Election May 3, 2022

Friends,

Town Election is Tuesday, 5/3/22.  Westford Pro 2A has been hard at work screening relevant candidates in the two competitive races (School Committee and Board of Health) on their Second Amendment positions. Below is the summary.  Below that is the words of the candidates as they responded to us.

School Committee
Betsy Kwon, Grade A
Meghan O’Connell, Grade A
Derek Lo, Grade B

All other candidates failed to respond and are graded Incomplete.

Board of Health
Mellissa Mackey, Grade B

All other candidates failed to respond and are graded Incomplete.

Grade A – The candidate fully supports the Second Amendment in word, deed, and/or takes a pro-active approach to demonstrating this.Grade B – The candidate states that they fully support the second amendment, but no other evidence is available to show how they might act.Grade C – The candidate has made remarks that Westford Pro 2A considers less than fully supportive of the Second Amendment, but we are unaware of any actions by the candidate to undermine the Second Amendment.Grade F – The candidate has made actions to limit the Second Amendment rights of people.

Grade I – Incomplete or unavailable, or he candidate did NOT respond to questions, or could not be reached.

School Committee

Betsy Kwon, Grade A
Ms. Kwon reached out to us by telephone and spoke with us at length. The following is from our notes.

Do you believe the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution confers an individual right to be respected?
Ms. Kwon stated he believes the Second Amendment guarantees an individual right. She was unqualified about this.

Do you believe in “age appropriate” firearms safety training (such as Eddie Eagle for young children and Home Firearms Safety for older students)?
Ms. Kwon stated she was not personally familiar with the Eddie Eagle program or others like it, but she shared a willingness to learn and even went to far as to say that if elected, she would appreciate being invited to a program so she could observe it for herself. If it looked beneficial she would recommend it to the district.

Would you support a scholastic shooting team (such as trap, rifle, or pist.ol) in Westford Academy?
Ms. Kwon stated she would be willing to support such activities, provided they were highly structured with an emphasis on safety. She made a point that the previous statement was based on her observation that other sports/clubs she has observed appear highly unstructured.

It should also be noted that Ms. Kwon and her family have a close relationship with using and teaching “arms” of many types. Ms Kwon comes from a military family, as does her husband. Several family members own and practice the safe use of firearms. Ms. Kwon herself has taught Taekwondo (a martial art which uses hands, feet, and various other “arms”) and Self-Defense to At Risk Youth through University of MA Lowell Youth Sports Program.

Meghan O’Connell, Grade A
Do you believe the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution confers an individual right to be respected?
Yes, I absolutely do. I fully support the 2nd Amendment in its broadest interpretation. I am hopeful that the pending case at the Supreme Court out of New York (New York State Rifle & Pistol Association vs. Bruen) will get us closer to “…shall not be infringed.” I can only hope that someday the arbitrary AG list here in MA is tossed out.

Do you believe in “age appropriate” firearms safety training (such as Eddie Eagle for young children and Home Firearms Safety for older students)?
Yes, absolutely. As an LTC holder, I take every opportunity to teach my children the basic rules of gun safety. The fact that many kids know how to use guns in video games, but don’t know any of the basic gun safety rules is doing our kids a disservice. Knowledge is power. Knowledge of what a gun can and can’t do, and how to handle one safely, should be taught to every kid.

Would you support a scholastic shooting team (such as trap, rifle, or pistol) in Westford Academy?
Yes, I would.

Further discussions also revealed that Ms. O’Connell holds a Federal Firearms License (FFL) for Curio and Relics (C&N).

Derek Lo, Grade B
Do you believe the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution confers an individual right to be respected?
I respect an individual’s right to possess and own a firearm. I also believe that it’s important that there are standard procedures for storage of firearms, so that they do not end up in the hands of young children, who might not be aware of the dangers of firearms.

Do you believe in “age appropriate” firearms safety training (such as Eddie Eagle for young children and Home Firearms Safety for older students)?
I’m not aware of the particular educational programs you mentioned. Having spoken with Chief Mark Chambers on other issues previously, I would be open to work with him and his team, particularly the School Resource officer Detective Bernadin, to support safety education for our students.

Would you support a scholastic shooting team (such as trap, rifle, or pistol) in Westford Academy?
I would suggest contacting Westford Academy staff when it comes to the potential of such a team. Any new organization or team requires a staff advisor, and there are questions to be had when it comes to insurance, safe storage of firearms, funding and so forth.

Board of Health

Mellissa Mackey, Grade B
Do you believe the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution confers an individual right to be respected?
I absolutely support our constitution, including the second amendment right.

Do you believe that firearms are a public health issue to be regulated by Boards of Health and via a person’s primary care physician?
I do not believe that a Board of Health or a primary care physician should regulate firearms. I advocate and support legal, safe and responsible gun ownership. I believe that the primary purpose of any health agency is to provide education to people so that they may make their own informed health choices. I would be in support of educational strategies that seek to encourage safe gun ownership for our community. This could be done by working in collaboration with organizations like your own, or with other community organizations.