I speak with people every day — moms and dads, law enforcement officers, students, elected officials, people from all walks of life — who are frustrated and angry about gun violence in our country. I understand why.
In part, it’s because too many Americans are convinced Congress will never finish the job and expand Brady background checks to cover all gun sales.
It’s because guns are everywhere in America — 300 million of them at last count — and in many places it’s still easier to get a gun and start shooting than it is to buy a car and get on the road.
And it’s also because there are too many people killed and injured by guns every day in this country. One in three of us knows someone who has been shot. America’s rate of gun deaths is 20 times higher than the combined rates of 22 countries that match us in wealth and population.
When it comes to preventing gun violence, I understand why some people think “We can’t get there from here.” I also reject that notion.
None of us should give Congress, elected officials, and millions of naysayers the ammunition to continue the course of inaction that costs lives every day.
We can get Congress to step up and vote on new legislation to keep guns out of the wrong hands. It’s not a question of if, but when.
We are better than this, and we can get there — we WILL get there. How? By recognizing that gun violence is a threat to the health and safety of every American and by taking action on real things we can do to prevent them.
Each time there is a mass shooting, our nation grieves and asks, “Why?” After the recent killings at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina, President Obama said, “I’ve had to make statements like this too many times.” And he has. According to CBS’s Mark Knoller, there have been at least 14 mass shootings during his presidency.