In the words of Kahlil Gibran, “Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars.” Those of us who have suddenly and tragically lost someone are changed forever. President Joe Biden comes to mind as a man of massive character. No one would wish tragedy on anyone. But the lack of character in Republican leadership makes one wonder if they even have souls.

Republicans continue their unapologetic defense of complete gun deregulation. In a press conference, Texas Department of Security (DPS) spokesperson said, “If I thought it would help, I’d apologize.” An apology would be a start. Apologies are crucial to the healing process and are the first step toward change. There’s a reason asking for forgiveness is a key step on certain religious holidays and Alcoholics Anonymous.

But okay, let the DPS skip their apology, if they act. A good start would be supporting federal gun safety. Current federal law prevents hunters from using more than three shells when hunting migratory game birds, doing more to protect birds than our children. In 1994 Biden and Feinstein secured the Federal Assault Weapons Ban, but it ended in 2004 under G.W. Bush due to a sunset provision Republicans forced into the law. Under that ban, in 2000 there were only three mass shootings. After the ban ended, by 2020, there were 40 mass shootings per year. In 2022, there have already been 248 mass shootings. We must reverse this trend.

This week, on the second anniversary of George Floyd’s murder, Biden fulfilled his campaign promise to strengthen public safety. Biden also made a promise to end the epidemic of gun violence with a comprehensive common-sense plan that includes bringing back the ban on assault weapons. We can’t rely on any Republicans to support gun safety laws. Even Liz Cheney who spoke out against GOP enabling white supremacy violence won’t support gun safety. So, we will have to rely on Democrats once again to solve this. Vote Democrat up and down the ballot in November.

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