Editor’s note: Roxanna Green lost her 9-year-old daughter, Christina, after she was shot and killed during a constituent meeting with Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in Tucson, Arizona, on January 8, 2011. She is the author of “As Good As She Imagined: The Redeeming Story of the Angel of Tucson, Christina-Taylor Green” and an advocate for ending gun violence in the United States.
It’s been almost two years since my child was murdered during the Tucson shooting, and I still miss her every day.
My heart aches for the families of Newtown and what they are suffering through now. The loss of innocent life is tragic regardless of whether it happens outside a grocery store in Tucson, in a movie theater in Colorado, a shopping mall in Oregon or a house of worship in Wisconsin.
But there is something so horribly crushing about the death of a child, and so our country’s soul is once again in tatters following the murder of 26 people -- including 20 young children -- at Sandy Hook Elementary School on Friday.
My 9-year-old daughter, Christina-Taylor Green, was shot and killed in a Safeway parking lot. Christina-Taylor had gone to meet her hero, Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, that day. She was a sweet little girl who loved butterflies, politics and playing baseball with the boys in Little League.
Like the children of Sandy Hook, Christina-Taylor’s life was cut short -- her hopes and dreams dashed in a hail of gunfire. She was beautiful and smart and so eager to better the world around her. She had unlimited potential, and I sometimes find myself wondering if she would have grown up to be the first female president or maybe the first female major league baseball player. I’ll never know, and instead I only have the memories of her sweet smile to cherish.
Mothers and fathers across Newtown, Connecticut, will soon lay their children to rest -- something that no parent should ever have to do. Although time does heal, a parent’s heart remains forever broken.
That’s why I know that we must do everything we can to ensure that others never have to suffer through similar travesties.
We must demand action from our leaders that will finally begin to put an end to the senseless bloodshed across the nation.
We must demand a plan.
If we continue to simply observe a moment of silence and move on, 34 Americans will keep being murdered, on average, with guns every day. That’s 48,000 men, women, and children who will be buried during President Obama’s next term in office if he doesn’t act.
It’s time that the president and our elected officials in Washington tell us what concrete steps they will take to address the epidemic of gun violence in our country. This is a national crisis and they must act accordingly by passing commonsense legislation that will help save lives.
Requiring something as simple as a criminal background check for all gun purchases can help prevent dangerous people from getting their hands on firearms. This is something that 82% of gun owners, including myself and my husband, support.
Right now, 40% of gun sales in the United States go through without a background check under federal law.
We should also limit the number of military-style weapons with high-capacity magazines that are out on our streets. Their sole purpose is to kill scores of people as rapidly as possible, as was the case in Tucson.
These are sensible reforms that can begin to stem the tide of carnage in this country.
We can no longer afford to sit idly by and do nothing as our loved ones are slaughtered with guns. When it is no longer safe to go to the movies, a shopping mall, or a supermarket -- when it is no longer safe to send our children to elementary school -- we need to act.