Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon called for more “common sense gun rules” during a town hall meeting at Pacific University on Nov. 5. Wyden held a moment of silence for the victims of the Sutherland Springs shooting in Texas, where a single gunman killed 26 people and injured 20 more at a First Baptist Church earlier in the day, before addressing the questions and concerns of an audience filled with both students and local community members.
During his discussion, Wyden stressed the need for more thorough background checks in terms of gun ownership and called into question the necessity and legality of bump stocks, which equip guns with a rapid fire feature.
“I don’t understand why we don’t already have background checks in place for guns,” Wyden said. “Oregonians should be able to go out to events knowing their families are going to be safe.”
Wyden also responded to a number of questions revolving around taxes and the recently proposed Republican tax bill, which he said fails in acting to do right by the middle class.
“I want it understood,” Wyden said. “I think the tax plan is broken.”
Homelessness in Oregon and the legitimacy of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency were also touched on during the meeting. Wyden encouraged the audience to stay active in political discussions and discourse, and asked younger members of the crowd to continue working to amplify the voices of newer generations.
Pacific President Lesley Hallick and Oregon State Representative Susan McLain introduced Wyden at his 77th town hall meeting of the year, hosted by the Tom McCall Center for Policy Innovation.