The massacre in Colorado is mind blowing. That someone can just buy (online!!) the sheer volume of weaponry and ammunition that this [I truly do not know what to call him; terrorist came to mind] bought is beyond my capacity to comprehend. My mother, watching the news, said, “Why didn’t the Brady Bill work?” The Brady Bill is long gone, folks. After ten years it expired. Assault weapons ban? Nope. Sunset provision had it expire in 2004. We have virtually NO gun control laws at the federal level.
“We are better than this” is a new grassroots initiative to start a conversation about reducing gun violence. I have “liked” them on Facebook, and I have added my name to a petition asking the presidential candidates to commit to talking about solutions to gun violence. I added this to my form: “We are better than this and have proved it by passing the Brady Bill and the ban on assault weapons. We can do it again with the will to rise above rhetoric, to care more about people than politics, and to commit to federal gun control laws that take steps to AT LEAST limit the availability of weapons of mass destruction.”
But, boy, are we aiming low. We are asking for a commitment to TALK?? We have talked and talked and talked! We know what needs to be done. We need the leadership to do it. I remember Bill Clinton saying during his first State of the Union address in February 1993, “I will make you this bargain: If you will pass the Brady bill, I’ll sure sign it.” And he sure did. I was there. I heard that it was the most raucous bill signing the East Room had ever hosted.
I was there when he signed the assault weapons ban, too. On the White House lawn, near where a plane had crashed a few days before. I have a picture with Attorney General Janet Reno, standing next to the gash left by the impact. So much has happened since then. (Aside: A plane crashed on the White House lawn and we STILL had a bill signing there?) The debate over gun control should change as well. The conversation should not be about gun rights. It should be about our rights as citizens to go to a movie, or to a grocery store, to campaign for office, or to go to work, without the fear of being mowed down.