If stronger gun laws are passed in the United States following an unthinkable list of tragedies, from Columbine to Blacksburg to Aurora to Newtown, it will be in large part because of support from people like Dave Hoover.
Hoover is a lifelong Republican. He grew up hunting, has owned firearms most of his life, and enjoys taking his daughter out shooting. "We've been given the right to own and bear arms," he told ThinkProgress.
"But," he followed up, "we also need to show that we are responsible in how we deal with the gun issue."
Gun violence is not an abstract concept to Hoover. On July 20, 2012, when James Holmes entered an Aurora theater minutes from Hoover's home and shot 70 people in a matter of minutes, one of those killed was his nephew, 18-year-old AJ Boik.
If anyone knows the awful reality of gun violence it's Dave Hoover. Watch him explain in 80 seconds why we need stronger gun laws:
It's hard to think of a position that's more mainstream than Hoover's. Universal background checks are supported by 91 percent of Americans and 92 percent of Republicans. One of the only groups that publicly opposes universal background checks are the NRA's lobbyists.
If Congress succeeds in passing universal background checks and other commonsense gun laws, it will be because it's not a polarizing issue, but one that's nearly universally supported.
Transcript below the fold:
HOOVER: We've had so many issues over the years, so many killings, and for us just to say we're not going to do anything is unacceptable, because we've been doing nothing up to this point. We've been given the right to own and bear arms, but we also need to show that we are responsible in how we deal with the gun issue. We need a framework to say that we need background checks on every individual that buys a gun. If you are a reasonable and responsible gun owner—as I am, and I've grown up hunting, shooting, my daughter, I take her out shooting—she's been taught that with the right comes responsibility. Nobody wants somebody to purchase a firearm that shouldn't have a firearm. And that includes sales that happen currently on the Internet, and private sales. It's just responsible. This is not something about [Republican and Democrat], this is about doing what's responsible and right for our communities and our country. If anybody can be prevented from getting that phone call that I got at 2:37am from my sister, it's worth it. You gotta stop this.