We are the only nation on Earth where gun violence is a significant problem. And it’s not just a problem, it’s a massive problem. More than 100,000 people, including 15,000 children, die from gun violence in the United States each year. No other country in the world is even close to that level of gun violence. It seems every few months our nation reels from another mass shooting. I will never understand how anyone can see tragedies like the one at Sandy Hook, where children were murdered, and think, “We have no obligation to make any changes to prevent something like this from happening again.”
I have never owned or fired a gun, and I frankly don’t understand the appeal. But I do understand the appeal of the Bill of Rights, and I will fight to uphold it. The second amendment protects our citizens’ right to keep and bear arms, and I do not believe the government has any authority to take guns away from lawful, responsible citizens. But that does not mean we should sit on our hands and pretend like we have no responsibility for the tens of thousands who die each year from gun violence. If an American’s right to buy a gun infringes on another American's right to life, then the government has not only the authority, but the obligation to prevent that person from getting their hands on a gun.
We need to take bold steps to end the calamity of gun violence, and we must not let the NRA bully us into complacency. Many common-sense regulations are supported even by the majority of gun owners, including prohibiting mentally ill people from purchasing firearms, and closing the so-called “gun show loophole,” which allows people to purchase firearms without a background check. These common-sense reforms are a good place to start, but we must go much further. We must keep fighting to restrict gun access until tragedies like those in Las Vegas are a thing of the past.
The NRA can go ahead and give me my “F” grade right now.
Paid for and Authorized by Ryan Huffman for Congress