Yesterday, I offered our region's condolences to the Aurora community. As residents of a city in which everyone knows someone who knows someone, we St. Louisans can easily imagine the ripples of a tragedy that touched 70 or so innocent victims. We mourn with their families the lives of mothers, fathers, siblings, and children.
Today, I want to return to issues I have mentioned on this blog before: there are too many guns in our country; too many of the wrong sorts of guns; not enough checks on who buys and stockpiles them.
The US and state constitutions ' and laws subsequently enacted at the requests of the gun lobbies ' limit what cities can do on their own. Keeping more guns out of the hands of the wrong people ' criminals ' will have to be a federal mandate. I would support a national system of background checks, mandatory waits, and a total ban on assault weapons.
I cannot do these things. No mayor in America - many of whom agree with me - can. Nor can St. Louisans sick at heart over Aurora and the gun violence that wracks some of our own neighborhoods almost nightly. But, federal elected officials can. In August, we begin the process of electing a full delegation to the United States House of Representatives and a United States Senator. We will cast our primary and general election votes for a variety of reasons, but a candidate's stance on the proliferation of guns should be an important one.