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Gun Safety – It Can Happen Anywhere…Anytime


Gun safety

It can happen anywhere, anytime, unless we do something

BY JUDY SHERRY

It was a beautiful, unseasonably warm Valentine’s Day in Kansas City. An estimated 500,000 people had come together to celebrate the Chiefs’ incredible overtime Super Bowl victory. I, along with thousands of others, was not at the parade but celebrating from home watching it all unfold. And then? Gunfire.

I watched in fear and horror as the crowd began running for their lives, and I realized another tragic mass shooting was about to be added to the long list of those that came before. Some would say we were lucky as there was just one fatality – a 44-year-old mother of two, a beloved member of the Hispanic community in our city. It was not so lucky for her family and loved ones. Twenty-two people were shot, including twelve children. They, along with countless others who witnessed the shootings and many others who ran for their lives, will remember the trauma and face lives forever changed. Their community is not the same; they have lost freedom.

In addition to being heartbroken, I am angry. “It couldn’t happen here,” I thought. But it did. It happened here because lax gun laws in our state make it easy to get access to a gun. Yet astonishingly, state lawmakers immediately offered up new lax laws, based on their mantra that ”a good guy with a gun”  can solve everything. But there were 800 “good guys” from various police departments in the area, and they could not stop two people from arguing, and then wildly shooting at each other and the crowd.

And so, we must ask WHY?

WHY is it now normal for people to bring an assault-style weapon to a celebratory rally? Why do people believe the only way to solve a dispute is with a gun? WHY are we told repeatedly that guns make us safer, though they do not?

And then we ask  WHEN?

When will the rights of non-gun owners and responsible gun owners be recognized? WHEN will our grandchildren feel safe at school, and no longer experience active shooter drills? When will we all feel safe at an outdoor rally or concert? When will we have common-ground gun laws that recognize that everyone who lives in this country deserves the right to feel safe from gun violence?

It will happen WHEN we speak up and make we make voices heard on behalf of our grandchildren and, all children. We must insist our elected officials heed the majority of Americans who support gun reform that requires universal background checks, “red flag” laws, and safe storage bills so that access to firearms is limited to those who have demonstrated they have the right to own a firearm.

That is what motivated Donna Wald and I to co-found Grandparents Uniting for Gun Safety, a digital network for individuals of all ages, across the country who want to advocate for gun violence prevention and gun safety legislation. By speaking together through this network, we amplify our voices to make a major impact. We are the largest voting bloc in the country, and our message to elected officials and candidates is that we Vote for Gun Safety.

Please visit our website https://grandparentsunitingforgunsafety.org/ and sign up to add your voice to ours!

Judy Sherry

About the author

Judy is an award-winning advertising professional with more than 40 years of business experience in the Kansas City community. Judy graduated from the University of Missouri and has lived in Kansas City since 1960. She and her husband have two children and four grandchildren.

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