'Help save us from the NRA'

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Once again we've had another mass shooting at a synagogue in California; the second synagogue shooting in six months.

Since the Columbine shooting 20 years ago Congress has hidden behind the NRA's excuses of mental illness, extremism, hate or some other aspect of American culture. It's never the guns. Beholden to NRA campaign funding nearly all of our lawmakers have lacked the courage to change gun laws at the national level; even letting an assault weapons ban expire.

America has seen 90 mass shootings so far in 2019 and the one common factor in all has been guns. America does not have a monopoly on mental illness, bigotry, hate or extremism that would explain the overwhelming mass shootings in our nation.

America has a gun problem. The U.S. has tons of guns. We have far more guns than any other country in the world. We have more civilian-owned guns than people. America has 120.5 firearms per 100 residents. The world's second ranked country, Yemen, has 52.8 guns per 100 residents.

Those bent on violence take advantage of our weak gun laws that allow ways around basic background checks to access easy to find firearms. We do not have more crime than other developed countries but we have more lethal violence because of the prevalence of guns. It is more likely in our country for someone in a fight or argument to pull out a gun and kill someone.

America's loose access to guns is the major reason we have more gun deaths than the rest of the developed world. When will the cowardice of our Congress end and those we elect save us from the NRA?

Jerry Hanson

Elkhorn

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