As I watch the details of yet another mass shooting at the hands of an assault weapon-wielding, vengeful, U.S. “citizen” scroll across the cable news screen, I am sickened. In two previously published Letters to the Editor regarding incidents of unprecedented mass killings due to gun violence - Virginia Tech and Sandy Hook - I questioned the need for such destructive weapons that were clearly unfathomable to our Founding Fathers when crafting the Second Amendment.
It is utterly surreal that here we are again, in an even more horrific place. In just one month we have experienced the worst mass shooting in American history (58 people killed, 546 injured in Las Vegas) and now the deadliest shooting in a place of worship (26 dead, 20 injured outside San Antonio) and unbelievably, this President continues to uphold the ludicrous belief that a mass shooting “is not a gun situation.” As President Trump visits Japan, a country with very strict gun laws and one of the lowest number of gun-related deaths in the world - six deaths in 2014 compared to 33, 599 in the U.S. - it is pure lunacy that the obvious link between access to guns and gun fatalities continues to be denied.
The trauma and suffering I witnessed as a Second Responder at the Virginia Tech shootings, is something I will never forget. And neither should any of us. When are we going to demand a stop to the domestic terrorism that has one common denominator: guns. Must we continue to break records in terms of carnage and trauma? Or can we start setting records that uphold our right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness by eliminating access to assault weapons and making the safety of our citizens the top priority, as our Founding Fathers intended?