Posted by: minnow | August 5, 2019

Dear Congress, NRA advocates, and Gun Owners,

I went to bed Saturday, August 3rd thinking about 20 people who lost their lives in El Paso, TX due to hate and the fact Congress refuses to pass sensible gun laws in this country. I woke Sunday morning, August 4th, to learn another 10 people lost their lives in Dayton, OH for the same reason.  29 DEAD in less that 24 hours and over 40 injured. Today, August 14, I came home to the news that a stand-off between police and a shooter has already injured 6 officers in Philadelphia and is on-going. We’ve seen 40 mass shootings in the past month alone, 62 people dead and hundreds injured not to mention more who have been traumatized. The Gun Violence Archives needs 11 pages of single line entries just to cover the number of separate mass shooting incidents since January 1, 2019.

Folks, we have a gun violence problem in the United States of America. We have a white nationalist terrorist problem. We have a domestic gun violence problem. And it’s past time to take these problems seriously. This should not be a state’s rights issue because the impact one state’s weak gun laws has on another state’s security is deadly–just ask the victims of last week’s shooting at the Gilroy Garlic Festival. And don’t try to suggest that more guns in the hands of more people would curb the violence. It took the police less than a minute from the first gun shot to take out the shooter in Dayton and still he killed at least 9 people and left 27 injured.

While the majority of Americans want sensible gun laws, Washington sends thoughts and prayers and little else. According to the Quinnipiac University Poll 63% of Americans support banning assault style weapons. 94% support background checks before people are allowed to purchase guns. 65% believe banning high capacity magazines would reduce gun violence. And, 58% believe it’s more important to control gun violence than protect gun rights. No doubt the protests which arose after the Stoneman Douglas shooting in Florida helped Democrats turn the House blue in 2018. But the Senate, thanks in large part to Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, has thus far blocked all gun safety legislation to come their way.

The next election is November 3, 2020–a little more than a year away. If you don’t already know, find out where your Representative stands on gun violence and vote accordingly. If your Republican Senator is up for re-election–like Montana’s Steve Daines, Kentucky’s Mitch McConnell, and South Carolina’s Lindsey Graham are–vote for whomever is going against him or her! We will get sensible gun laws in this country ONLY if Americans make their voices heard via the ballot box and those we elect stand up to the NRA, gun lobbies, and gun manufacturers!

It is time for the American people to demand Their Senators and Representatives address this problem. And on that note, several groups have outlined what they see as a sensible way to begin. We need a law at the federal level that demands–

  • A two-week waiting period in order to conduct a back ground check.
  • An assault style weapon ban.
  • A 10 round magazine limit.
  • An end to cranks and bump stocks.
  • NO private or gun show sales without the same wait period and back ground check as a store.
  • Licensing and registration for all weapons.
  • A domestic abuse ban.
  • A minimum age of 21 to purchase a fire arm.
  • Mandatory safety and firearm use classes that must be passed before you are legally allowed to fire a weapon.
  • And last but not least, mandatory child locks on gun storage lockers.

As a person from a red state, with a family history of hunting I am NOT OKAY with the status quo and you shouldn’t be either. Even if you are, or perhaps especially if you are, an avid hunter or someone who enjoys competitive shooting wise practice should be something you advocate for. If you bring a gun into your home to protect your family, it only stands to reason that you don’t want that weapon to be the cause of your son’s or daughter’s death or injury. And every hunter knows you don’t need a magazine to fire more than 10 rounds or your skills as a marksman need considerable improvement.

It’s time we look at the facts, and start talking solutions that don’t make more people feel less safe. We must at least try to decrease gun violence in our schools, at our shopping malls, and on our streets. I am willing to listen to alternatives if you sincerely believe the measures above are too punitive or unreasonable but I want you to consider the fact that personal vehicles didn’t suddenly disappear because society decided to put parameters around their use. And I’ll give you a fair warning, if refuse to even consider sensible gun regulations then don’t bother to comment. If your rhetoric indicates that you love your guns more than most people love their children, your comments will be deleted. And finally, if you send up thoughts and prayers every time a tragedy strikes but your votes and opinions don’t support your thoughts and prayers, then please, don’t bother sending them–blood red hypocrisy isn’t a good color on anyone.

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