Dear Greg Walden: Do Something About Gun Shootings!

Dear Rep. Walden,

I’m writing in hopes that you will listen to me and the vast majority of parents and concerned citizens who are increasingly desperate for common sense gun laws. I am one of your constituents and I would really like you to do something about this country’s problem with shootings in schools and other public places.

This is not a joke and not an exaggeration: I am TERRIFIED to send my children to school. After this, the 29th school shooting in the first 45 days of 2018 (that’s 65% of the days of the year that our children have been gunned down in school), I have great anxiety when I drop my two young children off at school. I watch my first grader walk through the school doors and disappear and very seriously wonder if I’ll ever see her alive again. I check to make sure the door to my 4-year old’s preschool is locked. I’m so glad I can’t get in. This means it would be hard for someone with a gun to get in. Of course, it could only take one shot to break the glass.

As I went to bed last night, I thought, maybe we should move out of this country. My government doesn’t care about me at all and our lives are in danger every time we leave the house. I should close the business I just worked so hard to open – a business which contributes to the economy of our community and employs two people besides myself – and go somewhere safe. Perhaps I could homeschool my kids. They wouldn’t get as good an education as they are at our excellent school here in Bend, but at least they’d have a chance to grow up.

This is not what I want to do. This should not be something I have to think about. My first grader, Olive, should not have to practice lock-down drills. My preschooler, Fern, who is ready to join her sister in elementary school in the fall, should not have to fear for her life at school. I should not be terrified to say goodbye to my children each morning.

It is your job – your moral responsibility – to do something about this. Bring up the conversation in Washington. Your thoughts and prayers are worthless.   Make policy changes toward common sense gun laws NOW. Here’s what I want to see:

  1. A complete ban on semi-automatic weapons. There is not need for them.
  2. Very thorough and tough background checks and mental health exams for anyone who wants to buy a gun of any kind.
  3. Mandatory, expensive insurance for gun owners.
  4. Mandatory, ongoing training for gun owners.
  5. Mandatory gun safes in homes that have guns.

The above policy changes don’t take away anyone’s ability to own a gun that they use for sport. If they are looking to kill a person, they shouldn’t have a gun at all. I know the NRA gives you a ton of money and I don’t have one red cent for you. But you were elected to represent me and the overwhelming majority of Americans who want common sense guns laws passed. Start representing or step aside so someone else can.

Elise J

Bend, Oregon

February 18, 2018