Deadly Colorado Shooting: Gun Violence Prevention Reforms Urgently Needed

a gunman (now being identified as Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa, 21, apparently shown above) armed with an AR-15-style weapon opened fir
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Photos: YouTube

On Monday afternoon, a gunman (now being identified as Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa, 21, apparently shown above) armed with an AR-15-style weapon opened fire in a Boulder, Colorado, grocery store, claiming the lives of 10 people who were doing nothing but going about their daily lives. One of the victims was a first responder police officer Eric Talley.

In response to this latest mass shooting, Winnie Stachelberg, executive vice president for external affairs at the Center for American Progress, released the following statement:

"The shooting at the King Soopers grocery store in Boulder, Colorado, yesterday that killed 10 people—a violent attack on people running one of the most basic errands, and a first responder—is devastating, particularly as it comes when the nation is still reeling from the horrific shootings in the Atlanta area just a few days ago. The reality is that 2020 was a brutal year for gun violence, with homicides up in many cities and an estimated 43,000 people killed by gunfire.

This is our uniquely American story; however, we should not become complacent and accept this level of gun violence in our communities. Every other high-income nation in the world has figured out how to protect its residents from being gunned down while simply going about the business of life. It is far past time that we do the same.

In a grim coincidence, the Senate Judiciary Committee is holding a hearing this morning on gun violence in the United States and policy solutions to address it in all its forms. After years of ignoring this issue and governing based on gun lobby tropes, the Senate must now act with urgency to strengthen our nation’s gun laws to better protect our communities.

The simple fact is that gun laws work: States that have enacted stronger gun laws have significantly lower rates of gun violence. And despite howling protestations to the contrary from the National Rifle Association, the Second Amendment is not a barrier to enacting reasonable regulations of firearms.

The Senate needs to take swift action on policies such as universal background checks and closing the Charleston loophole, increasing funding for community-based violence intervention programs, enacting an extreme risk law, and ensuring that all domestic abusers and people who commit hate crimes are prohibited from gun possession. The Biden administration also must take executive action to support these measures and to strengthen regulatory oversight of the gun industry.

Gun violence is not inevitable, and there is much more that our elected policymakers can do to prevent it. The time for action is right now.

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