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Action needed to end gun violence

Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims, families and friends of those affected by these horrific crimes. These sympathetic words have been sent to individuals in Pittsburgh, Las Vegas, Orlando, Blacksburg, Sandy Hook, Sutherland Springs, San Ysidro, Austin and Parkland, to name just a few. These unthinkable incidents have been carried out by individuals with some form of automatic weapons.

I don’t believe we will ever eliminate all fanatics, prejudices, bigotry, religious zealots, radicals or extremists. I do believe their numbers can be reduced by rational dialogue. But fully eliminated? No.

We blame the mental health of these individuals for their actions. So let us spend billions on mental health. Unfortunately, this is unrealistic. Mental health will remain a problem.

That now leaves me to the most unholy solution: banning all automatic or semi-automatic weapons for individuals. If these weapons were outlawed, shootings may still occur but with less deadly results.

Instead of words that disappear into the wind, we need to take action within our communities. Maybe, just maybe, we can start by supporting stronger background checks before we ban all automatic/semi-automatic weapons.

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