The Joplin Globe asked all Congressional candidates the following questions. John’s answers are below!
Question: Name three concrete steps you will take if elected to reduce mass shootings. Name the steps you oppose and why.
I don’t just have three steps to reduce mass shootings — I have a complete plan.
This plan will work, it’s based on things that the vast majority of us (both Democrats and Republicans) can agree on, and it’s designed not to overly burden law-abiding gun owners.
And these last two points are important because again and again, for 20 years, we’ve reacted with shock, expressed our dismay and then argued and ended up doing almost nothing. I’m done with “thoughts and prayers.” Let’s make this easy enough that we can agree and do it.
Here are three proposals out of my full 10.
1. Let’s keep guns away from people with a known history of violence and from those who’ve made violent threats. Eighty-five percent of us support such laws — including 80% of gun owners.
2. Signs are that Congress just will not approve an assault-weapons ban, so let’s ban large-capacity magazines. Making these illegal is associated with 38% fewer deaths in mass shootings and 77% fewer nonfatal injuries. If you’re facing a mass shooter, you don’t want him to have 60 shots before he has to reload.
3. “Permit to acquire” laws include a background check and are associated with 60% lower odds of a mass shooting. They also reduce overall murders and suicides. For 85 years, Missouri had such a law. I personally purchased firearms during that time, and it really wasn’t a big deal.
There’s far more in my plan, but that’s a decent start.
Question: What is your strategy for town halls, public forums or regular communication to hear from residents of the 7th District?
Unlike our current representative, I’ll show up to do town halls all across Southwest Missouri. But I won’t stop there. I’ll also make use of social media to stay in ongoing contact with constituents, even while I’m in Washington. On most votes, I intend to publicly post how I voted and why. You deserve transparency from your representative.
But perhaps even more important than how I will represent you is the fact that I WILL represent you.
I permanently left the Republican Party about five years ago. A major reason is that I saw far more desire among Democrats to actually represent the people, while Republican politicians focus on representing big-money donors and major corporations — against your interests.
Government ought to serve your best interest, not the best interest of special interests.
That’s why I will push for reform to thoroughly clean up our government. I have a working list of 80 proposals to end the corruption and restore government to truly serve your best interest.
Accomplishing that will clear our way to solve every major problem we face.
And probably the greatest of these problems is the strangling of the American Dream over the past 45 years.
If you have a typical family making anything less than $130,000 a year, this warping of our economy is costing you and yours an estimated $24,000 to $31,000 a year.
I will fight — loudly — to restore the American Dream opportunity and the American Dream, in power, for all of us.
Question: Do you believe the 2020 election was “stolen?”
At least 64 courts — including the U.S. Supreme Court — and more than 80 judges of both parties examined the claims of election fraud and the evidence presented, and concluded that these claims were completely false and without any basis at all.
These courts and judges were joined by every election authority in every relevant state, Attorney General William Barr, the FBI, the CIA and the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Intelligence Agency. This judgment was — and remains — unanimous.
Before I spent 5-1/2 years looking for solutions to all of our major problems, I authored a book honestly investigating the claims that Barack Obama’s birth certificate was a fake. I understand how false claims can be piled on top of each other to create an outwardly convincing story.
But both sets of claims — those regarding Obama’s birth certificate and those about the 2020 election — are false. They are deceptions.
I call upon all Americans, and especially my Republican friends, to embrace God’s truth: Donald Trump decisively lost the 2020 election.
He then blatantly lied to you, and used every supporter he could, in a brazen attempt to overturn our free and fair election and keep power for himself. These are not the actions of a patriot, or of a man who loves America. Trump loves only power and himself.
Yes, I am advocating for changes in our election laws, including the John Lewis Voting Rights Act. We must safeguard our democratic republic or we stand in real danger of losing America itself
Question: What are your thoughts on abortion? Why do you support or oppose Roe v. Wade, and what steps would you like Congress to take next?
I spent more than two years just working to try and gain a good understanding of this one issue alone. As a result, I’ve crafted a game-changing, breakthrough solution.
If you’re pro-choice, my solution doesn’t just massively protect women’s reproductive rights. It actively expands the availability and affordability of abortion services.
And if you’re pro-life, my solution is measurably more than five times as pro-life as the “pro-life” politics we’ve all been sold!
That’s because we could only ever reduce abortion by about 10% by force, through trying to make it illegal and unavailable.
[It’s interesting to note that Kristen Radaker Sheafer, one of the other Democratic candidates in this race, quotes conservative commentator David French on this — and he came up with the exact same estimate I did!]
My approach is: Let’s make abortion much less necessary. Almost every abortion begins with an unplanned, unwanted pregnancy — so let’s reduce those — but through service.
The experience of other countries shows that we can slash our abortion rate by at least 50%, simply by serving people’s needs to make abortion less necessary.
By taking this approach, we could even aim for the lowest abortion rate on Earth. But we can only ever do so through service, not by trying to dominate women and their choices.
So how do we do this? Here are just a few points, out of 19:
1. When people can afford to have families, they have families. When they can’t, many have abortions.
We know this for certain. When Seattle CEO Dan Price decided to pay all of his workers at least $70,000 a year, the number of children born to employees of his company went from about 1 new baby a year to about 10 new babies a year.
Bringing back an American Dream economy will reduce our abortion rate.
2. We must also have strong support for families.
3. We must also have sex education that actually works.
4. And we also need widespread availability of effective contraception.
We KNOW that all of these things work. They are among the most effective approaches we can take to actually reduce abortion.
And yet, Republican politicians actually OPPOSE every single one of these measures.
This is why I point out that the Republican Party is NOT genuinely pro life, on ANY issue.
The reality is: Every moment we spend trying to ban abortion is a wasted opportunity to actually reduce it, through service.
As with guns, we can keep fighting — or we can solve the problem, with both sides getting almost everything we want.
Again, includes full reproductive freedom for women AND an abortion rate this is both much lower than it is now, and far lower than we could ever get by trying to ban and restrict it. Other countries have proven conclusively that it can be done.
Question: Do you support the current U.S. policy regarding Ukraine? What should the U.S. role be in that conflict?
I generally support our U.S. policy regarding Ukraine.
When Putin’s troops invaded, almost everyone expected all of Ukraine to fall within days. It’s a testimony to the courage and leadership of Ukrainian President Zelenskyy that Ukrainian forces held, and to the commitment of our own President Biden that those forces have been backed by a strong international coalition at the urging of the U.S.
Our goal is to help Ukraine defend itself without provoking a direct and dangerous escalation with Russia. So far, we’ve managed to strike that balance. We must keep doing so, because a direct confrontation could too easily spiral into a civilization-ending nuclear war. This is a path we must not take. Your life, my life and the lives of our families depend directly on this.
We must also be prepared to keep helping Ukraine for years.
In 1979, Russia invaded Afghanistan. They stayed for nine years. Just as they eventually withdrew in defeat, they must eventually do so from Ukraine.
Over the coming years, our foreign policy must be supported by a strong America.
The life-changing reforms I propose — to unrig our politics and bring back American Dream Capitalism and the American Dream — won’t just unleash broad opportunity and prosperity for all hard-working Americans. They will also permanently boost America’s economy and ensure that the 21st century, like the 20th century before it, will be an American one.