The shocking violence committed against LGBT Americans in Orlando this weekend has horrified us all. This weekend’s attack on the Pulse nightclub brought together the combined threats of terrorism, gun violence, and bigotry our nation faces today.
Here in Colorado, we took action after the Aurora theater shootings to reduce the threat of gun violence. In 2013 we tightened background checks, limited gun magazine capacity, and made it harder for dangerous domestic violence offenders to have guns. Our state’s painful history of mass murder has forced us to take the lead in finding solutions to gun violence.
No law has perfect compliance. Outlawing murder, sadly, has not prevented all murder. Criminals by definition are lawbreakers. But in Colorado, we know that our gun laws have saved lives. In 2015 alone, over 7,700 criminals attempting to buy guns in Colorado were stopped by universal background checks--including 22 arrested or convicted of homicide, 17 for kidnapping, and 130 for sexual assault. In addition, 251 fugitives attempting to buy a gun were arrested on site.  We know that a pause to reload a semiautomatic weapon saves lives in mass shootings. And we know that protecting victims of violence from more violence is the right thing to do.
The lesson of Orlando is that these problems are all related. It's important to stand up and make our voices heard: It is time for the nation to follow Colorado’s model on gun safety.