It shouldn’t feel normal, and it shouldn’t feel familiar when we hear about yet another horrific mass shooting.
We’ve seen the headlines so many times that we risk forgetting what they truly mean: loss, pain and unspeakable sadness. And we can never let the incessant bad news about gun violence lull us into a sense of helplessness and hopelessness.
We can and must do more to save more people – and Proposition 63 is part of that effort.
From 2004 to 2014, more than 1.1 million Americans were killed or seriously injured by guns, including more than 99,000 children and more than 100,000 Californians. More than 32,000 Americans are killed by guns each year.
We need to make a change. I sat in horror after the school shooting in Newtown, Conn., and thought: We have to take action now.
Then, more mass shootings, more lives lost. A father wished his daughter well as she headed back to the University of California, Santa Barbara, only to find out she had been shot and killed in front of her sorority.
A group of friends went out for a fun night at a club in Orlando that quickly turned into a nightmare. Most of the daily violence and tragedies don’t make the news, but each and every shooting has its own heartbreaking story.
Then, I heard something that struck me directly: We are all answerable, all of us. I began to ask myself what I could do, and what the American people could do, to get our government to change these laws and to save lives.
So I reached out to the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence and together we crafted Proposition 63, the Safety for All Act, on the November ballot.
Proposition 63 represents a historic and unprecedented chance for California voters to stand up to the National Rifle Association and bring about bold change.
The measure would ensure that people banned from owning guns do not possess them and require the reporting of lost and stolen guns. It would also require information sharing with our federal system on people prohibited from owning weapons, prohibit the possession of large-capacity military-style magazines and treat ammunition sales as gun sales – all to keep guns and ammo out of the wrong hands.
California has been leading for decades through the passage of smart gun laws, and we know for a fact that they work.
So let’s do more and save more lives. We are not innocent bystanders. Proposition 63 will reduce gun violence.
Gavin Newsom is lieutenant governor of California and chief proponent of Proposition 63. He wrote this viewpoint on behalf of the Yes on Prop. 63 campaign and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.