Days of prayer and reflection are appropriately called for by President Obama after the massacre in Aurora, Colorado. This was a welcome first step. But it is only the first step.
Moral, responsible, principled leadership that addresses the ongoing slaughter of people around the United States is long past due. A federal assault weapons ban passed in 1994 ending the sale of guns like the AR-15, the assault weapon used in the Colorado shooting. Unfortunately, that ban was allowed to expire in 2004 as a result of fierce lobbying by the NRA. As the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence said so well: "…In the United States today where virtually anyone with a credit card and a grudge can outfit their own personal army-mass shootings are as predictable as they are tragic. Just as predictable, those who celebrate this lethal shift, the NRA remains mute when families and communities suffer the consequences."
We have a right to feel safe in our communities, restaurants, schools, movie theaters, and places of business. It is past time for democrats and republicans to act responsibly and pass an assault weapons ban that will keep military-level assault weapons like the AR-15 out of the hands of civilians.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims' families and with victims who remain in the hospital. The greatest tribute we can give them is our thoughtful action, contacting our senators and representatives asking for legislation to ban assault weapons. Please give consideration to writing a letter to the editor to your local newspaper. Our voices need to be heard. We can make a difference!