How to respond when someone says “more guns save lives”

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In the middle of watching Sunday football and doing the week’s laundry on November 5th, my phone pinged with a Tweet. Then another. And another. Something was trending. Before I could check to see what was setting Twitter ablaze, the local news broke through the game and announced that there had been a mass shooting. Another one.

This time, the tragedy hit close to home for me. Impacting the small Texas town of Sutherland Springs, this mass shooting that claimed the lives of 26 individuals — ranging from ages 17 months to 77 years — is now the deadliest in Texas history.

Once the world learned about this tragic shooting at the hands of homegrown terrorist Devin Patrick Kelley, the token gun reform debate started up.

Discussions on gun reform are being met with admonishment for “politicizing the tragedy,” with arguments that gun reform threatens the Second Amendment, and with cynicism claiming that, by criminalizing firearms, we are ensuring that only criminals have access to them. Conservative politicians have long been soft on calling for gun reform, and most have answered this tragedy by offering their thoughts and prayers — instead of actionable changes.

But if there ever was a time to come forward to take a stance against this national epidemic, it would be now.

During a press conference today in South Korea, President Trump had his chance to take action. When asked by NBC’s Ali Vitali if he would apply his demand for increased vetting for immigration to gun purchases, the president quickly shot down any possibility of increased firearm regulations.