|Less than 24 hours apart, the mass shooting rampages in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, left 31 dead, many more injured and a nation reeling. Like many of you, I have been grieving for those killed, for their families and for the communities in Texas and Ohio in which they reside.
I am also remembering the recent victims of gun violence much closer to home—in Philadelphia, in Allentown and in Pittsburgh, where a gunman terrorized morning Shabbat services at the Tree of Life Synagogue just shy of two years ago now. I am grieving for those families and those communities, and for us all, all over again.
But grief is not enough. We must act.
The PA Safe Caucus, a bicameral body of 70 members dedicated to reducing gun violence, of which I am a member, today requested that Gov. Wolf convene a special joint session of the legislature to address the epidemic of gun violence and the violent ideology that has rocked our nation.
Mass shootings in schools, places of worship, workplaces, shopping centers and other places of gathering should not be normalized and cannot be treated as phenomena without solutions. We all deserve better. In fact, we demand it. It is past time to focus on the realities that enable these atrocities and to work together to reduce them.
The PA SAFE Caucus is made up of 70 members of the PA House and Senate across the Commonwealth who believe in reducing all types of violence in our society through adequate funding for mental health services; stronger tools for law enforcement; resources to curb the effects of addiction and illegal drugs; and solutions that reduce gun violence and promote public safety.
I support Gov. Wolf’s call for universal background checks. I support a ban on military-style assault weapons. I support a limit on magazines. I support prohibiting or, at the very least, regulating undetectable firearms.
Please don’t tell me this is a political position. It is an ethical position. It is a moral position.
We must take action to keep our communities safe. It is beyond time to do so.