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Al Sharpton: What's really at stake in the gun control fight

COMMENTARYBy Reverend Al SharptonI want to introduce you to 2-year-old Ariyanna Prince.


By Reverend Al Sharpton

I want to introduce you to 2-year-old Ariyanna Prince. She's recovering after a bullet grazed her leg yesterday during a suspected drive-by shooting here in New York.

5-year-old Nizzel George was killed by a stray bullet on June 26 as he slept on his grandmother's couch in Minneapolis. One day later, 7-year-old Heaven Sutton was killed by a stray bullet as she sold candy with her mother in front of the family's home in Chicago.

And last Sunday, 4-year-old Lloyd Morgan Junior was killed by a stray bullet after watching a basketball tournament in a New York playground. I'll deliver his eulogy on Wednesday.

Those are some of the victims of gun violence in America. Each year, 10,000 people in America die from gun violence. 10,000 people. Year after year after year.

When did this become acceptable?

Earlier today, the suspect in the Colorado theater shooting was charged with 24 counts of murder and 116 counts of attempted murder. There's now some talk of new legislation. Two Democratic senators are pushing a bill to limit online sales of ammunitition. And a recent poll found that even gun owners favor some gun control.

82 percent support criminal background checks. 78 percent say concealed weapon permits shouldn't be given to those who've committed violent crimes. And 85 percent say gun rights should go hand in hand with public safety.

As we are burying babies—literally, children—caught in the crossfire of people who are reckless, and shameless, and have little value for human life, let us not continue to have the country in a crossfire of partisan brinkmanship that puts who wins the fight over the fact that the fight is for the preservation of the American people; and that our children can grow up and live productive lives.

This is what's at stake when we start burying adolescents.