Who will gun violence strike next?

Ten dead in Boulder last week. Eight dead in Atlanta the week before: that shooting linked to misogyny and racism. Who does gun violence strike down next? Maybe you or someone you know? No one believes it can happen to them, until it does. Think for a moment of lives cut short. Think of the heartbreak dealt those whose loved ones no longer come home from school or work; whose child or parent or spouse no longer sits across from them at the supper table. Think of the maimings suffered by survivors. There have been 29 mass shootings with multiple deaths in the U.S. since 2019, more than 1 per month. Senseless shootings have become a staple, so many we have become inured to their evil. The culture of gun violence is alive and well. It is the victims who are dead, leaving their loved ones crushed by grief. And we do nothing.

Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Illinois, said this week that it is time to go beyond thoughts and prayers. It is time to pass stricter gun control laws. Gun violence is no longer an issue of public safety; it has become a crisis in public health. Time and again, gun politics has blocked even the most common sense gun control – what better example than the brutality in Boulder? Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa, the suspect in the Boulder mass killing, bought the assault style weapon he used only six days before the shooting. Enough is enough. One phone call, one email counts for hundreds of opinions to lawmakers. Contact your representative. Voice your outrage at the senseless loss perpetrated by gun violence. Here are ways to fight back:  

• Colorado Ceasefire is the premier gun safety advocacy group in the state. They are working to pass the Safe Storage of Firearms law before the Colorado General Assembly in 2021: coloradoceasefire.org , #endgunviolence.

• Gov. Jared Polis: 303-866-2471

• Sen. Michael Bennett www.bennet.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/write-to-michael

• Sen. John  Hickenlooper  www.hickenlooper.senate.gov/contact/contact-form/   

• And last, but not least, the representative who needs to hear it the most, Rep. Lauren Boebert  boebert.house .gov/contact or 970-317-6130 or 202-225-4761.    

Don’t wait for the next mass murder. Act now. Bring gun violence to an end. Thank you.

– john van becay, Aurora