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Letter: Are we valuing guns over life?

“Our baby wanted to be a lawyer, she wanted to make a difference,” Kimberly Rubio said about her daughter, Alexandra “Lexi” Aniyah Rubio, 10, one of the 21 victims of the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas. The Rubio family is bucking the notion that now is not the time for politics, “it is,” Ms. Rubio has said.

Data shows that mass shootings and firearm deaths are preventable. Gun reform works. We can reduce deaths by banning assault weapons and high-capacity magazines; improving the gun registry system with mandatory background checks, interviews, and 10-day waiting periods; raising the minimum age for gun ownership to 21; and enacting red flag laws in every state.

I’ve heard a lot of folks over the past few weeks say that gun reform doesn’t prevent criminals from getting their weapons, but in fact, in nearly 80% of all mass shootings that have occurred over the past 40 years, the weapons have been legally obtained. If we can make it harder for these individuals to access killing machines, shouldn’t we?

Our Founding Fathers wrote “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” Are we valuing guns over life? Shouldn’t our children be able to go to school, our citizens to the grocery store, movie theaters, places of worship, medical centers, or workplaces? We don’t have to continue to live in fear or shrug our shoulders and say there are no solutions. There are.

On June 11, our community will join the country in rallying for real reform. We will meet at the roundabout in Edwards, wear orange, and use our voices to advocate for change. This is the time. Let’s show the Rubio family that their daughter, her classmates and teachers made a difference in our country.

Hannah Ross, Eagle

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