Gun vi­o­lence not ‘a Red or Blue is­sue’

Stamford Advocate (Sunday) - - Opinion - Jackie Pi­oli is a Stam­ford Board of Ed­u­ca­tion can­di­date.

The unimag­in­able has be­come com­mon. Ac­cord­ing to the Cen­ters For Dis­ease Con­trol and Pre­ven­tion, ap­prox­i­mately 342 peo­ple are shot in Amer­ica. Of those, an av­er­age of 39 chil­dren and teens are shot and sur­vive, while eight do not. Of those eight, ap­prox­i­mately four meet their early end by mur­der. I would watch the news re­portage re­gard­ing the lat­est hor­ror, numb with out­rage and im­po­tent frus­tra­tion as time and again our elected lead­ers ab­di­cated all re­spon­si­bil­ity for ac­tion be­yond their thought­ful of­fer­ings of prayers for those af­fected.

The nu­mer­ous voices call­ing for im­ple­men­ta­tion of com­mon sense gun con­trol mea­sures seem ever over­pow­ered by the full-throated roar of the gun lobby. Thank­fully, while it may not seem like it, mo­men­tum to­ward more thought­ful and ef­fec­tive leg­is­la­tion is grow­ing on all sides of the po­lit­i­cal spec­trum. As a mother to two school aged chil­dren, this is­sue has al­ways tran­scended party af­fil­i­a­tion for me. We all have an in­ter­est in safe­guard­ing Amer­ica’s chil­dren and we all have a role. I im­plore ev­ery­one to be­come fa­mil­iar with the is­sue of gun vi­o­lence in Amer­ica, ed­u­cate your­selves and ev­ery­one in your cir­cles about the pro­posed reme­dies and the data that may sup­port or re­pu­di­ate them.

Did you know that ac­cord­ing to data com­piled by the Bu­reau of Al­co­hol, To­bacco and Firearms; “cor­rupt or ir­re­spon­si­ble gun deal­ers are THE lead­ing source of guns on the black mar­ket?” Did you know that although com­pre­hen­sive back­ground checks have proven ef­fec­tive at re­duc­ing the num­ber of gun crimes in a given area, un­li­censed gun sell­ers are still ex­empted from the Gun Con­trol Act of 1968 that man­dates all Fed­er­ally Li­censed gun sell­ers per­form back­ground checks be­fore com­plet­ing the sale of a firearm?

The mid-term elec­tions ap­proach­ing in Novem­ber are ab­so­lutely crit­i­cal. Ex­pand your knowl­edge base about this vi­tal is­sue and join me, and mil­lions of other Amer­i­cans who re­al­ize that gun vi­o­lence is not a Red or Blue is­sue, but an Amer­i­can one. Let us all cast our votes care­fully and elect lead­ers that will re­flect the over­whelm­ing will of the peo­ple and en­act com­mon sense, re­search based, life­sav­ing gun laws and in so do­ing, help make Amer­ica greater than it has ever been.

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