Every day we hear of people getting killed by gun violence. Mass shootings stand out in our news coverage.

Don’t we all want a world that is safer and more compassionate?

Isn’t it troubling that our nation spends more on military might than any other country in the world?

Do we want to be known as the number one seller of arms to other countries, fueling horrific atrocities in the Middle East and elsewhere?

Our actions globally impact our perceptions and actions locally.

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Many soldiers return from foreign wars with severe PTSD. Veterans are twice as likely to die from suicide as the general population.

Systemic violence undercuts our humanity.

Having guns in the home increases the likelihood of death, most often by suicide.

The U.S. Department of Justice reported that 60 percent of all firearm deaths are by suicide, reporting that there are twice as many gun related suicides as homicides.

One of the greatest threats to our democracy today is now from within, of white supremacists, armed with weapons, ready to overthrow our government by force, fearful of losing privilege and fueled by hate and misinformation.

In spite of the horrors of this culture of violence, the Second Amendment’s right to bear arms has been fiercely defended.

Are there no legal grounds to make our people safer from gun violence, even as the threat grows with more dangerous weapons, and more hate and fear of the “other?”

Do we as a society care more for gun rights than the right to life?

How many more people will die from gun violence before changes are made to protect life?

President Biden is instructing the Department of Justice to write new restrictions on “ghost guns,” firearms without serial numbers that are harder to track.

The DOJ is also to publish model “red flag laws.” With these, states could remove guns from people who are seen as high risk, and review the use of stabilizing braces on pistols that turn them into a more lethal weapon.

We can support these modest life saving measures by supporting legislators who care for the sanctity of life with gun safety restrictions.

Vicki Poier

Montevideo