I write this letter to urge everyone to vote in the upcoming election on Nov. 5.

It is imperative that Virginia Democrats gain control of the state legislature. Why? Every 10 hours someone in Virginia dies from a gunshot. These deaths are suicides, homicides, or accidental. According to the Virginia Department of Health, from 2005 to 2014, 5,532 people were non-fatally shot and treated in Virginia hospitals, at a total cost of more than $336 million. We’ve had more than our share of gun violence, the latest being the May 31 slaughter in Virginia Beach.

This is a public health crisis. And how does the Republican-controlled VA legislature respond to this crisis? By refusing to deal with it.

Despite the best efforts of Gov. Ralph Northam and the Democrats, the Republicans will not even consider a discussion. House Speaker Kirk Cox says, “gun violence needs more thorough study.” Really? Virginia doesn’t know enough about gun violence? Tell that to the VTech families, and the families of the VA Beach massacres.

“The Republicans in this state are totally controlled — I mean 100 percent controlled — by the National Rifle Association,” Senate Minority Leader Richard L. Saslaw stated on May 31. And he’s right.

Vote for the Democrats on the ballot in our area: Jennifer Lewis, Jennifer Kitchen, and Christian Worth for the House of Delegates; and Annette Hyde for state Senate. Do we want representatives to support the people, or do we want representatives whose only function in the Legislature is to do the NRA’s bidding?

Yvonne Marie Surette

Staunton

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