“Senators say they fear the NRA and the gun lobby. But I think that fear must be nothing compared to the fear the first-graders in Sandy Hook Elementary School felt as their lives ended in a hail of bullets.” So writes Gabrielle Giffords in an op-ed piece for The New York Times responding to the Senate defeat of a bill to expand background checks. Giffords has a unique perspective about the national gun debate as a former representative from Arizona, a gun-friendly state, and as the victim of gun violence who was shot two years ago at point-blank range.

Her op-ed piece is passionate, powerful and thought-provoking, and it should be required reading for all adult Americans.

Nancy Winetrout Schenck

Winthrop