Defense and National Security
I am opposed to restricting law-abiding citizens' ability to acquire or possess firearms, and have consistently supported efforts to protect our Second Amendment rights. The problem is not a lack of laws about gun ownership, but the lack of enforcement of the current federal and state gun laws that are already on the books. We must also make mental health a higher national priority so that those who need help are able to get it quickly and successfully.
Following the events of September 11, 2001, the United States took military action to remove the Taliban government in Afghanistan for its support of Osama bin-Laden and al-Qaeda. This action, known as Operation Enduring Freedom, began on October 7, 2001. By the end of 2001, the Taliban had been overthrown. Elements hostile to the United States had been cleared from the country and a new government was sworn in.
A decade later, thousands of casualties and hundreds of billions of dollars later, the U.S., NATO and the Afghan state are still fighting elements of al-Qaeda, the Taliban and other forces that are still attempting to overthrow the democratically-elected government in Kabul.
Though many have expressed concerns about the reasons for our engagement abroad, I believe it is our obligation to give those who have sacrificed so much to serve our nation all they need to ensure their safety and ability to complete their mission. I am concerned about the growing cost of the wars abroad, as well as the expanding Pentagon budget, given our current budgetary difficulties. I believe we must ensure that we are guarding taxpayer dollars while meeting our nation’s defense needs.