Columbine, Virginia Tech, Tucson, Florida, Aurora, Wisconsin…the list of mass shootings continues to grow. Six people were murdered at a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin on Sunday, and our nations leaders remain silent on how they would end the violence. Our prayers reach out to the families whose lives have been shattered irreparably and our thoughts beg for a solution to such atrocities.
It’s past time for action. There is an urgent need for the presidential candidates to present a concrete plan to end gun violence in America.
Police officers cannot combat gun violence alone. Legislators in Washington and across the country should do more to help law enforcement fight illegal guns because the current laws are not working.
Federal law prohibits certain categories of dangerous people from owning guns, and licensed dealers can easily screen buyers with the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). Nevertheless the system is easily evaded, especially in so-called “private sales” made at hundreds of gun shows around the country every year. Why do loopholes exist in the law that allow individuals who have violent arrest records and history of domestic abuse – like the killer of Trayvon Martin – to purchase and carry a concealed, loaded gun?
The heart of the matter is that gun control is neither conservative nor liberal, not black, white, or brown – it is one of life and death.
Change must also come from our generation. Last spring, I accompanied lobbyists from The Raben Group, LLC, to Capitol Hill to meet with firearms legislative assistants on behalf of our client, Mayors Against Illegal Guns. I witnessed firsthand how lobbyists can educate policymakers on the intricacies of proposed laws and established laws, in the effort to create safe communities nationwide. I learned that I could use an education in law to create safe communities, which is why I will become a lawyer.