Hohenstein: Our children deserve action

On Tuesday our nation was rocked once again by a horrific act of gun violence on the most innocent in our society: young school children. A shooter walked into Rabb Elementary in Uvalde, Texas at approximately 11:32 am after shooting his grandmother and crashing his vehicle near the school. The 18- year-old male gunman was fatally shot by law enforcement on the scene after killing at least 19 children and two adults. The suspect had a handgun, an AR-14 assault weapon, and high-capacity magazines. I cannot tell you what was going through that young man’s mind when he decided to take the lives of children and teachers. I cannot tell you what went through those scared children’s and teachers’ minds as they cowered in fear. What I can tell you is that this never should have happened, and it should never happen again. I can also tell you that this incident does not stand alone and is more connected to our community than some may have you believe.

Gun violence is an indiscriminate plague on our society that touches every corner of this nation, both rural and urban, white and black, old and young, in supermarkets and elementary schools, and on the streets every day here in Philadelphia. You don’t need me to tell you how many young school-age children are gunned down every day in our city; I hear you when you tell me how gun violence has shaken your world. Many of us have been touched by what seems to be the uncontrollable and inevitable tragedy of gun violence. What I can tell you is that something can be done and needs to be done by our lawmakers. The time is far past due to put an end to gun violence in this country, in this Commonwealth, and in the city of Philadelphia.

I have called for action, time and time again, on the several pieces of legislation that would address our gun violence issue. In Harrisburg, controlled by a gun manufacturing lobby that has highjacked a common sense interpretation of the 2nd Amendment, our calls fall on deaf ears. I need your help to push my fellow lawmakers to take action and pass HB 1903 (Extreme Risk Protection Orders), HB 785 (safe storage of firearms), HB 872 (firearm safety courses), HB 1900 (excluding individuals on the no-fly list from obtaining firearms), and HB 696 (violence prevention grants). I appreciate your support in this effort and I look forward to standing with you in advocacy on these bills so we can finally alleviate the affliction of gun violence we have been facing for too long.

Our children deserve action and not simply thoughts and prayers.