This week, 19 children and two teachers paid the price for our nation’s failure to enact common sense gun legislation. As human beings, our hearts are broken and we extend our deepest sympathies to the victims’ families and communities.
As candidates for Missouri’s Third Congressional District, we recognize that the time has long passed for thoughts and prayers. We must unite to stop gun violence.
We hold victims of violence in our hearts, but we owe them more than that. We owe them change. We owe them a justice far more profound than the incarceration or death of their murderers. We owe them the justice of finally ending the epidemic that took their lives.
We must break patterns of inaction. We must oust cowardly elected officials funded by big money from a gun lobby directly tied to enemies of the United States.
That gun lobby lies. They say we must choose: accept shootings like these, or dismantle the right afforded us by the Second Amendment. It’s a lie designed to drive profits for gun manufacturers and to galvanize the reactionary vote.
We must move past this lie and enact the common sense gun reforms that most Americans want. The time for rhetoric is over. The time for press releases like this one is over. Only action can prevent the next tragedy: research on the causes of gun violence, smarter gun regulation, mandatory insurance riders for certain weapons, and waiting periods to take possession of a firearm.
We are both deeply committed to taking these actions. We call on the sitting Congress to do something now.
Jon Karlen and Bethany Mann
Missouri’s Third Congressional District