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  • Karla Trippe

Please Stop Gun Violence

Last week was National Gun Violence Week and today is the anniversary of the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting. While I'm focused on the Olympics (not happy about the current decision to allow the Russian figure skater found doping to compete), I cannot permit this important topic to pass without comment.


I want to share a personal story about how gun violence affected my family. My beautiful grandmother Louise Stewart married a man whose last name was Ward. She came from a fine Iowa family. I know nothing about this man except that he was an alcoholic. She was not prepared for this life (is anyone?) and was afraid. She had two sons with him.


One day she came home with the boys and he was drunk and holding a gun on her. This was in the 1920s. She grabbed her sons and ran.


Her family would not help her. She went to Kansas City to restart her life. She worked in a department store selling wedding china. Somehow, she met my grandfather. He was a confirmed bachelor and over forty. But he fell in love with this beautiful woman. They had five more children. My father was the oldest.


Grandpa was an alcoholic too and didn’t always do right by his family. He was a newspaper publisher and dragged the family all over Kansas, Colorado, and Missouri. He would often leave all eight of them and go off on a drinking binge. But he never pulled a gun on them.


I don’t know how my life might have turned out if this act of gun violence had never occurred. I only know that my grandmother was very brave and faced so much backlash for her decisions given the times.


We have too many guns in this country and because of this, they end up in the hands of children and drunks who cannot make the appropriate decision. We don’t want these people behind the wheel of a car so why do we allow them to have a gun?


Every gun must be registered and all gun owners must show proof of having passed a gun safety course. All unregistered guns must be destroyed. And the number of guns produced should be regulated. I know that there are gun owners who have failed to fully read the 2nd Amendment and do not understand its meaning or historical context. They are brainwashed by the NRA and right wing media. But that does not change the facts. Too often guns = violence. It happened to my grandmother. I would prefer it didn’t happen to anyone else.


We have an election coming up. Let’s make certain that gun violence is part of the conversation.


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