Every year, guns kill more than 30,000 Americans. (To put that grim number in perspective, that's equivalent to losing every man, woman, and child in St. Charles -- every single year.)
Why? Because the gun lobby is holding Congress hostage.
Consider these facts:
57% of Americans favor a ban on the sale of assault weapons.
60% of Americans agree that laws governing firearm sales should be made more strict.
75% of Americans believe there should be a 30 day waiting period on all gun purchases.
70% of Americans believe that all privately owned guns should be registered with the police.
96% of Americans favor background checks on all gun purchases.
Even among gun owners, there is support for these common-sense restrictions. Yet our representatives in Congress have failed to pass these sensible reforms -- because they prize the gun lobby's money above the lives of their constituents. And all the gun lobby cares about is selling more guns.
The consequence? Americans die. What I plan to do When I'm elected to Congress, I'll shut my door to the gun lobby and their bloodstained millions. Instead, I'll stand up for the sane gun laws that the people of the Sixth Congressional District demand.
I'll support bringing back the Assault Weapons Ban. I will advocate for laws that allow the ATF to store gun records in searchable, electronic records to bring law enforcement into the 20th (much less 21st) century.
I'll support the Protecting Domestic Violence and Stalking Act, banning access to lethal weapons for offenders who have been convicted of domestic violence or who are under a restraining order (H.R. 2670)
I'll support a national ban on high-capacity magazines. I'll support laws to close the gun show loophole.
I'll support "no fly no buy" rules to prohibit gun sales to suspected terrorists on the federal no-fly list.
I'll support repeal of the "Dickey Amendment," which forbids the Center for Disease Control from studying gun violence in the United States.
I'll propose legislation requiring registration, insurance and licensing for gun ownership that are as strict as the regulations on car owners.
Anyone who opposes these sensible regulations on "2nd Amendment" grounds is simply wrong. As Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens has written, the 2nd Amendment was written during a time of debate on how the newly formed United States would organize its army. Our Founders could not have imagined today's assault rifles -- and they would never have defended a disturbed individual's right to buy an automatic weapon and spray bullets at helpless schoolchildren.
The Declaration of Independence states emphatically that every person has the inalienable right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. These assault weapons were designed, quite literally to take aim at those rights, and no true Constitutional scholar -- and no elected officials who truly care about the people they serve -- would argue otherwise.
I'm tired of hearing Republican lawmakers offer their "thoughts and prayers" after every new report of a tragic mass shooting. It's time to offer Americans smart, effective gun laws that will save lives.