I started volunteering with Brady, a nonprofit organization dedicated to ending gun violence, two years ago after a string of mass shootings across the country, including one at the Gilroy Garlic Festival, an annual outing I would take with my family.
Like most people, hearing news about mass shootings always shook me to my core. I felt I needed to take action since I could see that so little was being done.
But something I’ve learned since becoming a volunteer is that while mass shootings are always covered by the media and get public attention, the issue that is most overlooked is everyday gun violence.
An estimated 106 people die every day in this country from gun violence, while around 400 people are shot. In addition to mass shootings, we need to pay equal attention to the gun violence that occurs each day in our neighborhoods because the impact is often the same: life-long trauma, loss, damage, broken families.
Every single day, people lose mothers, sons, partners to gun violence and their pain isn’t any easier to bear just because their shooting wasn’t on the news.
These are the stories I’ve heard as a volunteer, the ones of everyday gun violence gone unnoticed. Living in a country in which so many people are victims of gun violence is not normal. Until we can live free of those fears, we still have work to do.
Assembly Bill 311 will not solve the problem of gun violence in America, but it will close a dangerous loophole in our state that has put guns in the hands of people who were not able to pass a background check, cultivating an environment in which rampant, everyday gun violence can occur.
I’m calling on California lawmakers to vote YES on AB 311 and prohibit the sale of ghost guns at gun shows. Families of survivors deserve at least this much.
San Jose, CA