Dear Editor: Today I do not offer thoughts and prayers as condolences are not enough. We have lost over 45 lives to mass shootings in the course of one week. It’s not mental health. It’s not violent video games. It’s guns. The government uses NRA talking points to hide behind the Second Amendment to protect guns over people. Other countries have mental illness. Other countries have video games. The only difference is guns.

America is the only country in the world with this level of gun violence. America does not have higher levels of crime, but our crime is more deadly. This lethality in crime is linked to gun ownership. Prevalence in gun ownership is associated with higher rates of gun death. There are 120.5 guns per 100 citizens in this country. It should come as no surprise that, according to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, gun violence is the third leading cause of death for Wisconsinites aged 10-44 years old. In this age group, guns are more lethal than heart disease, and nearly as lethal as motor vehicle collisions and cancer. It’s simple, the more guns, the more gun deaths.

Lives will continue to be lost if nothing changes, but we have the power to end this cycle. If you have ever said that something must be done about gun violence in America, call Sens. Ron Johnson and Tammy Baldwin to demand action. We need background checks and a red flag law that will put an end to this cycle. I mean it. Stop reading and call Johnson and Baldwin now. Dial (414)-276-7282 to contact Johnson in his Milwaukee office; (608)-264-5338 to contact Baldwin in her Madison office.

Zachary Dunton

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