The Deseret News.
"I share this nation's deep concern about safety in our schools," said Love, the mother of three school-age children. "I’m listening.
"I am open to all suggestions for solutions, and I’m eagerly pursuing a deeper understanding of the underlying causes of school violence," she said.
Cautioning that "this is a complex issue with many contributing factors," Love noted the importance of examining "everything that is contributing to these devastating events.
"It’s equally important that legislative solutions are informed and truly enhance school safety."
She opposes "deputizing teachers en masse," as "these good men and women are working in schools to focus on educating and helping students, not to be law enforcers."
Love also called for working to better "understand the nuances and struggles people in our society are facing, and foster understanding about mental-health issues."
In addition, she ripped the news media for "constantly" portraying "the worst of humanity" in adults and said the violence on television and video games must be addressed.
"What example are we setting if society refuses to protect children at all stages of development?
"We need to empower families, teachers and principals to address and discuss all these issues, both inside our schools and our homes," Love later added.
"I’m willing to put everything on the table, including bump stocks and exploring judicial processes to prevent guns from getting into the wrong hands.
"I take this issue seriously, but all of us have the responsibility to take it seriously," the representative said. "We must all address the issues that foster violent thoughts."
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