A flag at half staff in honor of the victims of the Florida Shooting.First and foremost, my thoughts and prayers are with the victims, the families, and all of those impacted by the recent tragic event in Parkland, Florida. As a father of four children, there is nothing more important to me then the safety of our children. Children should never have to be in fear from such senseless violence. It is the concern for our children, and protecting our community that has inspired me to spend my entire professional career in public service; first as a marine, and then a Harford County Sherriff Deputy for nearly 23 years.

While the tragic events that occurred in Florida require debate, these problems are complex and dynamic and need mature and thoughtful solutions that address all parts of the issue. We can not blame our constitutional second amendment for the actions of people.

We need to address mental health issues head-on and have difficult, but meaningful conversations about how we can identify people with a propensity for violence, while conducting thorough evaluations and threat assessments and have a tracking system in place. Furthermore, we need to have a long discussion about how we can better protect the most important aspect of society, our children and schools.

We also need to look at where there were break-downs in the system that might have been able to prevent this tragedy. Can we develop a better process for connecting the information by leveraging technology and software to help identify potential offenders proactively-- before tragedy occurs.

In this process, we all need to come together and figure out a meaningful solution. It's about building a better and stronger nation and we are best when we work together and listen to everybody's ideas.

It is my sincere hope that we can put an end to these type tragedies so no other family will ever have to endure the pain being suffered in Florida.

Aaron Penman
Candidate, Maryland House of Delegates, District 7

Endorsed by Sheriff Jeffrey Gahler and The Harford County Deputy Sheriff's Union

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