Our nation has suffered too much at the hands of dangerous people who use guns to commit horrific acts of violence. Most gun owners are responsible, law-abiding and they use their guns safely. People strongly believe that the Second Amendment guarantees an individual right to bear arms.
While no law or set of laws will end gun violence, it is clear that the American people want action. Now is the time to do the right thing for our children, our communities and our nation.
The single most important thing we can do to prevent violence and mass shootings is to make sure those who would commit acts of violence cannot get access to guns. Federally licensed firearms dealers are required to run background checks on those buying guns. Nearly 40 percent of all guns sales are made by private sellers who are exempt from this requirement. 12 percent of inmates that used guns in a crime acquired it from a retail store or pawn shop, where a background check should have been run.
We are not stating that the government takes away your guns! Not at the local level, state level or federal level, that is incorrect information. We want Congress to pass legislation that goes beyond closing the "gun show loophole" to require background checks for all firearm sales. Some call it universal background checks.
We won't be able to stop every violent act, but if there is even one thing that we can do to prevent any of events like at Tucson, Aurora, Oak Creek, Newtown and communities from Columbine to Blacksburg - then surely we have to try.
If you agree with this, contact your representatives at the local, state and federal levels requesting that they pass legislation on universal background checks.