Indiana gun control measures would save lives across the state

Francesca Jarosz Brady, Jennifer Mann Osborne, and. Al

Dear Indiana Legislators,

Guns and a culture of gun violence pose a significant threat to the well-being of our families. They present a public health crisis.

We believe that you care about our concerns as your constituents and that you take your job of representing us as public servants seriously. We also know that you are well placed to do something about this avoidable risk, which is why we are contacting you to ask for your help.

In 2020, guns killed more children under the age of 19 than car crashes for the first time in more than half a century. In 2021, there were 42 school shootings, one every four days during the 180-day school year. And there have been at least 24 acts of gun-related violence in K-12 schools this year, including the most recent that claimed the lives of 19 people in Uvalde, Texas. This follows a mass shooting in Buffalo, New York that killed 10 people, was followed by shootings at a July 4 parade in neighboring Illinois and a shooting that recently killed three people in Greenwood Park Mall.

After:‘Senseless killings’: Police release new details of Greenwood Park Mall shooting

After:Greenwood Park Mall shooting victims commemorated at town vigil

We know there will be countless discussions about what would have happened if the 22-year-old who killed the shooter at Greenwood Park Mall hadn’t been able to carry a gun, but that’s a distraction. of this disturbing reality: a 20-year-old who could not legally drink alcohol carried an assault rifle and 100 rounds into a public space with the intention of committing mass murder.

If that very fact doesn’t make us question our culture and norms around guns and gun violence, what will?

For us, adopting basic gun control measures, including universal background checks and a state-level ban on assault-type weapons, would help advance a pro-life culture more than anything in the world. during this special session. It would make our children and our communities safer. It would save lives.

We believe that the common-sense restrictions that have proven effective in preventing gun-related deaths, which are now the leading cause of death among young people, are a necessary response to a vast human tragedy.

Ta-Kisha Jones pets Lulu a therapy dog ​​during a memorial service at the Greenwood City Amphitheater Friday, July 22, 2022, days after a gunman opened fire at nearby Greenwood Park Mall .

A 26-year-old study published in 2019 showed that universal background checks were associated with a 15% decrease in homicide rates in the United States. firearm homicide rate. And a report of handguns recovered from Chicago crimes showed a large majority were owned by adults who didn’t originally purchase the gun, with 60% coming from different states, including Indiana. .

After:An armed bystander shot and killed the suspect in the Greenwood Mall shooting. Did he break the law?

After:IndyStar Named Pulitzer Prize Finalist for Series of Red Flag Laws Investigations. Read it here.

Consider that in the Uvalde and Buffalo shootings, 18-year-olds, who cannot legally rent a car or buy alcohol and tobacco products, purchased several semi-automatic rifles and hundreds of cartridges – legally.

We know you might be skeptical that gun control will make a difference. And to be sure, our country also faces crises of mental health, isolation, and online misinformation that need to be addressed. We also fight the political division and apathy that is fueled whenever horrific events occur without any concrete action. But we have to keep trying.

In May, days before the Uvalde shooting, three of our 4-year-olds sang Jack Hartmann’s “America to Me” at a school performance. The lyrics remind us of the version of America we want our children to know:

Green and green forests

Have great schools

Vote for President

Red, white and blue

play in my neighborhood

believe in dreams

Oh, that’s America to me.

We have to ask ourselves what kind of America are we going to pass on to our children?

The answer depends in part on whether the policies we advocate align with the values ​​we share.

We are counting on you to help us.

Francesca Jarosz Brady, Indianapolis

Jennifer Mann OsborneCarmel

Kristin Hughes Srour, Indianapolis

Sarah Sullivan, Indianapolis

Jill VanderwallCarmel

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