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We need more than thoughts, prayers to end gun violence
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Another mass shooting, this time in Oregon. Not the result of some terrorist organization or a frustrated politico seeking office. Not a revolutionary or radical seeking reforms in our political process but another demented man allowed to purchase guns and ammunition without effective screening.

President Barack Obama pointed out at the podium addressing the nation, as he has on all too many occasions, that the nation is in danger of accepting this tragic waste of life as normal or routine. What a shocking thing to say. What a piercing indictment of our culture and our personal sensibilities if it is true that we are accepting these mass shootings as normal or routine.

Yes, our nation is suffering huge losses due to mass shootings. Mass Shooting Tracker lists 363 mass shooting events in 2013, 337 mass shooting events s in 2014 and 294 thus far in 2015. In each incident four or more dead or wounded were recorded.

Gun violence in 2015 has accounted for 9,948 deaths, or three times more deaths, than all the deaths from terrorism in the past 45 years in the U.S. according to the Global Terrorism Database, Gun Violence Archive. If you were aware of all these shootings you would be sickened by the senseless carnage and you would demand that your government do something to stop it. Because you are shielded by the news media from knowing the gruesome facts, you are left in ignorance, right where gun lobbyists want you.

Every time one of these horrible events occurs, a few victims families ask their congressmen and government officials why nothing is done to stop this terrible violence by guns. All the tired old answers provided by the gun lobby and organizations like the National Rifle Association are trotted out and repeated over and over. It is so automatic for congressmen to repeat their given lines that NRA no longer has to make public statements defending their positions.

Have you noticed how quiet NRA is after these mass shooting events now? What are we waiting for? Do we think it couldn’t happen here? Do you think we need more guns in schools and churches to stop these shootings? Do you need to lose a family member before you say something?

We stopped the Vietnam War because we saw the unacceptable carnage every night on TV. How much worse does it have to get before you are revolted into action to stop mass shootings? We need more than your thoughts and prayers. We need gun violence stopped.

Hoyt Oliver
Sautee Nacoochee

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