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OpinionEditorial

Amid the gun massacres, thoughts and prayers — and no action to save lives

Odessa High School students and families remember their

Odessa High School students and families remember their 15 year-old classmate Leilah Hernandez Monday Sept. 2, 2019 in Odessa, Texas. Leilah Hernandez, 15, was the youngest victim in the shooting spree that claimed multiple lives on Saturday. Photo Credit: AP/Ronald W. Erdrich

Dear Constituent,

As our nation grieves the West Texas shootings, I want you to know I grieve with you and send my thoughts and prayers to the good people of Midland and Odessa.

Aug. 31, 2019: A gunman kills seven people and wounds 22 in West Texas.

I am shocked and appalled at this individual's actions. This senseless violence has no place in America.

Aug. 4, 2019: A gunman in body armor kills nine people in Dayton, Ohio — one day after another gunman kills 22 people in El Paso, Texas.

I know that polls show that the vast majority of you support stronger gun controls. About 90 percent want expanded background checks for gun buyers. Around 75 percent support red flag laws to identify dangerous people so they can be stopped from buying guns, and favor voluntary buyback programs to let gun owners sell firearms to the government. Two-thirds support limiting how much ammunition you can buy and banning high-capacity ammunition clips. And 62 percent support a ban on assault weapons. But let's not be hasty.

May 31, 2019: A public employee guns down 12 people in a government office building in Virginia Beach, Virginia.

Let's not be like Walmart, which decided Tuesday to stop selling handguns and some ammunition and to stop letting customers openly carry firearms in its stores. Walmart has had two incidents recently in which 24 people were killed, true, but those would have happened even if the ban had been in place. 

Feb. 15, 2019: An angry employee who'd just been fired by an Aurora, Illinois, manufacturing plant shoots five co-workers to death.

I am concerned about any abridgment of our Second Amendment rights. Taking guns from law-abiding citizens will do nothing to stop these attacks. Better we first enforce the laws already on the books.

Nov. 7, 2018: An ex-Marine kills 12 people at a country music bar in Thousand Oaks, California, less than two weeks after a gunman kills 11 worshippers at a synagogue in Pittsburgh.

It's not guns that are killing our fellow Americans. It's people. That's why we need better mental health treatment for those who are suffering.

June 28, 2018: A gunman kills five employees at a newspaper in Annapolis, Maryland.

And let's not rush to judgment about so-called assault weapons, just because the AR-15 or a model similar to it was used in the slaughters in West Texas, Parkland, Las Vegas, Orlando, Pittsburgh, Sandy Hook and San Bernardino, among others .

May 18, 2018: A 17-year-old student shoots to death eight students and two teachers at a high school in Sante Fe, Texas; three months earlier, a former student kills 17 students and staff members at a Parkland, Florida, high school.

I agree with President Donald Trump that we need to something meaningful to stop this scourge, and I'm counting on his leadership and that of our wonderful Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell. We're working very hard to examine all the possibilities. You can count on us.

Sincerely,

Your Republican U.S. senator

cc: Wayne LaPierre, NRA

— The editorial board

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