Stacey Abrams’ response to the President’s State of the Union address picked up on at least two issues he neglected to mention, but which I care about — gun violence and climate change.
A border wall will not address either of these problems. About half of gun deaths are suicides. Often these are lone events, but sometimes after killings, sometimes of family members. White men are mainly responsible. Mass killings have happened in many states. It is a national problem as well as one that states must address. What is clear is states with better gun laws have fewer gun deaths, according to the Giffords Law Center’s Gun Law Scorecard.
The president should have addressed climate change as well. We have many examples of the effects. Rising ocean levels threaten all coastal areas as well as islands such as Puerto Rico. Extreme drought and fierce winds caused terrible destruction in California. In Iowa we are seeing extreme weather this winter. In my 32 years in Cedar Rapids I have never seen bad weather this prolonged. I‘ve seen lots of snow, ice and subzero temperatures, but usually it lets up for a thaw. I have lived in Sioux City and Burlington as a child and then a teen, but even there ferocious weather took a break.
Climate change is not only national, but global. The U.S. should not have pulled out of the Paris Climate Accord.