END GUN VIOLENCE

The students in Parkland, Florida who have gone through a horrific experience have more heart, courage and common sense than our President and our Congress. They are asking us adults to end the kind of mass shooting that happened last week. They are asking us to help protect them by enacting gun control laws such as a nationwide ban on automatic assault weapons and mandatory universal background checks before anyone can purchase a gun.

I am humbled by these students and outraged by our President and Congressional leaders. Our “leaders” remain quiet, perhaps too beholden to donations to their campaigns by the National Rifle Association or too beholden to their base of avid gun supporters. In the face of the increase of these mass killings, why would any law-abiding gun owner be against a ban on assault weapons and universal background checks? These kind of laws would not stop them from hunting, target practice or owning a gun for protection.

Where is the discussion on a national level about what we can do to stop the killing? Our Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson, Representative Paul Ryan and Representative Mike Gallagher have, in my opinion, made woefully inadequate responses. According to opensecrets.org all three received money from the NRA over the 2016 election cycle.

Wisconsin Senator Tammy Baldwin has not been quiet. Throughout her first term in the US Senate she has pushed Washington to act and has voted multiple times to pass common sense legislation to end gun violence.

As I’m writing this, Florida teen shooting survivors have announced a March for Our Lives demonstration in Washington. Their call is for all of us, in a bipartisan way, to stand with them and to speak out and let our elected official know that we expect gun control measures to be enacted as soon as possible.

Glenna Peters
Sister Bay