Lee Shiver Announces Candidacy for State Representative District 11
I am Lee Shiver, former Pickens County School Superintendent, and a candidate for the District 11 Georgia House of Representatives. I retired recently after a 39-year career that included experiences as a superintendent, principal, and state department official. My campaign confronts the most critical social and political issue of our time, and that is the ongoing mass shootings that pose an unbridled threat to our collective safety and security.
The latest mass school shooting in Florida on Valentineís Day shook me. A friend who is a priest conducted the funeral of one of the 14 high school students murdered by a killer with a legally purchased AR-15 style semi-automatic rifle. His description of his experience in a morgue to perform a sacrament over the body of the teenaged girl who had sung in his church choir turned my stomachÖand my heart.
I went to see Representative Rick Jasperse in the Capitol. I told him I was a long-time gun owner and I was keeping my guns, but I wanted to know what he intended to do about the kinds of guns that mass shooters use to murder our children. He told me he didnít know of anything practical that would work.
I couldnít believe what Rick said. I asked him what he would be doing differently if this tragedy had happened at our local high school.
His response was that he didnít think he would be doing anything differently.
I was stunned.
I gave him a chance to reconsider his response, but he was resolute. My stomach and my heart turned again.
I thought about how I had cared for frightened students, nervous parents, and anxious teachers as a high school principal the day after Columbine. I thought about how I had prayed and wept as an elementary school principal when the Sandy Hook massacre took the lives of 20 innocent children.
And I thought about the kids in Parkland, the teenagers who were murdered and the grieving, shattered survivors.
I knew that I could not continue to enjoy my retirement and do nothing. I had to do something.
I am running to be your District 11 Representative in the Georgia State House because the incumbent has lost sight of what is most important.
I believe we can all work together to do what needs to be done about these kinds of guns mass shooters are using to destroy us, our children, our families and our friends.
Our kids shouldnít have to worry about something terrible happening because of our inaction.
We adults can find a rational balance between freedom and safety as we all keep foremost in our hearts the undisputed value of our childrenís lives.
When a politician says we can do nothing about the guns used to commit mass murder, that politician is not advocating for the value of life, no matter what his website says.
When politicians prioritize corporate profits for the gun industry in return for political support and make unnecessary laws to kneel to the NRA, and when they pander to extremists whose relationships with guns designed only to kill people are akin to idol worship, they are placing other goals above the value of life, and they are providing neither freedom nor safety for our children.
Party-line sheep can bleat, but they cannot lead. Americans define ourselves by doing the right thing, even when itís hard, when most others say it canít be done.
Why should we wait for something terrible to happen like Florida? Do something. To all parents, concerned citizens, and everyone who cares, letís work together to stand up to the NRA and the big-money interests who corrupt our democracy. Be fierce; guard your young.
Shiver for the State House 2018
Shiver for the State House 2018
P.O. Box 164
Marble Hill, GA 30148