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Two weeks after a racist attack at a Buffalo grocery store that left 10 dead, the United States is now facing another mass shooting. Nineteen children and two adults were killed in Robb Elementary School's massacre, the second-deadliest school shooting after Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012. The shooters in Uvalde, Texas, and Buffalo, New York, were both 18 when they bought assault-style weapons used in the attacks - too young to purchase alcohol or cigarettes, but old enough to buy assault weapons.

Since the Columbine massacre in 1999 in which two teenagers killed a dozen students and one teacher, at least 185 children, educators, and others have been killed by gun violence at American schools, according to figures compiled by The Washington Post.

It is important to remember that this death toll is only a part of the tragedy caused by gun violence in our schools. Studies have examined the effects of school shootings on the health, education, and economic future of those who survive. Researchers have shown that children and educators who survive these tragedies carry psychological scars for a lifetime despite sometimes escaping physical harm. If you’re struggling to find the words to explain these events to your kids, here is a great resource from PBS that can help. The National Child Traumatic Stress Network also offers a lot of very helpful information in both Spanish and English.

Gun control issues ignite passionate debates whenever they are discussed in the United States. One side consists of Americans who own firearms and also cherish them. The right to bear arms is included in the US Constitution, specifically in the Second Amendment. On the other side is a large group of socially active Americans who believe that gun violence and reckless gun usage is of major proportions.

There is no argument that the level of gun violence in the US is far higher than other countries. In both Buffalo and Uvalde, gun violence was preventable, with devastating results for both children and adults. That’s why common-sense gun laws are needed now, both nationally and here in Minnesota. America has the highest per-person rate of gun ownership in the world. According to a post made by "The Economist" ” there is a research that was done in 2020 amidst the pandemic and social unrest, that 5M more guns were sold than otherwise would have been. Sensible gun laws will save lives because without it, it threatens our most fundamental human right; the right to life. It is possible to prevent gun violence and support the Second Amendment.

There is widespread support for gun control among Americans. Contact your legislators to express your support for sensible gun laws. The lives and mental health of our children depend on it. Without strong intervention, the number of those needlessly taken too soon will only increase.

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