September 29, 2022

VIDEO: In response to reporter Ryan Harris asking “What would you like to see happen to try to curb some of this gun violence?,” Smiley replies, “Number one, we need to secure our border”

ICYMI: Founder of Moms Demand Action: “Tiffany Smiley’s failure to even mention guns in her public safety platform shows she’s not going to do what it takes to keep us safe”

(Seattle, WA) — In an interview last night, Ryan Harris of Northwest Newsradio asked Tiffany Smiley what she would do to curb dangerous gun violence and mass shootings. In her response, Smiley refused to back any common-sense gun safety reforms such as universal background checks or an assault weapons ban, which the overwhelming majority of Americans support. Apparently, Tiffany Smiley thinks the answer to gun violence and senseless mass shootings is to “secure our border.”

***WATCH the exchange HERE***

RYAN HARRIS: When we see these school shootings and other mass shootings, there’s always calls for stricter gun regulations and limiting certain types of weapons, banning AR-15s, and that sort of thing. What would you like to see happen to try to curb some of this gun violence?”

TIFFANY SMILEY: “Well number one, we need to secure our border… We need to secure our border immediately but when you look at it across the board, we need to go to the root issue. We have a massive mental health crisis in our country… we need mental health reform.”

Smiley then goes on to blame America’s gun violence crisis solely on mental health, rather than guns. But the vast majority of people with mental illness do not commit violence against others, and analyses have indicated that “the number of guns appears to be directly related to the number of gun deaths in America.” According to Jeffrey Swanson, a professor in psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Duke University, “If we magically cured all these serious mental illnesses tomorrow… our violence problem would go down by about 4 percent.”

Read more from Bloomberg: Republicans Push Unfounded Mental Health Claim for Gun Violence

Tiffany Smiley has said she is “a strong supporter of our Second Amendment rights” but — as she was in this interview — notably avoided talking on the campaign trail about preventing gun violence — and it’s not mentioned anywhere in her public safety platform. In an interview with the Spokesman-Review, Smiley “would not comment on specific gun legislation or policy idea” [sic]. After the mass shooting in Uvalde, Tiffany Smiley had nothing to offer but thoughts and prayers. Smiley has also said, in reference to mass shootings, that “I do not think they are a uniquely American problem” — despite the fact that numerous analyses have shown that it is; and that the U.S leads the developed world in gun deaths. 

Smiley has also said she looks forward to helping flip the Senate to Republican control, and she is running to put Mitch McConnell and MAGA Republicans in charge — the same people who have consistently put the gun lobby first and blocked common-sense action to end gun violence.

Here’s what gun safety advocates are saying:

“Republicans like Tiffany Smiley are quick to talk about spikes in crime, but they refuse to back any substantive policies that would curb the epidemic of gun violence ravaging the United States,” said Kate Moore, National Political Director at Giffords. “What Washingtonians need right now is a leader who will actually fight for commonsense solutions to protect communities from harm – not someone who parrots talking points that aren’t grounded in reality. Senator Patty Murray is exactly that champion — in the Senate, she’s led efforts to secure needed funding for research into the root causes of gun violence and helped pass legislation that would close the kinds of dangerous loopholes in our laws that put us all at risk. We must reelect her this fall so she can continue doing the important work of protecting Washington families from senseless tragedies.” 

“It’s simple: When you need something done in Congress, you go to Patty Murray. She helped steer historic gun violence prevention legislation this year, and we need her back in the other Washington to continue the fight,” said Brady PAC.

“Tiffany Smiley’s failure to even mention guns in her public safety platform shows she’s not going to do what it takes to keep us safe,” said Shannon Watts, Founder of Moms Demand Action. “We can’t afford to allow Smiley to help flip the Senate to those who have continually put profits for the gun industry ahead of our fight to end gun violence and save lives. Washington state doesn’t need more empty thoughts and prayers, voters want leaders committed to action and change like Patty Murray. We need leaders who recognize gun violence for the public safety crisis that it is and will stand up to the gun lobby to save kids’ lives — that’s who Patty Murray has been her entire career.”