Letter: We need to show courage for our children
Gun violence is the leading cause of death for children in our country.
This is happening everywhere throughout America and the statistics don’t account for all the destruction each death causes to family and friends. I recently read about a 6-year-old child who was on her school playground with her best friend when a gunman opened fire with his AK-15 assault weapon. The little girl survived but her best friend did not. The little friend who survived was so traumatized that she was unable to return to school for six years.
Assault weapons are weapons of war; their use should be restricted to the military. No weapons limitation will prevent all tragedies like those at Parkland, Sandy Hook, Buffalo, El Paso or Uvalde, but let us at least have the courage to try to prevent some of them. The assault weapon and large-capacity magazine ban was the law of the land from 1994 to 2004. Data shows that during that period there was a decrease in mass killings by weapons of war. Since the expiration of the ban, there has been a significant increase in mass killings with assault weapons, according to Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine.
The U.S. has, by far, more guns per capita than any nation in the world. Republicans say that the days after a gun tragedy is the wrong time to discuss weapons limitations. The problem is that there are so many such tragedies these days, there is no period of time between them.
We are starting to normalize these events. The reality is that they are to be expected because very few in leadership will confront this public health danger. Governors of Texas and Colorado have said an assault weapons ban would not work. They are wrong. Studies have consistently shown that nations with strong gun control laws have less gun violence than the U.S. with its lax gun laws. The Republican focus on mental health is a red herring. The only way we will significantly reduce the epidemic of gun violence is with strong national gun control.
We purport to be the land of the free and the brave. We are neither free nor brave if we refuse to protect our children.
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