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Letter: It's time to do something about shootings

To the editor,

How many more mornings will I have to wake up to news of gun violence?

Fifty-plus concert-goers shot in Las Vegas, four killed in northern California, nine dead in a church in Charleston, 49 murdered in a nightclub in Orlando, 26 slaughtered in a school in Connecticut—the list of deaths from gun violence goes on. The location and number of victims change, yet policies stay the same.

I am tired of hearing staggering numbers and details of mass shootings in this country. People talk about it and change their Facebook photos for a few days, and then move on, as if gun violence will not impact their life or the health of the public.

Research published in The American Journal of Medicine in March 2016 found that Americans are 10 times more likely to be killed by guns than individuals in other countries. Additionally, gun homicide rates are 25.2 percent higher in the U.S. than in any other developed country, according to the World Health Organization.

So why hasn't anything been done to change these statistics? In order to protect yourself, loved ones and the general public, change must be made. Start contacting (calling, writing, tweeting at, whatever your preference) your representatives demanding legislation changes. Push for the ban of assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. Advocate for universal background checks before buying a gun.

A January 2017 research study published in Annals of Internal Medicine, found that 22 percent of guns were obtained without background checks, through loopholes and in states that do not regulate private firearm sales. Insist on limits to the number of gun purchases that one individual can make.

These are all modest and manageable steps that can result in a meaningful difference. We can see that mass shootings can happen anywhere, at any time. No one is immune.

Stephanie Swanson

Washington, D.C.

formerly of Grand Forks

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