by Deona Hooper, MSW
I remember the day the tragic news of Sandy Hook hit the airwaves, and I thought to myself surely as a country we would ban together to support the families of Newtown and all families who have been touched by gun violence. When I heard the news, it immediately took me back to the Amish school shootings that took the lives of 10 girls between the ages of 6-13. Then, there were flashes of Columbine, Virginia Tech, Aurora, Iowa School Shooting, and the daily loss of life for inner city children. My immediate thoughts were “what is it going to take” or whose life is important enough to make Congress act. Republicans have repeatedly have shown us that if there is not a direct benefit for them, it is not an issue worth them to vote on. If the vote for sensible gun legislation was about the Keystone Pipeline, we would be discussing the projected build date instead of the broken promise to the victims of Sandy Hook and all victims of gun violence. The Parents of the Sandy Hook victims gave a speech with the President after being denied the right of an up or down vote by our elected officials:
Washington, DC– Following today’s filibuster of the bipartisan compromise to require criminal background checks for all commercial gun purchases, families of Sandy Hook victims and members of the Newtown-based nonprofit Sandy Hook Promise expressed their resolve to carry on their work to reduce gun violence. Despite polls showing more than 90% of Americans favor closing loopholes that allow criminals to purchase deadly firearms without any background check, the Senate fell 6 votes short of the 60 needed to end the filibuster of the compromise proposed by Senators Manchin (D-WV) and Toomey (R-PA). The bipartisan proposal would have required that instant criminal background checks be performed on those buying guns off the internet or at gun shows.
Sandy Hook Promise, the organization created by community members of Newtown, CT in the aftermath of the December 14 shooting, organized meetings this week and last week with Democratic and Republican Senators and several relatives representing victims murdered at Sandy Hook Elementary School. In those meetings, family members encouraged Senators to come together around legislative proposals that will both save lives and respect the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding Americans. Read Full Article at Sandy Hook Promise