Richmond Times-Dispatch

Stricter gun legislatio­n needed to save lives

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EDITOR, TIMES-DISPATCH:

It seems like every week there is a terrorist attack somewhere in the world. We have become desensitiz­ed to the bombs, hijacking and, more recently, mass shootings. It feels like a constant wave of words hitting again and again. Gun control should be more restrictiv­e in Richmond. As a senior in high school, I worry whether my school will be the site of the next mass shooting, such as the attack in 2012 on Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticu­t, where 20 children and six staff members were killed, or the 2018 attack at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida, where 17 people were killed.

Do we want Richmond be the site of the next mass shooting? This pattern needs to change. These deaths are not just statistics, they are lost lives and they all had a story of their own. I believe this issue should be on a ballot during an election. Everyonewh­o is of voting age should be able to voice an opinion about such an important issue. This way would be fairer. Democracy would be upheld.

Some people feel safer with guns to protect them. I understand that the Second Amendment gives citizens the right to bear arms, but this is becoming a public safety issue and that should be our No. 1 priority. Gun restrictio­ns can reduce the numbers for intimate partner violence as well as domestic violence. For example, in Virginia in 2015, 65% of all intimate partner homicidesw­ere committed with the use of a firearm. And almost two-thirds of gun deaths in the United States are suicides. Guns must be more restricted throughout the commonweal­th. How many lives must we lose before something is done?

HALLIE PERRY.

RICHMOND.

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