Members of eight families who lost loved ones in the Aurora theater massacre on Monday joined us and tens of thousands of other Americans in calling on Debate Moderator Jim Lehrer to ask President Obama and Gov. Romney to present solutions to gun violence.
They represent the millions of Americans who have been affected by gun deaths and injuries, and the 87 percent of Americans, including gun owners, who want better and stronger policies to make our families and communities safer.
In the midst of their suffering, these families came forward and demonstrated the kind of strength and leadership that we ought to be seeing from all elected officials, and our presidential candidates.
Last night, no question about guns was asked during the debate and a huge opportunity was missed to move forward this vitally important national conversation. But we, and the families, know that the conversation has only just begun.
An estimated 48,000 Americans will be murdered with guns during the term of the next president if nothing is done. How could that not be a question worth asking and worth a plan from the candidates, especially at the University of Denver, which is just 10 miles from two of the worst shootings in American history -- Columbine and Aurora?
Working with the Aurora families and every concerned American, we will continue taking every opportunity to show our officials and candidates that this is an issue of vital importance to the American people until -- that as a nation we know we are better than this -- until our elected leaders and candidates show us that they know it too.
We represent the 74 percent of NRA members who want a criminal background check on anyone purchasing a gun. (Luntz Global, Gun Owners Poll, July 2012)
We represent the 96 percent of Americans who want background checks on all gun sales to screen out felons (CNN/2012).
We represent the 76 percent of Americans who support registration of guns with local government (CNN/2012).
The overwhelming majority of Americans believe we are better than a nation where mass shooting tragedies like the one in Aurora happen with such alarming frequency. We are better than a nation with 32 more gun murders every day. The American people know we are better than this.
Today we begin unveiling the next phase of our campaign to make your voice heard. You will hear from these concerned and determined Americans, including Law and Order: SVU's Mariska Hargitay, who now graces our Facebook page.
We refuse to accept that politics stands in the way of our right to live in a safer nation. We will continue to press our representatives to do what's in the best interest and safety of the American people. The Aurora families, and the families of those murdered every day by guns, deserve nothing less. We all know, we are better than this.
Join us at wearebetterthanthis.org. We need your help to win this battle.
Follow Daniel Gross on Twitter: www.twitter.com/@bradybuzz