States need to act on guns

Ammunition for sale at a store in Maine (Beth Criado-Band/YJI)

Lewiston, Maine, U.S.A. – Here we go again. More people murdered by a white male shooter.

Why? Because of inaction. We have talked about this for far too long.

The March for Our Lives protests were just last year, and so many mass shootings have happened since then.

In November, Democrats won control of the House of Representatives and have passed a number of pieces of gun control legislation, but none has become law – Mitch McConnell and the Senate Republicans will not even give them a vote.

The only way to stop these senseless mass shootings is for people to get out and vote in record numbers for Democrats who will do something about gun violence.

I’m fed up with politicians who do nothing but offer “thoughts and prayers.” Praying will not stop a bullet from killing you.

Only gun control will solve this problem.

We know the policy solutions: ban all assault weapons, implement universal background checks, and pass red flag laws to take guns away from people who are a danger to themselves or others.

There is no reason to wait for Congress to act. State legislators can change laws now, and they should.

McConnell and President Donald Trump have made federal gun control legislation impossible until at least 2021, but governors and state legislatures can act sooner.

It should not take an act of mass murder to get politicians to do something about gun violence. Maine is one of the safest states in the country, but even here, people die needlessly every year from gun violence.

It is time to call upon our state legislators to act and pass gun control laws. Until they do, Americans will continue to die.

Sean Monteith is a Junior Reporter with Youth Journalism International.

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