A tragedy has hit close to the Capitol.
Yet another mass shooting took place in America this morning at an early morning Republican practice for the annual Congressional Baseball game. Five people were shot, including House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, several aides and two Capitol Police officers. Were it not for the bravery and presence of the officers, those numbers would have been far higher.
This issue does not have to be partisan, gun violence affects everyone. From our cities to our rural counties, the silent genocide in this nation does not discriminate. The notion that the proliferation of weapons can prevent violence has been disproven time and time again, most recently this morning when an individual attacked a group of people under police guard using an assault rifle.
One thing that the evidence does show is that gun control measures work. In countries with heavy gun regulations and restrictions, gun violence is low. In nations like the United States where you can walk into any regular store and buy a gun, gun violence occurs at a staggering rate.
One of the catalysts of the civil rights movement occurred when Emmitt Till’s mother made the decision to have an open casket funeral for her son to show the true face of lynching in America. Recently, the Ray Rice video triggered a national discussion and a serious rethinking of domestic violence. We need to start doing that with guns and gun violence. Too often we only see text when it comes to individuals killed shootings. If we saw what those shootings looked like, our sensibilities might be offended goes the media’s line of thinking.
Personally, I’m more offended that people get shot every day in America and many of our lawmakers refuse to address the problem in a substantive way. Legislative action on gun violence can save tens of thousands of lives. We need background checks, magazine limitations, mandatory waiting periods, assault weapons bans, handgun bans, mental health evaluations for purchasers, mandatory safety training classes and a crackdown on weapons trafficking and we need it now. People’s lives are at stake.