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Jess Coleman Headshot

We Can Save Lives, Whenever You're Ready

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I don't know about you, but I'm pretty sick of waking up to news of innocent lives being taken away. I'm sick of hearing about college students, high school students, Congresswomen, and now moviegoers being shot at and killed. And I'm even more sick over the fact that no one seems to care.

President Obama released a statement this morning, stating that "we are united as one American family" in the aftermath of a Colorado shooting that killed 12 and wounded around 40 others. The President is right -- this is one of those rare opportunities for us to come together as one nation. But for all the president's nice words, come tomorrow, there will be no conversation about how to prevent this from happening again. And trust me, it will.

When 3,000 people were killed on September 11, 2001, we went to war. But every year in this country, more than 30,000 people are killed by firearms. Not only have we not gone to war, but we have failed to do anything -- anything -- that can save thousands of lives.

At the same time, the National Rifle Association works tirelessly to uphold the status quo -- standing by, ready to prey on any member of Congress who dares to bite into this incredible trend of violence. And don't bother asking what the NRA thinks about shootings like those that occurred this morning, because, in the words of their president, it's against policy to comment on a shooting. How convenient.

The United States is home to 300 million privately owned guns -- the highest amount of any country in the world. Next is Yemen -- maybe we should start learning from them.

One moment, we all shake our heads in disgust whenever innocent lives are taken, and then turn the other way and wait for the next tragedy to strike. Tightening gun laws to prevent the sale of assault weapons, or closing the gun show loophole, are simple solutions that could save tens of thousands of lives every year. But no one seems interested.

There are those that claim an unquestionable right to hold their guns, appealing to freedom and the Second Amendment. But all legal theory aside, I hardly think any of our founders would stand today and firmly invoke the right to hold concealed firearms. Ideally, we could all walk around with whatever we want attached to our belts. But so long as people continue to die, I'm sorry, but you're just asking too much.

And there will also be those who shout the same, flawed argument -- that if someone else was holding a gun, all 12 of those deaths could have been prevented this morning. But even in Colorado, where gun laws are very loose, no one came to the rescue and shot down the killer. Even so, why would you take the chance -- why not just keep the gun out of the hand of the killer in the first place?