Guns, Taxes & Dogs

I want to share my thoughts with you about where I stand on gun, tax and dog legislation.

Guns, taxes and … dogs. Based on the number of emails I get, I might conclude this is what is most important to Attleboro constituents at the state level. Since I get so many emails on these three issues, I want to share my thoughts with you about where I stand on each of these issues.


There has been a lot of legislation filed concerning guns. The bills have to go through committee. While there they will be re-written and sometimes dropped. At this point in time, State Representatives don’t know what we will be voting on in the coming months.

For now, here is my standard. I don’t support feel good or evidence-free legislation no matter how well intended. I am looking for evidence that there will be a reduction I gun offenses based on what has worked somewhere else. Not just what has been done somewhere else and not just what sounds tough, but what has been empirically evaluated to successfully reduce gun offenses.

Cable TV pundits always miss the point that anytime we are talking about reducing gun offenses, we have to take into consideration that a gang shooting is different than a mass school shooting, which is different than a suicide with a gun or an accidental shooting. 

High-profile crimes are high-profile precisely because they are unusual and unlikely. Making policy based on high-profile crime is a surefire way to overreact and make inefficient and, worse, ineffective policy. A high-profile event is good time find out where a shortcoming of a policy or a failure of a policy might reside, but a high-profile event is not necessarily what policy should target. Doing so would result in the majority of cases being marginalized and a strategy designed around an unlikely event.

I want to reduce gun offenses. I have an obligation to vote for effectiveness and not entertain feel-good measures.


There has been a lot of legislation filed concerning tax hikes and spending. The many tax bills have to go through committee and there they will be re-written and sometimes dropped. Just like the gun bills, at this point in time, State Representatives don’t know what we will be voting on in the coming months.

Here is my view on taxes: there is a time to lower taxes, raise taxes and leave taxes alone. Based on a multitude of factors, I don’t think this is the right time to raise taxes on the Second Bristol District.

Additionally, a number of claims have been made that if we invest (i.e. spend tax dollars on) in education and transportation infrastructure our economy will be better. That makes sense. However, consistent with my standard on guns above, I say show me the evidence. I need to see and judge the market analysis. I need to see and judge the cost-benefit projections that we will get a return on our investment and truly have a stronger economy. I want to see and judge the evidence that we will get the outcomes that have been asserted. The sponsors of the tax hikes need to show me the evidence that we won’t lose your money.

The fact of the matter is that no matter how well intended we are in the State House we could be better off; break even; or lose your money. We might spend too much, or not enough. I’m not going to take anything on faith and I am not going to be cavalier with our taxes.

I want to invest in education and transportation infrastructure. I also have an obligation to be prudent and vote for effectiveness and efficiency.


There is a very large concern that the legislature may ‘ban the breed.’ As stated, we don’t know what bills we will be voting on right now, but I do not support banning the breed. I lived with a Pitbull while in college in Los Angeles. That Pitbull was named Emily. Emily was a very sweet dog because she was raised right.

Anytime I see a problem dog I always find a problem with the way the dog was raised or the way the dog is treated. One of the most important things about raising a dog is that the dog has adequate socialization with other dogs and people. This decreases the novelty that makes dogs anxious and potentially dangerous. The only dog that has ever bitten me was a small white “yapper.” But it wasn’t the dog’s fault. It was the way the dog was raised and socialized by its owners.

I have a dog. She is very beautiful breed that took a lot of work to make sure she is not aggressive. Always remember that picking out a dog is like picking a person to date or marry. You don’t want to make a selection based on appearance; you have to make sure the temperament and personality is right for you.

Paul Heroux is the State Representative from the Second Bristol District. He can be reached at Paul.Heroux@mahouse.gov or 508-455-2547.

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