Two South Dakota Senators Discuss Fatal Florida Shooting and Gun Laws

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – Two senators from different sides of the fence sat down together in Sioux Falls on President’s Day to discuss big issues. Many of these topics tug at the heart strings, such as last week’s fatal shootings in Florida.

With elections on the horizon, there wasn’t a shortage of topics for Kris Langer (R) and Billie Sutton (D) to discuss.

“Frankly, we all want a stronger South Dakota where everybody can be successful and that takes people being involved,” said Sutton.

One of the biggest topics was the fatal shooting in Parkland, Florida. A teenager allegedly killed 17 high school students and faculty members with a legally purchased assault rifle.

Both senators said they believe the incident calls for more parent involvement in schools and recognizing the warning signs that someone may have mental health challenges.

“I really am not a fan of controlling the guns,” said Langer. “You know, it seems like the gun-free zones are the biggest targets.”

Although they may disagree here and there, Langer and Sutton actually have quite a bit in common despite their separate political parties.

“Senator Sutton and I are great friends,” said Langer. “We have a lot of the same ideals and principals.”

The two did discuss some different goals. For example, Langer wants a pay raise for state employees and Medicaid providers.

“Funding is always an issue,” said Langer. “Are we going to get money to our Medicaid providers, to our schools?

Sutton agrees, but his eyes are set on supporting early childhood education, something he’s personally passionate about.

“You’re only going to see change if you get involved and take a leadership role in any way that you can,” said Sutton.

Sutton is looking to take on a new leadership role, as he’s running for South Dakota governor this November.

The two senators also discussed topics such as sin taxes for tobacco and the DMV providing driver’s license exams in multiple languages.

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