Nobody wants more gun violence in our country. However, lack of action is threatening the American values of life and liberty.

Suicide, domestic violence, homicide, gang violence, accidents, and mass shootings are all too common. Firearm-related suicide attempt injuries are more common in states where gun ownership is higher. States with less strict gun regulations have the some of the highest overall gun death rates in the nation. The United States has the highest rate of gun-related deaths among wealthy nations. In addition to the cost of human life, medical treatment, criminal justice proceedings, new security precautions, and quality of life reductions are estimated to cost the American economy some $229 billion annually. A 1999 study showed that lifetime medical costs for all gun violence victims in the United States at the time was estimated at $2.3 billion, almost half of which was shouldered by taxpayers.

 Not surprisingly, continuing to offer nothing but thoughts and prayers or moments of silence after shootings has changed nothing. Let’s at least try something!

This is undeniably a public health and safety issue that requires intervention while still respecting the Second Amendment. Education, research, prevention, health care access, and legislation won’t prevent all gun violence, but they will help decrease it.

As a voter, a health-care provider, a parent, and a citizen, I cannot stand idly by while people across our country are dying from unnecessary gun violence. It is past time for common-sense gun reform.

» Guns at home should be stored properly and locked, separate from ammunition.

» Background checks should be expanded to include not only sales in stores but at gun shows and private sales as well.

» A waiting period before any purchase should be mandated.

» People with temporary domestic violence restraining orders should not be permitted to purchase or possess firearms.

» Bump stocks should be banned.

» All gun owners should be encouraged to take a safety course.

» The Centers for Disease Control and National Institutes of Health should receive funding to research gun violence in America.

» Mental health care should receive more funding.

Bridget L. Moss



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