This week a deranged young man walked into a church, sat in a folding chair, pulled out a gun and allegedly massacred nine people at a bible study. Two years ago,12 people died in a mass shooting at a naval base in Washington, DC. Three years ago: Newtown,Oak Creek and Aurora. And in the meantime, tens of thousands of others were killed at the barrel of a gun.
It seems pretty clear that racism was at the heart of the heinous incident in Charleston. There is no place for such hatred in our society, and the degree of violence that this hatred can inspire is all the more distressing. But, at some point we also have to recognize that the common thread in all of these gun crimes is our attitude toward guns and our outdated gun laws. We must confront the reality that other developed nations don’t live with these horrors with such frequency. The United States has nearly four times more gun-related deaths per capita than the UK, Canada, and Japan combined.
Over the past few months, I’ve introduced three gun safety bills and fought for a proposal by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to keep cop-killing bullets off the street.