By Representative Wasserman Shultz
Since 1968, more than 400,000 Americans have been killed with guns. Each day, an average of 34 Americans will die as a result of gun violence.
This is totally unacceptable and it is time for a national conversation about the astronomical gun violence in the U.S. and how we can curb this terrible problem.
The devastating events last month in Newtown, Connecticut have spurred a national debate about our existing gun laws and mental health care system. First as a state legislator and now as a Congresswoman -- and as a parent -- I've been an advocate for sensible gun safety measures throughout my entire career.
That's why I've started a series of roundtable discussions with local officials, law enforcement agencies, gun owners, hunters, advocacy organizations, and victims of gun violence, so that I can hear directly from South Floridians about what's happening right here in our community. In the coming months I plan to host more such discussions to hear ideas for moving forward toward real progress on this issue.
In Washington, I've been part of the Gun Violence Prevention Task Force, and over the last couple of months we have met with people on both sides of the aisle and all sides of the issue to develop a comprehensive set of policy principles that respect the Constitution's second amendment and will make our schools, neighborhoods, and communities safer.
We will continue to meet with our constituents across the country to help ensure all voices are heard in this important national discussion. As my dear friend Gabby Giffords said at a recent Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, "Violence is a big problem. Too many children are dying. We must do something. It will be hard, but the time is now." We must heed Gabby's words and rise to the occasion to find common-sense solutions for curbing gun violence in our country.
While there is no one action we can take that will ever prevent all gun violence, I think that we simply must find some common ground in order to move forward on sensible measures that can help prevent future tragedies. We owe it to the victims of gun violence to make it possible for all of us to be safe in our communities.
I am proud to be an advocate for the people of South Florida, and my office is open to you. You can reach us in Pembroke Pines at 954-437-3936, in Aventura at 305-936-5724 and in Washington, DC at 202-225-7931. You can sign up for my electronic newsletter on my website, and on Facebook at RepDWS where you can stay up-to-date on what I'm doing for South Florida.