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March 25, 2021 · OPINION

Common-sense gun laws would save lives

By Kirsten King
Warrenton

This letter is written from my heart, which is breaking for all the families of the people murdered in Atlanta and Boulder. I am saddened that our leaders continue to only worry about themselves and staying in office instead of doing what is needed and right by taking actions that could help prevent — or at least lessen — these incidents of senseless killing due to lax gun laws.

Yes, folks indoctrinated by the NRA are screaming that others want to take away their Second Amendment rights. Those words are just hollow, self-serving and false.

Why is legislation such as nationwide background checks for both commercial and private sales so onerous to some people? If you’re purchasing a gun for legitimate purposes, why does this pose such a problem? What is so terrible about filling out some paperwork or having to wait a few extra days to complete the purchase?

I’m not against hunting or any other legitimate reason to own/use a gun; those activities make sense. But someone who is not legally eligible to own a gun being able to buy a gun on a whim or owning a military-type weapon due to the lack of a national policy is insane.

Here are a few facts to consider:

• Americans own approximately 270 million guns, more than any other country in the world.

• Gun-related incidents are now the third leading cause of death among children.

• All of the U.S. mass shootings from Florida to Pittsburgh to Nevada to Georgia to Colorado to California and beyond involved AR-15 style semi-automatic weapons.

• Americans own nearly half (46 percent) of the estimated number of citizen-owned guns worldwide.

In addition, no other country in the world experiences mass shootings over and over again.

I know this is just one letter written by someone concerned about public safety and, more importantly, so very sorry for the ongoing loss of life due to guns ending up in the wrong hands. I hope others will join me in demanding changes in gun safety legislation to protect us all and, most importantly, our loved ones.

The renewal of the assault weapon ban and imposing nationwide universal background checks and waiting periods would be an excellent start.
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