I am so grateful to the Seattle Pacific University community for their witness of strength, forgiveness, and deep faith. Yet I am heartbroken that they and so many other children, youths, and adults walk in fear on a daily basis and keep having to worry about experiencing this at all. Why is our nation saturated with guns-- four million in military and law enforcement hands and 310 million in civilian hands? Why are American children and teens 17 times more likely to die from gun violence than their peers in 25 other high-income countries combined? Why is our mental health system still so inadequate to respond to the cries of those needing help? When will we all say enough? We can and must do better.
Connecticut last week was not alone in moving forward on gun safety. New York, Colorado, and Maryland have all passed new gun violence prevention legislation in the last four months. In each of these states, ordinary citizens have said no more and lawmakers have displayed the courage to listen and lead. Now it's time for Congress to lead for children and for all of us in every state -- not just some -- to demand action not obstruction and to put protection of child and citizen safety ahead of guns -- especially deadly assault weapons and high capacity ammunition magazines that should not be in civilian hands. The gun violence prevention bills pending in Congress deserve a vote. This time there must be change.