Gun violence has always been a part of my life. I had a friend shot and killed in high school and a cousin shot as a bystander to a drug deal gone wrong.
Others that I have known have been injured, and then there are the deaths by gun suicide. For this reason, after Parkland, I was inspired to start a Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America group here in rural mid-Missouri. I won’t say that the fight has been easy, but we are strong and will continue the fight until we end gun violence.
When Missouri decided to repeal its purchase permit law requiring background checks on every gun sale, our state experienced an up to 27 percent increase in our firearm homicide rate and a 16 percent increase in our firearm suicide rate, according to Everytown. The CDC reports that Missouri now has the fifth-highest firearm mortality rate in the nation.
I hope Missouri legislators are paying attention because this is a public health crisis that demands urgent action. No one law can stop all gun violence, but Senators Blunt and Hawley can help pass the bipartisan bill requiring background checks on all gun sales. In Missouri, we will continue to stand up against gun laws that will make us less safe.
We need our lawmakers to support common-sense gun laws that could prevent tragedies like the ones we’ve witnessed this week. We’ve had enough politics. It’s time for action.