While this legislation is hardly a final answer, it is at least a first step and would demonstrate that our leaders have the backbone to stand up for the American people in the face of opposition and threats from a well-funded and obstinate gun lobby.
Right now many states are attempting to put new voting restrictions in place that parallel all the old tricks and turn back the clock on civil rights to the days when voting was used as a tool for political control and exclusion.
I was chairman of the National Urban League's Board for five years, and served for 13 years, an organization that celebrated success stories for women and people of color. In 2004, I discovered such a story.
These are not the best of times for racial harmony, or economic or social justice. These certainly are not the best of times for nonviolence. But the America of 2010 is a lot different from the America of 1963.