I’m saddened by what I saw Friday, because the NRA’s leadership had an opportunity to help unite the nation behind efforts to reduce gun violence and avert massacres like the one at Sandy Hook Elementary School but it instead showed a disconnect between it and the majority of the American people.
The American people – including many of our nation’s law-abiding gun owners – are crying out for solutions that will help stop these mass murders before they start. GOP pollster Frank Luntz found that 74 percent of NRA members support keeping guns out of the hands of dangerous people through background checks. And a CNN/ORC International poll found that six out of 10 Americans support a ban on high-capacity magazines and assault weapons.
There are answers to these cries in Congress right now. The Fix Gun Checks Act, which I sponsor in the House of Representatives, closes the dangerous gun show loophole and strengthens the database used in our background checks. I also sponsor legislation to ban high-capacity magazines and will be introducing an updated assault weapons ban with Senator Dianne Feinstein of California and Congressman Ed Perlmutter of Colorado in January.
I support a holistic approach to our complex and tragic problem with gun violence, including not just looking at school security but at counseling, after school programs, our mental health and juvenile justice systems, and, like the majority of Americans, the safety restrictions we put on some of the most dangerous consumer products in the world.
The Second Amendment is the law of the land, but it was never intended to enable the mass murder of innocent children. Like cars, food, medicine and many other consumer products, gun ownership should be subject to safety regulations designed to protect innocent Americans.
I know that the American people – including many gun owners – are heartbroken and fed up with the gun violence we’ve seen recently at an elementary school, a shopping mall, a temple, a movie theater, a supermarket parking lot, and on countless American streets every single day. I’m committed to working with anyone, including the NRA, willing to help save lives and look forward to continuing this conversation with the American people.”
Carolyn McCarthy is the representative of New York’s Fourth Congressional District. She was first elected in 1996.