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Gun violence is a crisis. So is our inaction.

We can't let Monday's horrific attack in Boulder, Colorado – which followed just six days after the hate-fueled murders in Atlanta – become just one more tragedy that our nation sheds a tear for and then forgets.

Gun violence, and our growing indifference to it, is a public health crisis. We can and must address it like one, immediately.

There are the long overdue steps we can take right now, which I've fought for in Congress for years:

  • Ban weapons of war, like the AR-15 used in Boulder this week, from our streets. There is no safe civilian use for a gun that fires hundreds of rounds per minute or can shoot hundreds of rounds without reloading.

  • Close the private sales loophole and expand background checks to keep guns out of the hands of violent criminals.

  • Properly fund the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, which will allow us to enforce existing gun laws.

  • Increase funding for the mental health system to proactively treat people with the potential to commit violent crimes.

  • Authorize funding for research on gun violence prevention. Right now, Republicans are too frightened of the gun lobby to even allow researchers to study the problem.

We know these methods work; we can see their successes around the world. Even here in the United States, there's ample evidence that our (too few and too lax) gun safety laws are working. Poll after poll shows people action support them.

This fight is personal for me. I had a high school friend who was killed in a drive-by shooting. Tragically, my brother took his life with a handgun as a young man. And I know too many people who have also lost loved ones to gun violence.

It's time for Congress to stand up to the gun lobby and take action now – not after the next tragedy.



Posted on March 26, 2021.