The majority of the American people are good folks, having normal reactions to gun violence. Republicans and Democrats alike are shocked and saddened by the senseless death of 19 children and two teachers slaughtered at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas.
The same people were heartbroken about the needless killings in a Buffalo grocery store, the bloodshed in Parkland, Fla., in 2018 the slaughter in Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in New York, gun deaths at a theater in Aurora, Colo., in 2012 and the tragic murders at Sandy Hook Elementary School and the massacre in Columbine, Colo., in 1999. All these crimes were each committed with a gun — an automatic weapon. Armed shooter drills should not be the new normal! Change must happen. End gun violence!
Since I started this letter, 10 shootings occurred over the past weekend.
At least 80% of the American people believe in stricter gun laws. Our representatives should do something about it. “We the people” believe in background checks and a waiting period before anyone can purchase a gun. We want to close the gun show loophole and don’t think it wise that an 18-year-old should be allowed to buy a gun. Most think that no one should be authorized to buy an AR-15, a military weapon designed to kill. Such a weapon causes the heart or other body parts to explode. Children in Uvalde could not be identified because their bodies were slaughtered. Open caskets and viewing of the young bodies are hardly possible.
A supermajority of Americans wants an end to gun violence. Yet Congress is unable or unwilling to pass reasonable legislation. There is bipartisan support for background checks but 31% of Republicans support banning the AR-15.
Why doesn’t Congress represent the people’s desire? Money. Money and power. The NRA controls the Republican Party and Majority Leader of the Senate, Mitch McConnell, will not allow debate on restrictive gun laws. The GOP has its supporters brainwashed. They repeat trite and false soundbites such as: “Guns don’t kill people. People do.” Or, “They want to violate your Second Amendment rights.” “They want to take away your freedom.” That is nonsense!
This is not about your freedom! This is about each individual’s right to live. Republicans say they believe in the right to life. Apparently, they only believe that an embryo has rights. That is hypocritical. The Declaration of Independence states that everyone should have the right to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” The presence of so many guns is a threat to life and happiness — especially for the many families affected by tragic and untimely death.
Guns kill people! Assault weapons pulverize their victims. It is called a shooting because a gun is used to shoot to kill. This is not a fistfight or even a knifing. Innocent people are murdered when there is a shooting. Many more are killed when a semi-automatic weapon is used.
Don’t blame the need for better access to mental health. It is the permissive gun laws that allow a deranged person to kill and the Republican party, which continues to block real solutions, is complicit.
— Donna Lawson/Vallejo