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Letter: Had enough yet of gun violence?

Had enough? Guns don't kill people, but people with guns kill people, and themselves. The numbers tell part of the story. In 2015 Americans used guns to kill an average of about 36 of their fellow Americans per day, about 13,000 for the year, whi...

Had enough? Guns don't kill people, but people with guns kill people, and themselves.

The numbers tell part of the story. In 2015 Americans used guns to kill an average of about 36 of their fellow Americans per day, about 13,000 for the year, while injuring another 27,000. Police shot and killed around 1,000 Americans civilian in 2015, and so far more than 500 this year.

Gun suicides in this country claim about twice as many lives as gun homicides, for a total of about 30,000 gun deaths per year. No other developed country in the world comes close to that. Does that seem right to you?

The U.S. has more guns per capita than any other country on the planet, about 113 guns per 100 people, and the gun lobby says the answer is more guns. Does that make sense to you?

All of Canada had 156 gun-related homicides in 2014, about four days' worth for the U.S. Are you proud of that?

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What of our elected leaders who supposedly reflect the public will? A Star Tribune poll of 800 Minnesota registered voters in January 2016 found that 82 percent support criminal background checks in all gun sales, including those sold privately or at gun shows. That includes 75 percent of men, 71 percent of Republicans, and 74 percent of those with guns in the home.

So where are our putative leaders on this issue? It's long past time to question them and hold them accountable. The gun lobby certainly does.

Of course this national shame is a public health issue, but it also a fundamental moral issue that defines who we are as a people. The blood of the victims is on the heads of the greedy gun industry, the craven politicians who dance to their tune, the industry's stooges whose letters appear on this page, and on all of us who have done too little.

John H. Burns

Willmar

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