Some willing to put politics aside to stop gun violence - Dallas News |

Some willing to put politics aside to stop gun violence

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President Barack Obama's appeal to put politics aside may have done just the opposite for some, but two prominent local political operatives stand united.

"We're going to have to come together and take meaningful action to prevent more tragedies like this, regardless of politics," Obama said in his address following Friday's mass shooting at a school in Connecticut.

Jonathan Neerman, the former chairman of the Dallas County Republican Party, said he thought the president was spot on.

"The president in tragedies like this has to act as the mourner in chief for the country, and I though his tone was the right tone for the country," he said.

Neerman has a kindergarten-aged child and his wife teaches kindergarten.

"What I heard the president say is we have to put politics aside and deal with the tragedy of violence in our country," he said.

"I believe his comments that we need to take meaningful action is absolutely right," said Allen Vaught.

Vaught is a former Texas House Democrat and a decorated war veteran. He is a staunch gun rights advocate, but he said this tragedy stopped him cold because he too has two very young children.

While the men may be political polar opposites, they agreed  that something has to be done.

"You're never going to stop violence. You're never going to stop gun violence, and if you took all the guns away they would use something else to kill people. You need to have barriers there," Vaught said.

"There are a lot of elements to that, but the biggest one has to be the importance of mental health and the role that that plays in our communities and our country," Neerman added.


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