scene that occurred in Minnesota State Fair Saturday night last September was very popular. Shots rang out. Crowds are heading towards the nearest exit. Chaos escalated into panic and fear.
The menacing mass shooting is bad enough, the horror has only been mitigated by the mass shooting that is taking place.
Daniel Skripka and I know the pain of gun violence firsthand. I was shot in the head while meeting with constituents in Tucson in 2011. I’ve spent the last 12 years relearning how to walk and talk. Daniel’s two sons, born here in Minnesota, survived the Walmart shooting in El Paso, Texas, in 2019 when 23 people were killed and 23 were injured.
Not only was this tragedy in El Paso heartbreaking, it could have been avoided. Weeks before the shooting, the gunman’s mother called the police and expressed concern about her son having an “AK” weapon.
Nineteen States There are currently ERPO laws, which allow law enforcement or family members to petition a court to temporarily remove access to weapons from someone who poses a danger to themselves or others. Texas and Minnesota are not among them.
ERPO, also known as red flag law, uses due process to temporarily retain any weapons an individual may own, and to prevent them from purchasing firearms for the duration of the order. It is not a violation of Second Amendment rights or an unreasonable search/seizure. It’s a commonsense tool that’s already been used to prevent mass shootings and gun suicides in red and blue states across the country.
Most mass shooters show warning signs. FBI Stady It found that the average shooter displayed four to five “observable and troubling behaviors” prior to their attacks. People who intend to commit suicide often show observable warning signs.
Although only guns are used in 5% of suicide attemptsIt is responsible for more than half of all suicides. Removing a gun from a person in acute crisis might very well save their life.
Daniel and I have a gun. After the Sandy Hook shooting in 2012, I founded an organization, GIFFORDS, to advocate for safer gun laws. But we also believe in the Second Amendment right to bear arms, which is why we organize gun owners who believe that rights come with responsibilities.
Gun owners like Daniel, a former member of the military and sworn law enforcement officer, who has held a gun permit in Minnesota for more than a decade. Daniel joined Minnesota State Gun owners for safety Because he understands that enacting common sense gun laws will keep us safe. Rights come with responsibilities.
Responsible gun owners know that these responsibilities include commonsense gun safety laws. Because people should be able to go to the Minnesota State Fair without fear of gunfire and stampedes.
The solution is clear. Minnesota needs to legislate maximum risk protective orders, which is a policy Powered by 76% of the population, and closed the dangerous loopholes that currently allow people who buy guns in unlicensed private sales to do so without undergoing a background check. These policy changes will not prevent every gun suicide, nor are they safe against all mass shootings. But they would be huge steps in the right direction.
For us, this is personal. And given that nearly every American will know a victim of gun violence in their lifetime, this is personal to all of us.
Gabby Giffords is a former US actress, gun violence survivor and founder Giffords, Gun Owners for Safety. Daniel Skripka is a member of the Minnesota chapter of Eden Prairie.