Following the Sandy Hook tragedy in December, President Obama declared this week that we, as a country, cannot tolerate another such incident.
If there is even one step we can take to save another child, or another parent, or another town, from the grief that has visited Tucson, and Aurora, and Oak Creek, and Newtown, and communities from Columbine to Blacksburg before that — then surely we have an obligation to try.
Our dire situation requires bold action. We’ve seen too many American lives lost to senseless gun violence. The president is correct to recognize that there is no one solution to this national blight, just as there is no one cause. We must take quick and meaningful action to prevent further tragedies by restricting access to weapons of war.
First: It’s time for Congress to require a universal background check for anyone trying to buy a gun.
Second: Congress should restore a ban on military-style assault weapons, and a 10-round limit for magazines.
,br>And finally, Congress needs to help, rather than hinder, law enforcement as it does its job. We should get tougher on people who buy guns with the express purpose of turning around and selling them to criminals.
And his 23 Executive Actions, not requiring congressional approval, include measures to strengthen the background check system which keeps guns out of the hands of violent individuals; provide resources to help schools prepare for crisis situations; and invest in research into the causes of gun violence.
Minister Leslie Watson Malachi, Director of African American Religious Affairs at People For the American Way, commended these proposals as “an important step in the right direction.”
Gun violence is a threat to everyone in America, but it particularly plagues young African Americans. We are morally required to do everything we possibly can to keep our children safe and free from fear, whether they are in the classroom or playing on the streets in their neighborhood, whether they live in Newtown or in Chicago or in the District of Columbia.