07/22/2012 04:10 pm ET | Updated Sep 21, 2012

Denver Shootings Highlight Brady Campaign's Call for Stricter Gun Laws

All of a sudden the call for gun control -- shouted down by the NRA -- makes sense again. The horrific shooting of 71 people at the opening of a movie in Denver has given a new voice to calls for stricter guns laws, as advocated by the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.

"I don't think that there's any question that we would be a far safe nation if we had fewer guns and certainly if we had stronger gun regulation," Dennis Henigan told He is the Vice President of Law and Policy at the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.

Nearly half of all Americans -- 47 percent -- now own firearms. And the killer who gunned down moviegoers in Denver obtained all his weapons legally. Reasonable minds question if it's a good idea to introduce hundreds of millions of firearms into the general public.

"The American people don't want to live in a society where there is literally no place they can go and escape the guns," Henigan said. "Individuals who don't have criminal records -- we thought they were law abiding citizens -- until the moment they fired a gun in anger, and then suddenly they are a criminal."

Gun-related homicides have risen each year since 2002 to the point that the gun homicide rate in America is 10 to 20 times greater than in other industrialized countries, according to the Brady Campaign. Regardless, pro-gun advocates are constantly in the news, arguing that the proliferation of guns makes our neighborhoods safer.

Henigan says we can thank the NRA for the ubiquity of guns. "The gun lobby is very good at threatening politicians and working its will in far too many legislative bodies including the United State Congress," Henigan says. "There ought to be a right to take your kid into a Starbucks without having to confront a loaded weapon at the table next to you."

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