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Mass Shooting In Odessa, Texas

And yet another mass shooting that has thus far resulted in the deaths of 7 people. One remains in life-threatening condition. This is the 280th mass shooting this year, defined as 4 or more people wounded or killed.

Our kids are going back to school where they will practice what to do in an active shooter situation. We will ask our teachers to be prepared to put their lives on the line in such a situation to save our kids. Politicians will talk about “hardening” our schools, making them more like detention facilities than institutions of learning, providing a false sense of safety for parents while at the same time inflicting trauma and anxiety on our kids.

We will go about our lives each day feeling just a bit more vulnerable in public spaces—and for many, in their own homes where there is abuse happening. The death toll from suicide by gun will continue to rise and families will suffer their grief quietly, without the media attention that accompanies the catastrophic mass shooting events that happen somewhere in this country almost daily. 78% of gun deaths in Minnesota are suicide. That includes my best friend who died in 1991, may his memory be a blessing.

We are not impotent on this issue. There are things we can do to lower the risk, and therefore the frequency, of gun deaths and gun injuries that are an epidemic in this country. We do not lack the ability to do something. But our leaders lack the will. It is all political calculation, not political courage.

But the truth is that doing something about gun violence in this country does not require an act of political courage. Not when 90% of people support expanded background checks and other measures. It simply requires acting.

It’s time to #VoteThemOut.

Prepared and Paid for by Bonnie Westlin for MN Senate, 8926 Olive Ln N, Maple Grove, MN 55311 Phone: 612-500-8989
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