In wake of Scalise shooting, gun control couldn’t be more urgent
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Once again this week, Americans coast-to-coast are grappling with the horror of senseless gun violence — from California, where at least three victims are dead from a shooting near a UPS facility in San Francisco — to our nation’s capital, where Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.) was shot alongside congressional staffers and police officers.

Law enforcement officials are still unwinding what circumstances led an armed gunman to target members of Congress — with their families present — practicing early in the morning for an annual charity baseball game, a bipartisan congressional tradition.

Since Wednesday morning’s shooting, we’ve heard horrifying accounts from members of Congress describing the terror of the dozens of gunshots — when people on the field first realized what was happening.

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We’ve also heard stories of selflessness and heroism: congressional representatives shielding children, and police officers risking their lives to protect others.

 

And, Americans are heartened by the overwhelming response we’ve seen in the hours since — representatives from both political parties coming together to praise law enforcement and first responders for acting quickly to subdue the shooter and save lives.

Over the coming days and weeks, people will point fingers and try to figure out how to prevent such tragedies in the future.

The time for that discussion will come. For now,  we should remember the lasting image of the House Democratic baseball team Wednesday morning, praying, together, for their colleagues on the other side of the aisle.

It’s clear today that gun violence can strike any time, at any place, and affect anyone – even our nation’s leaders.

We know that gun violence kills more than 90 Americans each day. No other developed nation suffers from so much gun violence, and our gun homicide rate is more than 25 times the average of other developed nations.

Everyone can agree that’s not acceptable.

And we can agree that no one should feel afraid to play baseball, go to work, attend church, see a movie or dance in a nightclub.

Far too many Americans know what it’s like to be shot or have a loved one killed by gun violence, and we owe it to each other to come together, and finally do something about it.

Former Arizona Congresswoman Gabby Giffords, an American hero and gun violence survivor herself, put it best when she said Wednesday that, “This shooting is an attack on all who serve and on all who participate in our democracy.”

This country, and our democracy, belongs to us all – and we owe it to each other to work together, to prevent more senseless gun violence. 

John Feinblatt is the President of Everytown for Gun Safety. Everytown is the largest gun violence prevention organization in the country with more than three million supporters and more than 140,000 donors including moms, mayors, survivors and everyday Americans who are fighting for public safety measures that respect the Second Amendment and help save lives. At the core of Everytown are Mayors Against Illegal Guns, Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America and the Everytown Survivor Network.


The views expressed by contributors are their own and are not the views of The Hill.