To the editor:

Yesterday (Aug. 7), I joined hundreds of Minnesotans on the steps of our State Capitol.

As the flags waved at half-staff above us in remembrance of the lives lost to gun violence last weekend, I thought about the missed birthdays, weddings, graduations, and anniversaries. The parents who wouldn’t get another hug from their child. The spouse who wouldn’t get to hold hands with their loved one again. I thought of my son, Gus, who is the same age as the Sandy Hook students who should be starting 7th grade alongside him.

We cannot let gun violence take another life from us. We cannot let another senseless tragedy take place in our communities. We cannot sit back and do nothing.

It’s time we pass common-sense gun violence prevention measures into law.

As someone who served 24 years in the military, I know that assault weapons don’t belong in the streets of our neighborhoods. As a lifelong sportsman and avid hunter, I know that these laws to reduce senseless violence do nothing to infringe on the rights of responsible gun owners.

So to the Senate Majority: Why are we waiting for next legislative session? Let’s hold a hearing and vote on red flag laws and universal background checks this week.

Here’s the pen. I’m ready to sign it into law.

Let’s get this done.

Gov. Tim Walz

St. Paul, MN