Over the past two years, more than 6,000 children have been killed by guns. The number jumped by 20 little children last Friday (12/14).
I don’t know how to explain their deaths, or to explain why six heroic teachers and staff members needed to make the ultimate sacrifice for their kids. And I don’t know how any of us explain what happened to our children and our grandchildren.
We have a responsibility to ourselves and to our children to take the steps we can to stop the violence. There may be no foolproof solution, but that doesn’t mean we can’t do better. I understand the role that hunting and guns play in the Rim Country and many communities across our nation. There can be a place for responsible gun ownership in our society.
But no one needs military-grade assault weapons to hunt, and no one needs Rambo-style high capacity magazines to protect their family from intruders.
The facts are simple: 83 Americans die every day from gun violence in America. Eight of those people are children or teenagers. Eight a day, every day — thousands a year, tens of thousands in the last decade.
If eight children were dying every day from a mysterious virus, our country would mobilize to put a stop to it. Gun violence is an epidemic that is taking our children’s lives in our schools, on our streets, and in our neighborhoods.
We must put in place common sense gun laws and enforce those laws. Right now, 40 percent of gun sales are not subject to a federal background check because they are purchased privately at gun shows, online, or person-to-person. Re-authorizing the assault weapons ban is a responsible first step that we can take now. Is it a full solution that will stop all gun violence? No, but it’s a start.
It’s not possible to explain to our children what happened in Sandy Hook, but it is possible to make changes that will help keep them safer. We owe this to all our children.