Yesterday afternoon, a 19-year-old with a weapon of war walked into Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida and opened fire, killing 17 people and injuring many others.
We have seen this happen too many times. This is not normal. This is not acceptable. This is not inevitable. It’s long past time for our leaders to stop pretending we are helpless in the face of such tragedy.
Let’s be very clear about something. The vast majority of Americans support common-sense solutions to prevent this type of gun violence. But the special interests that stand against measures like universal background checks are ruthless — and they’re also better organized.
Each election cycle, the NRA spends tens of millions of dollars to defeat candidates who will stand against their extreme agenda — and as a result, many Republican elected officials owe their election in part to support from the gun lobby. So it’s no surprise why gun violence prevention legislation never makes any progress in Congress.
Enough is enough. What we’re letting happen right now in America is madness. Our children and our country deserve better.
We deserve a Congress that is willing to take up this debate. We deserve more than thoughts and prayers when these tragedies happen. We deserve leaders who understand the urgent need to take action on this issue.
Changing our gun laws won’t stop every mass shooting — but it will stop some of them. And we have to try.
There are solutions that can address our nation’s epidemic of gun violence — such as expanding background checks and closing the gun-show loophole. Now we just need to elect a Congress with the courage to stand up to the gun lobby.
We must not become numb to these horrendous mass shootings. We must keep fighting.
Chair, Democratic National Committee
P.S. It is up to all of us to demand action on this issue. Add your name to tell Congress it’s past time to take action to address our country’s gun violence epidemic.