On Guns in America

The following remarks were given by Monica Atiya to a meeting of local and congressional leaders on how to best reduce gun violence in America.

We come together today days after yet another campus tragedy.

The Roseburg shooter was described as shy and lonely with very little going for him except a passion for guns. A young man reminiscent of the Sandy Hook shooter. That same week, the Flagstaff campus incident came on the very day that President Obama was visiting Oregon to privately comfort the families and community there. At times like these, we find it obvious that guns are the problem.At times like these, others find it equally obvious that guns are the solution.

In order to make progress, we can not continue to demonize either side. Gun sales go up when we demonize the other side. Only gun manufacturers benefit. The gun lobby relies upon, and profits from, keeping us apart, when, in reality, a majority of the American people, responsible gun owners and gun safety advocates alike, have the same goal: to keep our children, our communities and ourselves safe.

Some say rational debate is not possible on the issue of guns. Rational debate is not only possible, it is the only way to save the over 33,000 victims, the bystanders caught in the crossfire, the suicides by gun, the innocent students and school staff, whose lives are lost to gun violence each year in America.

Though we may never fully understand the mentally ill, we may never fully unravel sociopathy, we must and we will work together to ensure that gun safety is every rational American’s priority.

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