It’s time to talk about gun laws
SUNDAY night started out as a beautiful evening in Las Vegas, with country music in the air and the lights of the Strip mingling with stars. At least 58 people lost their lives at such a uniquely American scene, and nearly 500 were injured. Thousands more will fight emotional scars, and tens of thousands will grieve and question along with them. The phenomenon of the mass shooting — and the political paralysis that follows us — is sadly also a uniquely American scene. But it doesn’t have to be this way. Americans are 25 times more likely to be killed by a gun than people in other developed nations. Over 100,000 people are shot each year, 33,000 of those fatally. We can offer thoughts and prayers and move on through life numb to these losses. We can accept this galling reality. We can assume that other people — like my wife, former congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords — will pay the price for our status quo. We can accept the enormous social, moral and economic cost imposed on this country by accepting gun violence as simply the cost of living in America.
Or we can choose courage instead of cowardice. I flew combat missions in Operation Desert Storm, orbited Earth 854 times as a NASA astronaut and wake up every morning next to Gabby, the toughest human I’ve ever met. I choose courage every time. So what do we do?
First, we have to recognize just how entrenched the problem is. In the last few weeks, Congress was actually pursuing looser gun laws — making
A Las Vegas Metropolitan Police officer goes about his duties in the aftermath of the mass shooting last Sunday. Americans are 25 times more likely to be killed by a gun than people in other developed nations.
Former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, a victim of gun violence, joined her husband, Mark Kelly, to speak out against it last week on Capitol Hill.