Thursday, March 28, 2013

To My Representatives: A Call for Action

I attended elementary school at Keeney Street School in Manchester, Connecticut. This school is still operating and if you were to visit, you'd find little difference between it and Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown. In my adult life, I've been a North Carolinian. When my children were in school, I volunteered to serve on a Safe Schools task force and as a result, I wrote a winning grant to launch a school violence prevention program in Orange County in the 1990s. This program has produced significant results, but it wasn't without controversy.

I mention this because I know the pressure to stop school shootings and violent incidents had reached a near fever pitch in North Carolina (and elsewhere). We all hoped that taking a community policing approach within the schools would be effective and to an extent, it has been. My point is WE ACTED. Wringing our hands and hoping it would go away was not an option. This was about protecting children.

With that said, our country is suffering from a devastating level of ongoing loss from gun violence on a daily basis. Losing more than 11,000 citizens every year is not a level of violent and preventable deaths that we can allow. We could never tolerate a foreign influence that delivered this kind of damage to our nation. The deaths from one year's gun violence exceeds those from The September 11th attacks and the wars that followed ... Combined. During the years since those attacks, we have lost more than 100,000 citizens to this insidious cause of death. This is a shameful failure of leadership and human compassion. How is it that this is not viewed as a threat to our national security?

I'm writing to you today to ask that you support legislation to regulate the ownership of deadly force - the possession of particular firearms and ammunition. The measures that make sense in our society are universal background checks, restrictions on high capacity magazines and a ban on the sale of military grade assault weapons.

I'm writing to you today to simply say that you represent me and these measures will be before you for a vote. I want you to support them. I will remember if you don't.

Thank you for your service. If I can be of service to you in supporting these legislative initiatives, please let me know.

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