Dear editor,

What’s the magic number that will soften the hearts and change the minds of our Washington leaders? Every day 100 Americans are killed by guns; hundreds more are injured. Americans own almost 400 million guns — more guns than people. Our gun violence homicide rates are 25 times higher than other high-income countries.

The Second Amendment guarantees we all have the right to bear arms. Our founding fathers couldn’t have predicted the availability of guns that fire multiple rounds, killing many people in short periods of time.

Loopholes in federal law enable people with felony convictions, domestic abusers and other prohibited people to buy guns without background checks. Current federal law does not require background checks by private sellers. 

Background checks are required for employment, volunteering and credit card applications and are supported by the majority of Americans, including gun owners. They should be required to purchase a firearm since evidence shows that background checks save lives. 

HR 8, which passed the House in February, would block prohibited people from buying guns by requiring background checks for all gun sales. But HR 8 has been blocked in the Senate by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. 

Many of us ask why.

As we’ve seen at a California festival, an El Paso Walmart and a Dayton nightclub, a gun in the wrong hands is devastating. Tell McConnell to put HR 8 up for a vote because background checks save lives. Give him a call. Send him a postcard. Ask him what the magic number is.

Judy Goddard


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