Enough is enough

Editor, Gettysburg Times,

Gun Violence is our public health crisis. Why does it continue? What can be done?

Is it easy access to weapons of war? Self-defense concerns? Fear? Protecting “our rights” ? Preparing for insurrection? Imagine January 6th with AR-15s.

Gun violence is the leading cause of death among children, teens, and young adults under the age 25. In Pennsylvania, 978 die from gun suicides and 572 from gun homicides yearly. AR-15s (purchased legally, and in two cases by 18-year-olds) were used in mass shootings in Uvalde, Buffalo, Tulsa, Boulder, Orlando, Parkland, Las Vegas, Aurora, Sandy Hook, Waffle House, San Bernardino, Odessa, Poway Synagogue, Southerland Springs, and Tree of Life. States with the lowest gun deaths have stricter gun laws including purchasing license requirements and Red Flag laws. States with highest gun deaths have no-permit carry and stand your ground laws. Pennsylvania ranks 27th in the US for gun violence.

The Second Amendment does not give people the right to arm themselves with any type of weapon that exists. The machine gun ban and ban on assault weapons in 1994 decreased shootings by 43%, which increased by 243% when not renewed.

Presently although, a majority of Americans support universal background check screening to prevent gun purchases for those not allowed. It has not passed nationally. Is it the constituents or the gun lobby?

Given the terrible carnage and grief from gun violence past and present, if we value life we have to say enough is enough. We must demand our legislators pass laws to protect lives, not weak compromises to say they “did something”. We need universal background checks on every gun sold; minimum age 21 years for purchase; waiting period after purchase; licensing; strict rules for safe storage; reporting of lost or stolen guns; consequence for straw purchases; repeal of liability shields for gun manufacturers; a head for the ATF; more mental health services; “Red Flag” laws; and lastly, a BAN ON ASSAULT WEAPONS AND HIGH-CAPACITY MAGAZINES. In Uvalde, DNA had to be used to identify some of the children due to what the AR-15 shots had done to their bodies. Imagine that being your child.

Loretta Dostal,

Gettysburg

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