Are We Any Safer Today?

January 8, 2011, a “Congress on Your Corner” meeting was held at a Safeway parking lot in Tucson, Arizona where U.S. Representative Gabby Giffords and 18 other people were shot. To this day gun safety advocates push for increased restrictions on the sale of firearms and ammunition, not to take away people’s guns but to have some commonsense regulations for gun owners.

Five people died on the scene that day 10 years ago, including 9 year old Christina-Taylor Green dead on arrival at the hospital. February 28, 2011, a section of the CDO in Tucson was renamed to CaƱada del Oro Christina-Taylor Green Memorial River Park. The memorial park includes botanical trails, a bronze statue surrounded by a butterfly garden and shaded seating plaza. Walkers, bicyclists and other users of the Tucson “loop” can enjoy the desert garden which celebrates this young girl’s spirit and love of butterflies.

Commonsense gun reform is about saving lives from gun violence in America. Requiring criminal background checks for gun purchases, conducting gun violence research and regulating semi-automatic assault weapons is what Gabby Giffords PAC work is about and supports Republican and Democratic candidates who focus on these issues. We do not need any more mass shootings or gun violence anywhere. The gun violence crisis is here and action is needed by our political leaders now. Responsible solutions are needed, not just “thoughts and prayers” when we hear of our next shooting someplace in America. Address the issue: prevent gun violence. Whether you are a NRA member or not, there are responsible legislative actions to support. Americans can be pro-gun rights and pro-gun violence prevention, so let’s get on with being responsible and safe. Ask yourself and your representatives, all of them, where they stand on the issue!

Five Years Later; In Remembrance.

John Green unveiling a plaque for all to remember his daughter and why this green space is important for us all.

I do not remember where I was 5 years ago when I heard about a shooting at a Tucson Safeway store. I heard people were gathered outside there to listen to Gabby Giffords speak, this young girl: Christina-Taylor Green was one individual in attendance. Gabby was severely injured, Christina-Taylor was killed and many other spectators were part of the horrific moment.

Now five years later there is a section of the Tucson bike path with an area, and future cacti garden, to commemorate Christina-Taylor’s memory. Her father, John Green, spoke about his family’s use of the recreational areas nearby and their use of the bike path. The family has plans to continue developing a couple of acres of land here with everyone’s financial support.

The bicycling group I was with the day of this presentation did bike ride to attend this plaque unveiling and rode to the Safeway store where flowers were present. It’s unfortunate we in the USA are still amidst such gun violence, but I have hopes we will always remember those we have lost and work toward a safer USA.