Thank you for publishing “Gun deaths are a public health crisis” by Randy Ihara in your Jan. 17 issue. Ihara rightly points out the serious public health crisis facing our country when it comes to gun violence. The voters spoke in November 2019 when they overwhelmingly elected a gun sense majority that is committed to ensuring public safety.

A poll by the Wason Center for Public Policy at Christopher Newport University shows that Virginia voters strongly support improving our gun laws. Eighty-six percent of voters strongly support requiring background checks on all gun sales. I applaud our state Senate for already passing legislation guaranteeing criminal background checks for every gun sale.

According to data we obtained from the state, from 2007 to 2016, we’ve lost 142 lives to suicide with a firearm in Loudoun County. The most common method of suicide in our community is a gun. Nearly half (about 48%) of all suicides in our community use a firearm. An Extreme Risk Protection Order (ERPO) law would give family members and law enforcement a tool to use to save lives.

Seventy-three percent of voters support extreme ERPO laws, which allow law enforcement and family members to petition for removal of firearms when someone is at risk of harming themselves or others.

ERPO laws have already saved lives and have held up in court in the 17 states that have passed them. We hope our legislature will pass a strong ERPO law that includes family members and caregivers.

Our children and communities deserve better, and we at Moms Demand Action in Loudoun County are committed to electing and supporting local, state and federal level legislators who will vote for safer communities and commonsense gun reform. Our movement includes mothers and many others – including fathers, grandparents, other family members, and gun owners – who simply want commonsense gun reforms. You can get involved by texting READY to 64433.

Ami Miller

Purcellville

(27) comments

amerigirl

Ace, they are constantly putting things on cars to make them safer, that started long ago with seat belts. Try to find a comparison that makes sense.

amerigirl

JKE, you can blame it on bad parenting for some of the cases. There is not one single factor and all the factors need to be addresses. But this nonsense of don't blame the gun, blame the person is stale. The person should not have been allowed to have a gun in the first place in many of those situations. But I guess you call them Law abiding citizens and think they should.

ace10

Do you blame the car when the drunk driver kills two people by crashing into the back of a another car that is stopped at a red light? Do you blame the mobile device when a distracted driver crosses over into oncoming traffic and kills another person?

amerigirl

ace, again, stupid question. red flag laws would remove guns from people who are a danger, Laws will remove vehicles from those who should not drive, and they are currently working on a law about handheld devices. It is about people obeying laws and making everyone safer.

ace10

Good grief. you can't answer the questions. There are laws on the books which make murder, rape, arson, child abuse, robbery, and yet people still commit the crimes, how on earth is that possible?

amerigirl

ace10, Of course there are laws that are broken, there will always be criminals. The laws make it possible to take those criminals off the streets and make the public safer.

ace10

If one were desiring to find prime examples of what "astroturfing" is, then look no further than here and the other letter referenced. You will see emotional appeals, fuzzy statistics, and emphatic claims that this is a "grassroots" movement. It is not. Full stop. Mike Bloomberg has bought and paid for it. And he doesn't care about your safety or anyone else's. This is all about HIS agenda and he is using his money to manipulate people into pushing it forward. If he cared about mental health or distracted/impaired driving, then that is what these letters would be focused on. And those two incredibly important issues really do impact the people of Loudoun and the rest of Virginia.

amerigirl

I doubt anyone is looking for that definition, sounds like you learned a new word. The stats are in black and white and in the site if you take the time, like I did to look them up, if you don’t take the time, they would seem fuzzy. There is no, absolutely no, mention of this being a "grassroots" movement except from you. But statically the latest NBC News-Wall Street Journal survey finds that 89 percent of Americans favor expanded background checks for gun purchasers; 76 percent support "red flag" laws to identify dangerous persons and deny them guns, and 75 percent favor a voluntary buyback program in which the government would purchase firearms from current owners. Sixty-two percent of Americans favor a ban on the sale of semi-automatic weapons. That’s a majority, that is the will of the people. That also has nothing to do with Bloomberg, the guy all you fascist like to blame everything on. For that reason, that is not what this letter is based on. He also covers mental illness in his approach to red flag laws. You spout off about things like they are facts when you have not even bothered to look at the facts.

ace10

Reading comprehension fail, per usual. The letter writer SPECIFICALLY STATES THE FOLLOWING: "Our movement includes mothers and many others – including fathers, grandparents, other family members, and gun owners – who simply want commonsense gun reforms." MDA isn't a grassroots movement. This is pure "Astroturf." And they're they are trying to obscure who is backing them and what their true intentions are. Bloomberg, then money behind this letter, would like nothing better than to eliminate the 2nd Amendment. And you lying about that fact won't change it.

