LETTER TO THE EDITOR
Veterans care about gun violence in America
A dangerous man entered a nightclub and killed 49 people and wounded dozens more as last call approached. It was the deadliest mass shooting by a single gunman in the United States. In San Diego County in July 1984, 21 people were killed and 19 wounded at a fastfood restaurant. It was the second deadliest mass shooting by a single gunman in the United States. In January 2011, a man walked up to a supermarket parking lot and shot former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords through the head at point-blank range, and shot 16 others. There are many others.
This has become a national crisis. Mass killings and gun violence in our communities have reached epidemic proportions, and our communities have become battlegrounds.
Not too long ago, I wore a uniform and took an oath to protect our Constitution and the Second Amendment. As a combat experienced veteran, I am outraged how we as a country continue to allow military style assault weapons and high capacity magazines – designed to kill enemy combatants – to be purchased so easily at home. Sensible and comprehensive rules that address gun violence and protect the public are long overdue. We may not be able to save every person from every act of violence, but by enacting sensible measures, I know we can save many American lives.
To victims, families of victims, and survivors from Orlando, San Ysidro, Tucson, and the many others – I care. A vast majority of Americans support sensible public safety laws that prevent gun violence and promote responsible gun ownership. We must end loophole-ridden laws that allow known or suspected terrorists from easily obtaining military assault style weapons in America, and end the private sale ‘’loophole’’ for unlicensed sellers at gun shows.
Senators Diane Feinstein and Chris Murphy proposed laws that addressed the easy access dangerous people and terrorists have to military style assault weapons and high capacity magazines. According to the Governmental Accountability Office, known or suspected terrorists pass firearm-related background checks 91 percent of the time. Simply put, Senator Feinstein’s amendment would say to those on a terrorist watch list, you cannot buy a weapon in America.
I ask my fellow Veterans to be courageous, again be patriots, and protect America at home. I ask you to support reasonable rules for assault weapons and high capacity magazines to protect our communities. I recently joined former astronaut Mark Kelly and many other veterans at Americans for Responsible Solutions. We advocate for responsible gun ownership policies and measures to reduce gun violence in America. I encourage you to do the same. Visit us at www.americansforresponsiblesolutions.org.
John Herron is a former naval aviator.