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To the editor:
Following yet another mass shooting which took away the bright promise of three young lives at Michigan State University, we need to ask ourselves this question, which is more important, the lives of children or unfettered access to guns?
The facts of the Michigan State shooting are clear. The gunman, Anthony Dwayne McRae, age 43, had no apparent motive except that of exercising his second amendment right to legally purchase guns and murder his fellow human beings.
One of the victims, Amanda Verner, was described by Clawson Public Schools Superintendent Billy Shellenbarger as “everything you’d want a student to be.” Verner, a 2020 graduate of Clawson High School, excelled in academics, volleyball, basketball and softball.
McCrae, who legally purchased 2 9MM handguns and a large supply of ammunition, had a different record. In 2019, he was arrested for carrying a concealed weapon without a permit and the gun was seized. He was found guilty of a misdemeanor gun charge and given probation.
This brush with the law did not prevent him from legally purchasing several guns.
Like other mass shooters there were plenty of warning signs.
Police were called to his home when neighbors reported that he had fired a gun in the backyard, but nothing was done.
Michigan Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin put what is happening in this country in response to the murder of our children this way, “I would say you either care about protecting kids or you don’t.”
Parkland survivors have called the generic response of lawmakers to mass shootings of “thoughts and prayers” as “bull****.”
Truthfully, I don’t expect anything to be done to implement programs to prevent any whack job that wants a gun to purchase even military style hardware.
I gave up on our willingness to curb gun violence after Sandy Hook in 2012.
The bright smiles and innocent faces of the 20 children slaughtered that day stayed with me. How could anyone look at those children and go back to the business of protecting the multi-billion-dollar firearms industry? Well, the answer to that question is Congress.
Despite public approval for bans on assault weapons like the ones Adam Lanza used to blast his way into Sandy Hook Elementary School and even proposals for background checks our “do-nothing” Congress did nothing.
Legislators in Iowa and other states are busy passing Second Amendment Sanctuary Laws as if guns needed protection.
Republican legislators in Iowa want to make this happen.
That is, however, a moot point, as one third of Iowa counties including Ringgold, Decatur and Taylor have already become Second Amendment sanctuaries.
Where are our priorities–children or guns?
Mary Kathryn Gepner