3 years ago, the entire nation was shocked. The world's attention turned to a neighborhood strip mall near Tucson. And 19 people were shot that day. One of them was then Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Arizona). 6 others died, including a federal judge, a Giffords staffer, and a 9 year old girl.
In some ways, things have changed in the past 3 years. Gabby Giffords herself has made an amazing recovery since that day. This week, she even managed to take a pleasant little sky dive.
Yet in other ways, things haven't changed all that much in the past 3 years. The 6 people who passed away are still gone. Many more lives have been lost to senseless gun violence since then. And far too many politicians are still too afraid to consider enacting sensible gun safety policies.
Of course, the actual people who have firsthand knowledge of the tragedy of gun violence are speaking out. This actually has been a breakthrough we've experienced in the past 3 years. It's even led Senator Harry Reid (D) and the Nevada Legislature to take gun violence more seriously.
Unfortunately, none of this was enough for Governor Brian Sandoval (R-NRA), Senator Dean Heller (R-NRA), Rep. Joe Heck (R-??!!), and other G-O-TEA politicians in Carson City & DC who were too worried about their standing with the NRA to even consider any type of gun safety legislation. After all, the NRA and the rest of the gun lobby consider gun safety reform to be far more offensive than making death threats on talk radio!
Nearly a year ago, Gabrielle Giffords herself urged her former colleagues in Congress to be courageous. Her message is just as relevant and timely now as it was then. How many more of these painful anniversaries must we endure? It's time for change.