Skip navigation

Dr. Cornel West Calls for Immediate Action to End America’s Gun Violence Epidemic, Decries Specious “Thoughts and Prayers,” and Calls on Lawmakers to Stand With Victims and Stand Up to the Gun Lobby


Thursday, October 26, 2023
Cornel West for President


How many more families and loved ones have to receive the most impossible message that informs them that a precious and valuable life was lost to the epidemic of gun violence? Another community has been changed forever, and Lewiston, Maine, a college town of less than 50,000 people, is the latest to be added to a growing list of communities subjected to the carnage of gun violence.

As a Christian and man of deep faith I, of course, offer the Lewiston community my heartfelt and genuine thoughts and prayers. But as a human being, a resident of this nation, and a candidate for President of the United States I know this is simply not enough and picayune for the victims of this nation’s unique, dogged, and deadly gun violence epidemic. We must do more than acknowledging all victims of gun violence with specious rhetoric and ephemeral symbolic gestures. We must honor them, the lives they lived, and the life that was pillaged from them with decisive and immediate action.

I am thankful that we have examples of what this can and must look like as demonstrated by the brilliant sister, New York Attorney General, Tish James, whose lawsuit against the National Rifle Association is poised to deliver justice and comeuppance to a toxic entity that too often acts as a form of inertia for the necessary initiatives to dismantle our nation’s gun violence epidemic. And I know we need to do much, much more collectively to emancipate our nation from gun violence atrocities. We must also not allow the gun lobby and their purchased lawmakers to reduce these incidents to mental health issues and stigmatize myriad precious people navigating these challenges, in a nation whose health care system is as anemic as its system for confronting gun violence, and demand more sanity from our lawmakers on this issue.

While I understand that many hold the 2nd Amendment to be sacred, I also understand and believe with my full heart that no document, no amendment, no policy is as sacred as precious lives and the need to preserve them through common sense laws that reduce and eventually eradicate this social disease of gun violence making us all sick to our stomachs and very souls. That’s why my Policy Pillars for Truth, Justice and Love call for an end to the gun violence epidemic and includes provisions that would enact a national gun registry database for all civilians, establish, at minimum,  similar requirements for gun ownership that we have for driver licenses, and commence a National Red Flag law that expedites gun confiscations and ownership denials for individuals who pose a danger to themselves and communities.

To be clear, no policy will ever bring back the lives taken from us and our communities. Yet, doing nothing is not an option - our lawmakers must respond to the question, “If not now, when,” everyday, which is the closest way we can honor the victims, their families, their loved ones, and their communities.

Annahita and I will pray that the souls of those taken be embraced by and find eternal sanctuary with our mutual God, and we will equally pray for our lawmakers and our nation to wake up and get to the people’s work of deracinating the gun violence epidemic from the fabric of our nation. 

-- END --

Continue Reading

Read More