Pete

Gun Control is not the answer, breaking the cycle in poor areas thru comprehensive wholistic efforts to provide good educations, jobs and economic opportunities is. Most importantly, however, is changing the Democratic social engineered polices, practices and laws that got us here in the first place, and DE-INCENTIVIZE poor single motherhood in order to put the family unit back together with a father role model present. This they do instead of analyzing the facts and concentrating efforts to break the cycle of violence in urban area poor communities (mostly run by Democrats) and working to eliminate and change the underlying systemic issues (democratic social engineering polices, practices and laws) that contribute to the inordinate amount of murder committed by young black males against other young black males. National trends clearly show who is killing who, who is killing where. Young Black males in poor communities. Yet politicians want more gun control of law-abiding citizens, when neither guns, or even crime is the leading cause of death by a long shot compared to other causes. Except if you are a young black male in a poor community. Almost all their efforts focus on law abiding citizens, who have yet to commit a crime, instead of focusing on criminal use of firearms, who, of their very name. DO NOT obey any laws. LBJ’s Great Society Act incentivized young poor single motherhood, promising govt aid if she was not married to the father of the children. This led to the decline and breakdown of the family and the absence of fathers and other responsible adult male role models, which had , and still is having, a devastating effect on the youth of the poor communities ( in addition to substandard education and lack of jobs or economic opportunity). Many black conservative figures consider this to be the number one problem affecting black America today.

amerigirl

Gun control is helpful, anything that helps save lives is not bad. I agree it would be nice to break the cycle. But the rich want their tax dollars going to their neighborhoods.

ace10

If there was a law which forced auto manufacturers to install speed limiters in all cars which kept traffic at or below 22 mph, lives would be saved. So I guess you're right, anything that saves lies in not bad. Right? duh.

ace10

What's the plan to stop someone who is intent on killing themselves from using another means? Will you take away their vehicle? The knives in their kitchens? Revoke their right to purchase rope, chemicals and pharmaceuticals? Ban them from bridges and tall buildings? How do you prevent them from renting a firearm from the operators of a firing range? Are you going to put a tattoo on their forehead so that law enforcement knows not to shoot them during a dangerous interaction? Put a GPS transmitter on their ankle so the authorities know when they approach train tracks? These are serious questions. Let's hear the answers.

amerigirl

If they are that intent that they would do anything possible, probably nothing. If someone is depressed and knows that a gun to the brain of heart will be fast and they wouldn’t live long enough to feel pain, there is a good chance it would deter them. Ace, you went a little overboard with your explanations. Maybe you could tone it down and ask for opinions instead of demanding answers.

ace10

So, instead of demanding action on mental health, the letter's author goes after firearms? That's exactly like blaming cars for drunk driving.

amerigirl

I guess you didn't read the article very well. She advocates for red flag laws and background checks that would take guns from mentally ill people or not allow them to have them in the first place. Exactly where does she come after firearms? She doesn’t she comes after the current policy of gun safety. Try reading the article before jumping to conclusions and repeating your mantra about them being after your guns.

ace10

Did you read my comment, or are you just spouting off the same stupidity like you always do? Good grief. DO YOU BLAME CARS FOR DRUNK DRIVING? If you don't, then don't blame guns for suicides.

amerigirl

Ace, I read your comment and it was so twisted it was not worthy of being recognized as a sane response. I wonder if your windows are covered in tin foil. Red flag laws would allow mental health doctors to report those who are a danger to themselves and others. You said that instead of taking action on mental health, the letter's author goes after firearms, no she stated facts about firearms being used by those with mental issues. She stated that the most common method of suicide in our community is a gun. Mental issues are being addressed by the doctors treating those with those issues, red flag laws would allow them to make statements to the police. Right now they are not allowed to because of patient doctor confidentiality, even if they say that they are going to go home and shoot themselves in the head or kill their family. Prime example was Seung-Hui Cho and the VA Tech massacre.

Did people decide on their own to drink when they were going to drive? Do you think that people with mental issues chose to have them?

ace10

DO YOU BLAME CARS FOR DRUNK DRIVING? DO YOU BLAME MOBILE DEVICES FOR DISTRACTED DRIVING? Yes or no. And are you now suggesting that people who suffer from addiction to alcohol and drugs are in complete control over their use or avoidance of those substances? Good grief, are you making this stuff up as you go along? Do you think that people who receive psychiatric care and who have thoughts of suicide or murder won't know about these "red flag" laws? Do you not think that the mere existence of these laws might be a barrier to seeking help and/or being forthright with their medical care provider? Finally, ANY organization which takes money from BLOOMBERG will be obligated to push his insane ideas which include the removal of private firearm ownership by Americans. That's how this works, else he wouldn't be spending the money.

Virginia SGP

ace10, reading comprehension is a challenge the Left has yet to overcome.

jke

Must be a full moon out!

amerigirl

too bad the 4-year-old boy who found a gun and shot himself in his New Jersey home Friday night, or 2-year-old Kayden Stuber from S. Carolina, or seven-year-old Jeffery Taylor from San Antonio, and soooooo many more kids won't be able to see it.

Loudoun1965

[offtopic] This letter is clearly and inaccurately making a connection between taking guns away from law abiding citizens, part of the Bloomberg sponsored MDA agenda, and suicide prevention. Please provide evidence, amerigirl, that a 4 year old, a 2 year old, and a 7 year old intentionally committed suicide using firearms. Negligence is certainly a crime when it comes to children and firearms, but you're making another huge false equivalency with your examples.

jke

Bad parenting not bad guns. You fail to see the difference and will drown out any common sense with your onslaught of drivel, just stop!

AFF

Thanks for the letter and contact info Amy. I look forward to supporting your group as you’ll work towards enacting sensible gun laws in Virginia.

RoundHillGuy

Keep drinking the Bloomberg Koolaid

amerigirl

It's better than the trump death to the US potion.

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