We believe that a basic, no-brainer principle of American democracy is the freedom to go about life without WORRYING for your life.
A society plagued by gun violence threatens that principle.
Republicans, conservatives, conspiracy cranks—they harp about gun control.
The issue is gun violence. Plain and simple. And the growing number of mass shootings that erupt year after year around this country bear out this fact.
Unfettered, unchecked access to weapons of war means a greater chance of gun violence in our cities, our suburbs, our neighborhoods, and workplaces.
Look through the images that form our popular culture: Books, movies, and T.V. shows are everywhere that depict the threat of cold, cunning, calculated killers. Sophisticated masterminds who elude the law with ease. Scary stuff, to be sure.
But the truth is much scarier than that.
We really have to worry about the senseless, impassioned, rage-fueled instances of lone gunmen raining bullets at random on shopping malls, public parks, post offices, and schools. Chaos let loose on an unsuspecting public.
Our current system of public safety does not know how to handle these situations. Law enforcement cannot predict or prepare for these high-wire events. They happen. Then public safety services can only scramble to respond after mass shooters have already murdered dozens. It isn’t their fault. The law is UNEQUIPPED to deal conclusively with mass shooters. The burden falls on lawmakers.
There are answers to ending the problem of gun violence. Let's be clear: it IS a problem we can solve.
- Require criminal background checks for gun purchases.
This would seem like an obvious and easy fix.
If powerful gun lobbies were barred from swaying our public officials to cave during crucial legislative negotiations.
But with a majority in the House, an effective majority in the Senate, and Joe Biden in the White House, we can do this. And if we don’t, we have no one to hold accountable except our failure to go big.
- Ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines.
No one needs these weapons of war for self-defense or for hunting. You have alternative legal firearm options to defend your home from intruders or to enjoy yourself while hunting or going to the range.
- Make it a federal crime to traffick guns illegally.
Many do not realize—or will not admit—that guns make it into people's hands through all sorts of illegal and unofficial means.
Guns are sold on Facebook, over Discord servers, and through other online venues that have zero oversight. Congress can make these practices illegal.
We have a long way to go in the struggle to end gun violence. But the good news is that Americans agree on many of the reforms that would lessen the threat of gun violence in our country.
We do not have time to waste.
Gun violence is a daily, immediate, and lethal threat to our way of life and the health of our democracy. We must defend today to guarantee tomorrow.
Our lives, the lives of our children and loved ones, are at stake.
Failure is not an option.