When Congress, which should represent the will of the people, refuses to act, then it is incumbent upon the states to step into the breach.
Congress has failed - for years - to enact even the simplest, common-sense legislation to protect Americans from escalating gun violence. Not even the slaughter of 20 first graders and six educators five years ago could budge a majority of Congress, though there is a glimmer of hope for some sort of action after the shooting deaths of 14 high school students and three educators in Parkland, Florida two weeks ago.
Governors of several forward-thinking states cannot - and should not - wait for Congress to act. Someone in leadership has to summon courage and take charge for the sake of public safety.
The governors of four Northeast states - Connecticut, New York, New Jersey and Rhode Island - announced Feb. 22 a new coalition called States for Gun Safety and were joined Monday by the governors of Delaware, Massachusetts and Puerto Rico. Together they represent more than 35 million Americans.
Through sharing information collected on law enforcement databases, the coalition intends to halt the flow of illegal out-of-state guns. As important as what the States for Gun Safety coalition will do, notice also what it will not do.
It will not enact tougher new gun legislation. Its task is to coordinate and better enforce what already exists. Even the most ardent Second Amendment advocates could not reasonably argue with enforcing existing regulations.
We encourage more states to join the coalition and further strengthen the network of sharing information.
In the absence of a strong political will in the majority of Congress, the states must do what they can to protect citizens.