Call for Reasonable Gun Policy

By Sam Mitchell

The shooting today of David Bailey, Zach Barth, Krystal Griner, Matt Mika and Rep. Steve Scalise is a terrible tragedy. Violence is never the answer. Violence that is avoidable is even more tragic. Madison County Democratic Women extend their sympathy and best wishes to all the injured and wish them a speedy recovery.

Many questions about the circumstances and causes of this shooting remain and will come out over the coming days and weeks. What is clear: clearly there were mental health issues, clearly there was easy access to a gun, and clearly all those in attendance were very, very fortunate to have the Capitol Police and emergency responders already on the scene. Not all Americans have the benefit of police protection at baseball practice. Police protection should not be necessary at baseball practice.

As we write this, my phone is blinking with the news of another shooting in San Francisco. Again, not all of the facts are known, but again there was violence that should not have happened. Four people are dead. Four lives are cut short because of inaction by Congress and because of the stranglehold that the NRA has on our legislative leaders. And later, as we revised this, news of another shooting in Brooklyn is being posted.

This is terrorism. Every day we walk, work, shop and play among people who own guns, who carry guns, and who have not had to undergo simple, reasonable processes to ensure that they are trained and can exercise good judgment. They have not been screened to see if they are mentally stable enough to handle a weapon that is designed for one purpose only. Every day and wherever we go.

Congressman Mo Brooks (AL-5) is reportedly now interested in the “background of the shooter”. We hope this means that he is more open to implementing reasonable law about background checks of gun owners.

Once again, Madison County Democratic Women joins the call for reasonable gun policy in the United States. Persons with mental illness that can lead to violence should not have access to guns. Persons who want to buy guns should undergo reasonable background checks. Persons who purchase guns should undergo training. Guns should be licensed. It’s that simple. We hope that members of Congress on both sides of the aisle can put aside rhetoric, hyperbole and money and come to a consensus on common sense gun policy.