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Letter Presses for Presidential Candidates to Be Asked About Gun Violence Plans at Debate

Common Dreams staff

(AFP Photo/Karen Bleier)

President Obama and Gov. Romney must be asked to present their plans to prevent gun deaths and injuries at the first presidential debate, says a letter released on Monday from the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.

The letter to debate moderator Jim Lehrer notes that the "debate will take place within 10 miles of two of the most deadly mass shootings in U.S. history: Columbine High School and the Aurora movie theater."

“There’s a dramatic disconnect between what the American people want and what our elected officials -- even our presidential candidates -- are doing about it. Our goal with this letter campaign is to lead the American people in closing this disconnect and in holding elected officials accountable. Until we do that, nothing will change. Once we do, everything will,” stated Brady Campaign President Dan Gross.

The letter is released the same day a gunman opened fire near Texas A & M University campus in College Station killing at least two.

Data from the Center for Responsive Politics show that the National Rifle Association has spent nearly a million dollars on 2012 federal elections.

The text of the letter is below.

* * *

Dear Jim:

As moderator of the first presidential debate in Denver Colorado, we respectfully request that you ask President Obama and Governor Romney to present their plans to address the issue of gun violence in our nation, because

  • The debate will take place within 10 miles of two of the most deadly mass shootings in U.S. history: Columbine High School and the Aurora movie theater.
  • Every day in our nation 32 more Americans are murdered with guns.
  • During the next presidential term, 48,000 more Americans will be murdered unless we do something about it.

Since the recent tragedies in Aurora, Colorado and Oak Creek, Wisconsin, a real national conversation has begun, bringing together Americans from across the nation and across the political spectrum, to call for real solutions -- solutions that recognize the Second Amendment right to bear arms -- solutions with the only goal of preventing gun violence.

It is time our presidential candidates listen to the American public, join the conversation, and provide us with their plans.

As a nation, we know WE ARE BETTER THAN THIS. It is time for those seeking our highest office to show that they know it too.

* * *

In July, the Brady Campaign's President, Dan Gross, appeared on The Colbert Report. He talked about the Colorado shooting tragedy, everyday gun violence, and the prospect of Second Amendment regulations.

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