Getting Outgunned in Congress 

In April, 45 senators cowardly ignored the will of the American people in favor of special interests. They voted against passing the most modest of measures to curb gun violence: expanding background checks for gun buyers.

What happened?

I know the other side’s argument: Expanding checks would impose a burden on law-abiding citizens without preventing criminals from obtaining guns. However, under the existing system, more than 2 million people have been barred from buying guns. Did some of them go on to obtain weapons illegally? Of course. But others were deterred—and in any event, the expanded checks would narrow the currently huge loophole that lets felons buy guns without background checks.

I don’t want to live in a country where we all are afraid that at any moment, someone will come in the mall and ambush us, and that this person might have had access to their legally obtained gun or assault weapon in their moment of insanity. I know these horrors are not completely preventable with stricter gun-control laws, but we must do whatever we can.

The first step in this goal is expanding background checks—and it failed. But this horrible disappointment has only fueled my fire to get going on this and make changes now. Expanded background checks are the minimum of what this country should pass to protect our families and communities.

Ideally, we would also pass a ban on high-capacity magazines and assault weapons, and strengthen laws against trafficking in guns. There is no valid reason for any American citizen to need a weapon designed to kill dozens or even hundreds of people in quick succession.

Let’s band together, Utahns. I know you are out there feeling as outraged as I am right now. Don’t sit back and think someone else is going to change this, because they won’t. It is up to you.

MARIE WEST
Moms Demand Action—Utah Chapter
Sandy

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