|"I respect and believe in the Second Amendment." - Noyadon't. You're a lyin' PIG.|
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Nathaniel Rateliff: We can own guns, respect the Second Amendment and save lives
I grew up in rural Missouri in a small town where hunting was a way of life. For my family, it was our way of making sure we had enough to eat. Guns have always been in my life for necessity and for sport, and I still own guns today.
The shooting at Columbine High School occurred not long after I moved to Colorado. I was deeply troubled and heartbroken then. Today, I question how we’ve evolved to accept gun violence as simply the reality of living in America.
I respect and believe in the Second Amendment. I know we can hold that belief while we take reasonable legislative steps to save lives. Colorado Gun Owners for Safety, an initiative of former U.S. Rep. Gabby Giffords who was shot during a campaign event in Arizona, is with me on that. We are committed to supporting reasonable regulations that recognize liberty as well as ensure the safety of all Coloradans.
An Extreme Risk Protection Order House Bill 1177 has now passed both the House and the Senate in Colorado. It would enable law enforcement officials to remove guns from a person who a judge determines is a threat to themselves or others. Shooters often display warning signs before committing violent acts. An ERPO law would empower family members and law enforcement officers to act before a tragedy occurs.
Through my foundation The Marigold Project, I organized Not One More, a rally and day of action to find solutions to gun violence. I am inspired by our student activists. We heard from Olivia Caudill, 11 years old, begging us to do something to keep students safe. Ian Gaskins looked around the crowd and asked why people are acceptable casualties “in a game of personal freedom.” Olivia Gardner moderated a panel, organized her fellow students and quietly made the day function. Now my understanding of the issue is vastly different from what it was, and now I know the reality of gun violence in America today.
Statistically, it is unlikely that a mass shooting will happen at a school. Is that what you tell your child as they’re leaving for school? Is that helpful information to share with our students who have been repeatedly traumatized with active shooter drills while their friends plead for them to be quiet so a gunman won’t be able to find them?
There are people who cannot walk in their own neighborhoods without fear. A Coloradan dies by suicide by gun every 16 hours. Guns turn domestic abuse into murder. Our right to have quick, easy access to guns should not supersede our right to be alive.
There are legislative fixes and reasonable steps that we can put in place to keep us safe. I am tired of innocent lives being lost. We know the solutions. Coloradans, we’re in this together. We should be able to go to school, church, a movie, or a concert without wondering if we’ll make it home. Let’s stop the needless violence and let’s take care of our community.
Nathaniel Rateliff is a musician and founder of The Marigold Project.
LIBERTY HAS NO EXPIRATION DATEDemocrats wouldn't buy a clue if it was government subsidized.
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