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Gun control reform is needed now

To the editor:

In the aftermath of the horrific, random and senseless gun violence our country has witnessed: Virginia Tech, Tucson, Aurora and Newtown, gun reform is imperative. The Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre of innocent, carefree, trusting children altered their families forever and attacked our moral principles and political will as a country.

On that dark, ominous December day we embraced Newtown with grieving, heavy hearts, recognizing this kind of slaughter could happen anywhere. That day drove home the responsibility we all have to protect our children and our communities from further gun violence. Newtown has to be the last straw. Skaneateles is as likely a target as any other home town. But on Wednesday, April 17, the Senate failed its constituents, backing down from legislation which would expand background checks for all commercial sales of guns.

A minority of 45 senators, with four Democrats, including Harry Reid, ignored 90 percent of the American people who want more safety for our children, our families and our communities. Republican Senators Susan Collins (ME); John McCain (AZ) and Patrick Toomey (PA) courageously voted for this legislation, placing reason over party mandate. President Obama called the senate’s lack of action shameful. As the Newtown parents expressed their grave disappointment over the senate’s inaction, they vowed not be defeated. Newtown families will be back, armed with more support.

We as outraged citizens, who believe gun reform must be implemented, join them as they cope with yet another incomprehensible loss dealt them by our lawmakers.

Our local Democratic committee urges our community and all concerned citizens to continue to support gun control legislation, which along with universal background checks, includes bans on high capacity magazines and assault weapons. We have to keep this issue squarely in the public eye and intensify our demands that our elected officials act to prevent gun violence or find candidates for congress who will. We can no longer ignore the toll guns are wreaking on our society’s collective sense of safety, civility and moral values. As a caring community, can we pledge to call our senators and congressman every Monday and let them know that we expect results and also express our gratitude to our New York legislators for their unwavering support of gun reform? Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, 202 224-4451; Senator Charles Schumer, 202 224-6542 and Congressman Dan Maffei,423-5657.

The Skaneateles Democratic Committee

Jim Williams, Susan Byrne, Mary Sennett, Sherill and David Ketchum, Anne Fairbanks, Michael Schaaf, Julie Sharpe, Thomas Higgins, Alan Johnson, Joyce Barnett, Anne Emperor, David Palen, Gail van der Linde(Chair) and Paul Fiutak (Past Chair)

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