Rep. Stacey Newman, D-St. Louis, says the shooting in Aurora, Colo. is a clear sign that sensible gun laws are needed. Her statement is printed below.
I am deeply saddened by the senseless gun violence tragedy that occurred last evening in Aurora, Colorado. My heart goes out to the victims, survivors and families. I join many in thinking of nothing else today.
As a Million Mom Marcher who has worked since 2000 to prevent needless gun violence, I am outraged that the gun lobby has continued to negatively influence our legislature. Instead of passing sensible gun laws, the NRA has taken our legislature hostage with the passage of less restrictive and less prohibitive firearm laws. The gun lobby has consistently turned their backs on efforts to pass common sense legislation which could save lives. Their motive is simple - increase gun manufacturers profits. Tragedies like the Colorado theatre shooting should not happen in civilized society. They happen because legislatures let the N.R.A. write our gun laws.
The N.R.A. influence and their vast sums of money allows the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) to heavily promote legislative agendas across the country, such as the Florida “shoot-to-kill” law. ALEC’s strong influence is felt in the Missouri state legislature as firearms regulations are watered down each year with no concern of addressing those affected each day by gun violence.
We will continue to see firearm fatalities increase in numbers as long as sensible gun legislation is not part of our legislative efforts. No longer can the N.R.A. run rampant. The N.R.A.’s influence on the Missouri legislature is unmistakable.
I say enough needless gun deaths, enough massacres, enough N.R.A influence. Citizens must step forward and let their legislators know that sensible gun laws must be a part of the solution.