On Our Mind 5-11-2023

More than 3,600 children have died this year in gun-related incidents. In just five months, we have seen 19 school shootings, claiming the lives of numerous children and teens. Firearms are the leading cause of death for U.S. children and teens.
We are now living in a country where it is not unusual for mothers to jump on top of their children to shield them from gun fire at anytime or anywhere. In the recent Texas mall shooting, a child survived after being pulled out from under his dead mother’s body.
There will be no Mother’s day celebration for that family nor any of the other families who have lost loved ones to gun violence. Sunday will be followed by a long line of celebrations and other moments without their loved ones.
As a nation, we are failing our children, who count on us to protect them and keep them safe. The number of families shattered by gun violence is staggering. 
While we are fighting to ban assault weapons, we must also work to pass Ethan’s law. This bill would would require safe storage of guns. Unsecured guns are easily obtained by mass shooters. According to the Institute of Justice, more than 80 percent of those responsible for K-12 shootings stole their guns from family members.
Children are killed each year when they have easy access to an unsecured gun. It is estimated that there are more than 22 million children living in homes with guns. Many of these weapons are stored loaded or unlocked.
Some parents believe that hiding their guns will prevent children from accessing them. However, 75 percent of children who live in homes with guns know where they are stored. Easily accessible, unsecured guns also make it too easy for those with suicidal feelings to take their own lives.
Ethan’s law is supported by gun owners and a majority of Republicans outside of Congress.
Call Sen. Chuck Schumer (202-224-3121) and urge him to bring Ethan’s bill and other gun safety bills to the floor for votes. Americans need to see where their members of Congress stand on this important issue. They need to keep fighting to pass these bills.
Mothers don’t need flowers, candy, or cards this Mother’s day. They need the gift of life — common sense gun laws.