by David Safier
At a press conference held this morning in front of the Safeway where Gabby Giffords and others were shot on January 8, four survivors of the shooting, Arkadi Gerney from the Center for American Progress and State Senator Olivia Cajero-Bedford spoke about the need for comprehensive, universal background checks.
The speakers focused on a just-released Center for American Progress report, America Under the Gun, a 50-state analysis of gun violence that concludes states with the weakest gun laws have the highest level of gun violence.
Unfortunately, my pen decided not to work (Damn these new-fangled ink-stick gizmos!), so I didn’t get many notes. But the sad fact is, though the speakers were eloquent and moving, events like this have become so frequent and so necessary, most of us have heard what was said many times before, spoken with equal eloquence and emotion, yet we still find ourselves faced with too many gutless politicians who refuse to take a strong stand for lowering the incidence of gun violence while condemning those who are too frightened of the NRA to endorse even the kind of background check legislation 90% of Americans agree with.
A few quick stats: The 10 states with the weakest gun laws have twice the rate of gun violence as the 10 states with the strongest gun laws. Arizona has 4 times as many gun stores as it has post offices, or McDonalds. Arizona is number 4 in the nation for the level of gun violence.
More photos from the press conference below the fold.