Letter: Will our nation decide to prioritize children’s lives over guns? | SteamboatToday.com

Letter: Will our nation decide to prioritize children’s lives over guns?

Americans are sick of gun violence. They are also sick of the excuse that nothing will work. We know there are solutions because other countries have successfully implemented those solutions. Just look at Britain, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and Norway. Each of these had a culture of guns; all tightened restrictions anyway, and it worked.

In America, guns became the leading cause of death among children and teens in 2020, killing more people ages 1 to 19 in the U.S. than vehicle crashes, drugs overdoses or cancer. For decades, our leaders have failed to protect children — and a growing number of children are paying with their lives.

We continue to make gun violence a political issue rather than a public health one; it is our duty to change the public discourse around guns and focus on this as a public health issue. Gunshot wounds are the leading cause of premature death in the United States, killing 38,000 people and causing nearly 85,000 injuries each year. That’s more than 100 deaths and more than 230 wounded every day.

One of the main pillars of public health is prevention. These preventable deaths and injuries fuel researchers and advocates to produce actionable data to promote policies and programs that reduce violence, especially among at-risk communities.

As well, gun owners need to ask: 1) How many guns are too many? 2) How much ammunition is enough? 3) How do you get illegal guns off the street? 4) How do you get guns out of the hands of people with mental or emotional issues?

Gun owners, speak up. Don’t let the NRA do it for you because they don’t want anything to be done. The deaths of children at Sandy Hook and now in Uvalde should be enough to inspire action. Don’t kid yourselves, the gun manufacturing lobby and the NRA are only interested in the growing sales of all guns.

Your rights end where they infringe upon someone else’s right, which include the rights of children to have a full life. It’s time to protect kids, not guns. When did adults forget about making kids their number one priority?

It is way past time for adults in America to protect children, not guns. It is not unsolvable. Let’s get to work.

Nancy Spillane

Oak Creek

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