Letter: I’m worried about gun violence for good reason

Gun Rights

Fear mongering over guns?

Yeah, we are afraid.

My daughter and her three children (our grandkids) were at the Fargo Street Fair in July 2023 when Mohamad Barakat (who had assault rifles, 1,800 rounds of ammunition and a grenade) opened fire, tragically killing Jake Wallin, wounding two other officers and woman in South Fargo. Police believe he may have been planning a mass shooting at the street fair. I shudder when I think of that.

Every day, we watch our children go to school to learn and grow. In the back of our minds, and maybe in the pit of our stomachs, many of us have at least a little worry about whether or not they’ll be coming home. After the mass school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, some parents had to identify their children by their tennis shoes because of the horrific damage done by the shooter’s military assault rifle and ammo.

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Two police officers and a firefighter shot and killed in Burnsville, Minnesota. A shooting at a Super Bowl parade. Mass shootings almost daily. Any time we’re in a crowd or at an event we might be scanning for exits and have at least have a little worry there could be shooting.

I’ve had some great times hunting pheasants, grouse, ducks and deer with my shotgun and rifle. I’ve shot trap and skeet, and have been to gun ranges. Some people have a gun for protection, although the statistics state that it’s many times more likely that a gun in the home will result in an accident or suicide than self defense. During my conceal and carry training, the instructors made it very clear that if you pull out a gun in a bad situation, unless you’re highly trained law enforcement or military, the odds of a good outcome are pretty low.

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Gun tragedies are usually the result of a series of steps, events and actions. The NRA and Republican Congress members they bought managed to repeal the military assault rifle ban. State legislators pass bills allowing special triggers (ND), bump stocks, devastating ammunition and large clips, open carry, gun dealers in residential neighborhoods (Fargo) and other steps while opposing background checks, age restrictions, red flag laws and other reasonable gun safety measures.

We can’t help those that believe that the Second Amendment means anyone can have any type, and as many guns they want. Former Supreme Court Justice Warren Burger called the gun lobby’s interpretation of the amendment the greatest fraud on the American people. We have always regulated guns in our country and our Founding Fathers would be rolling over in their graves if they saw the gun carnage and gun politics in America today.

Encourage your legislators and members of Congress to take action on reasonable gun safety laws, rather than continue to do nothing, and vote accordingly. Other countries have figured out how to allow guns for sport, protection, collecting and target shooting without creating the huge gun risks we face in the U.S.

So yeah, we are afraid. We’ll someday wonder how we let the gun industry, politicians and their supporters create a world where we need to worry about our children, neighbors and ourselves being gun victims on a daily basis.

David Stene lives by Pelican Lake, Minn.

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