Letter: America has a gun problem; we need real gun safety laws

The following is a letter to the editor submitted to the newspaper by a reader. It does not necessarily reflect the views of the Echo Press. To submit a letter, send it to or Echo Press, P.O. Box 549, Alexandria, MN 56308.

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To the editor:

Another day another mass shooting in America. In 2021, there were 693 mass shootings. So far in 2022 there have been 246 mass shootings – 27 in schools. There are an estimated 393 million civilian-owned guns in the U.S. Guns are now the leading cause of death for children (The New England Journal of Medicine). Ten Minnesota hospital systems say gun deaths have reached epidemic levels. Gun violence is affecting the mental health of our children. After each mass shooting, politicians offer their thoughts and prayers and blame mental illness but refuse to address the prolific gun problem in America.

Due to the influence of the NRA and powerful gun lobby, one arm of Congress refuses to do anything to protect the public from mass shootings and weapons of war. Currently, there are at least four common-sense gun safety bills sitting in the U.S. Senate blocked by Republicans. The NRA and gun lobby use the Second Amendment to the Constitution passed in 1791 to justify non-regulation of guns. The founding fathers lived in a world of the musket which fired a single lead ball. In the 21st Century, we live in a world of the AR-15 with a 30-round magazine that fires bullets with such velocity they pulverize whatever they hit.

No civilian in the U.S. should be able to purchase/own an assault rifle meant only for military use. Our country needs real gun safety laws not just a Band-Aid to stop mass shootings in schools, churches, grocery stores, nightclubs, theaters and workplaces. Our precious irreplaceable children need protection not shooter drills. Politicians who protect guns over people for political gain need to be replaced.

Jan Duhnke
Alexandria, MN

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