Letter: When will it be my turn? Your turn?
It was my turn to scroll to the news feed that popped up on my phone regarding a mass shooting near Chicago on July 4. It was my turn to hold my breath while trying to figure out if this happened where my daughter and her family were going to watch their parade just outside of Chicago.
It was my turn. It was my turn to scroll to the news feed that popped up on my phone regarding a mass shooting near Chicago on July 4. It was my turn to hold my breath while trying to figure out if this happened where my daughter and her family were going to watch their parade just outside of Chicago. It could’ve been my turn to learn that my family had been hurt or killed. It could have been my turn to try and “live” with trauma and unbearable loss. But it wasn’t.
Instead, I got a call from my daughter – they were OK. The shootings were 20 minutes north of where she lives. Their parade was canceled. They were shaken and very sad, but safe.
In 2021, a man in Buffalo, Minn., opened fire in a clinic. He killed a nurse and injured several others. It could’ve been my turn after that incident too, as my middle daughter and her family live there. Again, I held my breath, made some calls, and learned that my family was safe. They weren’t at the clinic that morning.
Gun violence happens everywhere and spares no one. We are all potentially in the line of fire. There are steps we can take to prevent these tragedies, including eliminating access to high-powered automatic and semi-automatic weapons and high-capacity magazines.
According to “Everytown for Gun Safety:”
● Research shows states can reduce gun violence by limiting access to assault weapons and high-capacity magazines.
● States with restrictions have less than half the rate of mass shootings.
● Mass shooting deaths were 70% less likely with federal prohibition on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines.
● Laws restricting magazine capacity were the strongest predictor of a state’s rate of mass shootings.
● Survivors suffer serious mental health issues such as PTSD, anxiety and depression
● People watching from far away can experience increased fear of crime, victimization and uncertainty about their safety
Some say a ban on assault rifles represents an infringement on freedom, but there’s more than one "freedom" in question here. Shannon Watts (Moms Demand Action) sums this up when she says, "Having unfettered access to 400 million guns isn’t freedom. Being able to take your kid to a Fourth of July parade without getting slaughtered is freedom.”
When will it be my turn? When will it be your turn?