Last weekend we watched in horror, confronted by the now all too common grief, as the news came out that six students had been killed in a senseless massacre. The TV anchors rattled off the names we know so well: “Columbine,” “Virginia Tech,” “Sandy Hook.”
Last weekend, we added “Isla Vista.”
These events, while tragic and horrific, are hardly isolated. Last year we lost more than 11, 000 people – men, women and children – to gun violence.
Last night a “gun ownership rights” group gathered in front of my family’s auto dealership. They stood on the edge of Route 1 holding signs reading “Beyer Beware,” urging customers to boycott the business.
I respect their right to protest, but I am simply not going to back down.
I realize that most politicians stay silent on this issue – the reach of the gun lobby and the NRA is broad and and it is unreasonably powerful. When I ran for Governor of Virginia, the NRA made me a target. They sent Charlton Heston to campaign against me because they didn’t like the fact that I had helped pass legislation prohibiting an individual from buying more than one handgun per month.That’s one handgun per month.
I didn’t win that race, but I am running again and I will not stay silent.
This is too important – I refuse to let another day go by without doing my utmost to stop this from happening.
Enough is enough, and I hope you’ll stand with me.