Common Sense Gun Reform

1,400 North Carolinains died in 2019 due to gun violence. Nearly 20,000 Americans in 2020. We have a gun violence epidemic in America, one that has been created and prolonged by a failure on behalf of our elected officials. Once again, American policy is dictated by profits at the expense of people.  It is time we stand up to the gun lobby and pass the much-needed common sense reforms. 

President Biden’s executive orders are important and necessary steps. We can and we must go further if we’re going to truly address this crisis. We need to ban assault weapons. We need universal background checks, a prolonged waiting period and a national red flag law. 

Embracing smart gun technology can help us in addressing violence caused by stolen guns but we also need to ensure that gun manufacturer are held responsible for their actions. It’s currently the only industry protected from liability. The NRA (national rifle association) bought that protection by donating tens of millions of dollars every cycle. Fortunately, the corrupt NRA has declared bankruptcy and is under investigation for fraud. Now is the time for action. The answer is not to put guns in our schools. The answer is enacting these reforms. 

I have been to too many funerals. I have comforted too many grieving parents, too many grieving children. In 2019, 37% of the victims of gun deaths were Black. I can’t help but feel that if it were white Americans being murdered at such an alarmingly disproportionate rate, congress would be faster to act. 

Cory Booker has spoken about how as Mayor of Newark he would regularly attend funerals of the murdered. He compared the environment, communities absent of hope and haunted by loss, to the “the bowels of a slave ship.” We cannot continue to accept a politics of cowardice and convenience, the price of which is our lives. This is not a matter of ideological disagreement, it is a matter of morality, it is a matter of life and death and I am ready to fight for our communities and our families.