This post is in reaction to the mass shooting at an Oregon college and the TWO shootings that occurred TODAY in colleges. Recent comments made by a particular Presidential candidate have my head reeling and wanting to scream from the roof top “This man is a moron!” What can we do? What can I do? I can write. So I drafted the letter below and sent it to my state and federal representatives. It’s a step. Those of us who identify themselves as “moderate” need to make our voices heard nice and loud and get some changes made. Feel free to copy and personalize for your experiences and location. Together we can make a difference.
Dear Governor, Senator, Representative,
My name is Kristine and I am a life long resident of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. I am a wife, mother, daughter, sister, aunt, friend, volunteer and I am fed up with these mass shootings in public places. Fortunately, my daughter’s school has not been affected YET, but I know I could get a district wide call any day. There is no more thinking “This can’t happen in my neighborhood or school.” This most certainly can happen in our school district. It can happen anywhere.
I am stunned that lawmakers cannot agree on fair, comprehensive state and federal laws regarding the purchasing and ownership of guns. I thought for sure after the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School there would be massive change. It is mind boggling to realize that absolutely nothing has changed.
Some recent comments from elected officials and hopefuls that more guns are the answer or that victims can rush their attacker has proven drastically wrong again. Today, Friday, October 9th, 2015 there were two more reports of multiple people being shot at colleges. The one in Arizona looks like it started out as a fight between fraternities. NRA wants and encourages lawmakers to allow open carry everywhere. An 18 year old student had a gun on him and he chose to fire the gun as a way to end this meaningless dispute between two groups. 18 years old. He took the life of another human being. How does one recover from that? His future plans are now dashed. Instead his foreseeable future will most likely involve lawyers, prison cells and appearances in court. Not to mention having to face his surviving victims and the family of the individual whose life he ended. Does the NRA offer counseling or tips on how to hand a criminal shooting afterwards? No, they will be nowhere to be found.
I am one person, but I am taking a stand and asking you to support common sense legislation that should include the following measures:
- A mandatory, comprehensive, federal background check law for gun purchasers. If someone has been convicted of a gun-related offense it would show up in the check and that person should be denied a purchase.
- Federal background checks must be made mandatory for sales between private individuals or at gun shows. I have a feeling that many of the perpetrators of these mass shootings did not purchase all of their weapons at their local gun shop. I am sure many of the purchases were made privately.
- The CDC, Center for Disease Control, must be allowed to track and study the affects of gun deaths. This is a health issue. I bet if there were formal research and reports being made a trend would be seen in the types of situations the use of a gun would be prominent.
- Gun stores need to be made accountable to show the number of weapons they sell each year as well as who they sell to. There are lists for people who buy cars, tools, appliances, electronics, etc. Retailers have records of how much product they sell and where that product gets sold. Guns are a product and should be regulated the same way.Daniel Webster, a public health expert at Johns Hopkins University, notes that in 1999, the government listed the gun stores that had sold the most weapons later linked to crimes. The gun store at the top of the list was so embarrassed that it voluntarily took measures to reduce its use by criminals — and the rate at which new guns from the store were diverted to crime dropped 77 percent. But in 2003, Congress barred the government from publishing such information. Why on earth should that information not be shared? This retailer did a good thing and improved the way he ran his business and it had a major impact on local crime. This is a good thing.
- There should be a 10-year prohibition on possessing guns for anyone convicted of domestic violence, assault or similar offenses.
We do not need another debate about this topic. We need real answers and real results. I did not vote the NRA into office I voted you. If you cannot support new gun legislation then I will be looking for a new candidate when it is time for you to run for office again.