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Tony Bennett Headshot

A Battle for the American People

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After Sandy Hook I called my son Danny and we both said, "Enough is enough." And those three words say a lot about the need for common sense gun laws but there are three words that I feel are even more important... We The People. It always serves to remind ourselves that the government works for us -- they should be doing what we tell them to do -- not the other way around. What happened in the Senate with the vote for stricter gun laws ignored the voice of the American people. It also defied common sense. Over 200 years ago Thomas Paine, an American patriot, ignited the American Revolution when he wrote his pamphlet called "Common Sense." Somehow along the way we have lost our common sense. When it is harder to obtain a library card than it is to buy a gun in this country, something is terribly wrong. I mean, would you let your neighbor drive 100 miles an hour in their car through your children's school zone? I hope you wouldn't, but regardless everyone has the right to own a care but the safety or our community comes first and foremost. It's just common sense. We must always balance our rights and responsibilities as responsible citizens. This is the same common sense gun legislation that was proposed to the Senate. It is clear that this is a public safety issue and it's about keeping guns out of the wrong hands. And when I say the wrong hands, I include our children. It's simply common sense.

If elected government officials have decided to put lobby money and political interests ahead of the people's interest, then we have the responsibility to tell them, to quote Dr. Martin Luther King, "We are no longer content with business as usual." We need to raise our voices, act now and let those senators who voted no know that they are accountable for their actions. We will not sit still until sensible gun laws are in place. It's just common sense. I served as a foot soldier in World War II, I stared into the eyes of the beast, and it made me a pacifist. More than 3,000 people have died from gun violence since those beautiful 20 children and their educators died so tragically in Newtown. They deserve action for their deaths -- we all deserve action. We owe that to everyone who has died because gun laws have not protected the innocent and have made it too easy for the wrong people to have access to guns. This is about saving lives.

This is no longer a fight for the politicians; it's a battle for the American people who have the power to make change through democratic means. Although my favorite technology is still a pencil, I say we use the new technology of texting to let Congress know that we have just begun to fight. If you text MYVOICE to 877877, you will be prompted by my voice or other concerned friends of mine who have joined me, and you will be connected automatically to a member of Congress who voted no to common sense gun laws. Tell them what you think about and that enough is enough. It's your right as an American citizen to be heard. It's just common sense.