The quaint, unassuming, elevated area south of Denver known as Columbine rarely, if ever, caught the attention of the average American residing outside the State of Colorado for just over 99% of the twentieth century.
When it etched its way into the hearts and minds of shocked onlookers around the world 19 years before Friday, nobody predicted that it would represent the “new normal” in the United States. The Washington Post reported that “over 208,000 students have been impacted by gun violence at school since Columbine”. That report was updated to include the shooting that took place Friday morning at Forest High School in Ocala, Florida, an area that Alan represented in Congress during 2009-2010. When is enough actually enough?
Not at the time of the last midterm elections, apparently. The tragedy at Sandy Hook was still relatively fresh in November of 2014, when just over 40 million Americans voted for Republicans in federal races. The National Rifle Association spent nearly 21 million dollars in those Midterms, and directly contributed nearly $800,000 to federal campaigns. 95% of those direct contributions were to Republicans.
If enough really is enough, the vote totals should reflect it. It’s that simple. There’s a clear path to reducing the volume of these tragedies drastically, and Alan has always been an outspoken advocate of walking that walk. While in Congress, he fought for universal background checks, a reinstated assault rifle ban, limits on magazine capacity, and a number of other gun safety measures that a majority of Americans fervently support.
Addressing this issue is good for national security, good for the right of a free people to live free from fear, good for our credibility in the world community, and good for Congressional approval ratings. It is bad for the action wing of the NRA known as the Republican Party, bad for the short-term profit margins of gun manufacturers, and bad for individuals who want to inflict the most harm to a gathering of people in the shortest period of time possible.
As Alan has said often, on national television, “it’s too easy to kill too many people too quickly.” Show your support for Alan Grayson, a Congressman fearless enough to stand up to the NRA, and introduce the “Freedom From Fear Act.” And dare to remember a time during which mass shootings weren’t commonplace and commit to wiping away this blemish on the face of American life in the twenty-first century.
Alan Grayson is a former Congressman from FL, USA