Whether it is the horrific violence in Tucson, Ariz. the fatal shootings of 30,000 Americans every year, or a constituent's son who was murdered by a total stranger with a violent record and an illegal gun, what is often most painful and frustrating about America's gun violence epidemic is how many of these tragedies could have been prevented. There is no shortage of evidence indicating our nation's gun laws are failing the American people.
Unfortunately, in Washington, evidence is rarely enough to spawn action. There are few issues as overtly politicized as how we go about protecting our citizens' rights while reducing gun violence.
Overcoming this epidemic will require law-abiding gun owners, responsible gun dealers, families of victims, and every American to make the need for reform and compromise loud and clear to my colleagues in Congress.