I have been truly inspired by the courage and commitment of students across the country who have come together to demand action to address the scourge of gun violence. From Los Angeles to Washington, D.C., these students are making their voices heard, and I was honored to attend the March for our Lives at the State House in Providence to join them in declaring, “enough is enough!”
No one should have to live through the horrors that the students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas endured. Regrettably, gun violence continues to be an epidemic in communities throughout the U.S. However, there are steps we can take to combat this public health menace. In fact, for the first time in decades, we are seeing a bit of movement thanks to the commitment of countless students, parents, teachers, and activists. Congress recently passed a bill that helps strengthen the background check system and lifts the two decade ban on research into the causes of gun violence. But there’s so much more we can accomplish together.
We must pass legislation to require universal background checks and enact a ban on assault weapons, which have no place in our society, let alone in our classrooms. We must ensure that irresponsible gun dealers are held accountable for selling to criminals and that domestic abusers cannot threaten their victims with firearms.
I respect the Second Amendment and believe in the legitimate rights of gun owners to bear arms for the purposes of self-defense or hunting. But we owe it to the innocent victims of gun violence everywhere to enact commonsense laws to help prevent these tragedies from happening in the future. Together, we can be the agents of change our nation’s students deserve.
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