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Voices / Letters from readers

Lawmakers, stop the bleeding by taking action against guns

Most sensible people realize that when someone is seriously wounded, you must stop the bleeding before dealing with the actual cause of the wound, or else the victim is likely to die.

As recently occurred in Florida, the blood of our children is being shed while we adults debate the causes and prevention strategies.

Improved background checks, competency and mental-health requirements, school-safety drills, family-unit revitalization, and spiritual renewal are all worth considering, but we’ve been studying this issue since Columbine without taking adequate, positive, preventative action.

(I have purposely excluded the idea of arming our teachers from my list because it’s too reckless and absurd. Even with training, that’s another step toward more tragedy.)

The problems are indeed complex, emotionally charged, and clearly difficult to solve.

While we try to develop long-term preventive solutions, we owe it to our children to at least take some immediate action.

One such action to reduce (but unfortunately not eliminate) future tragedy would be to ban assault weapons. The authors of the Second Amendment never envisioned a world with guns that could mow down a bunch of kids in seconds. Yes, there are other ways to kill people, but little compares to the sheer number of victims resulting from firing such weapons.

For the most part, we have a bunch of old, white men making and delaying decisions, and many of them are driven by money and political power.

I’m fortunate that in the autumn stages of my working life, I’ve have the privilege of working with our youth. Doing so has given me confidence that better decisions are about to be made and that this self-serving, power-driven, discriminatory era is about to end.

Our kids won’t stand for the nonsense that’s been going on for far too long. Our country critically needs fresh and diverse faces to step forward with strength and determination.

Our political process is no longer meeting our most important and basic needs, and it is sacrificing the lives of our children in the process. Banning assault weapons is not the cure, but it will certainly help stop the bleeding.

Please join me in actively supporting political candidates and organizations who are willing to take an unwavering position in this regard.

Michael Szostak

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Originally published in The Commons issue #449 (Wednesday, March 7, 2018). This story appeared on page E2.

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