Look at the facts of gun violence: gun deaths occur in the US at a staggeringly higher rate than in Europe; according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 800 children under 14 died in gun accidents in the US from 1999 to 2010, and nearly one in five injury-related deaths among children and adolescents involve firearms; there were sixteen mass shootings last year in this country, leaving 88 dead.
We must implement meaningful laws now, starting with establishing universal background checks on gun sales, putting limits on high-capacity magazines, and banning assault weapons. That's why I have co-sponsored a comprehensive gun control bill in the Massachusetts House and am currently fighting for its passage.
I look forward to joining the fight for these reforms at the national level too. But we must do more. To protect our children from tragic accidents, we must mandate that guns be stored locked and unloaded in all cases. A 2005 study in the Journal of the American Medical Association showed that such rules would reduce the risk of both injuries and suicides by as much as 70%.
With something so precious as our children's lives at stake, we must act now to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and to ensure they are safely stored. We must act before we are faced with yet another tragedy likes the ones in Sandy Hook, Aurora, Columbine, Virginia Tech, and a long list of other towns and places that we know all too well.