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Letter: We are all complicit in gun violence

To the editor, Friends, acquaintances, people I do not know, who recent days have felt moved to approach me out of the blue at the gas pump or grocery store, wherever. Do not ask me to commiserate and wring my hands over the latest mass shooting ...

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To the editor,

Friends, acquaintances, people I do not know, who recent days have felt moved to approach me out of the blue at the gas pump or grocery store, wherever.

Do not ask me to commiserate and wring my hands over the latest mass shooting in this country.

Do not ask me to join the chorus of "How dreadful," "How awful," "How can this happen in America?"

Do not ask me to pray for the victims.

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Do not ask me to observe a moment of silence, nor reflect upon the flag at half-mast.

Americans have made their choice: Guns and money-and if ever "filthy lucre" was applicable, it applies to the NRA and those legislators whom it either intimidates or buys off. Guns and money trump God, conscience, common sense, and we are evidently content that they do so.

I am part of an America so dysfunctional that a minority who believe personal arsenals are necessities dictates to the majority.

I am part of an America where more American citizens have been killed by guns since 1968 than in all U.S. wars combined, (data courtesy of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention).

I am part of an America where, in the 477 plus days since the last "deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history" (The Pulse Nightclub, Orlando, Fla., 2016), 521 mass shootings have occurred (mass shootings involve four or more people injured or killed at the same time and place; data courtesy of the Gun Violence Archive.) The same day as Las Vegas, 80 other people in America died from gun violence.

I am part of an America that allows gun lobbies to fund what is nothing less than out and out domestic terrorism in the name of a misunderstood, cherry-picked Second Amendment, and then tells citizens to ignore these ongoing slaughters of the innocents in the name of "not politicizing," "now is not the time," "honoring the dead."

So, go to it America. You've won. Happy shooting. I am complicit. We are all complicit. Until we take our courage in hand, own up to what is happening to our nation and find the will, regardless of any political affiliation, to change this plague of our own making, all that is left to us is hypocrisy. And the dead.

Elizabeth S. Ferguson

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Grand Forks

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