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Act now on guns: it's overdue

Once again we have witnessed the heartbreaking and senseless loss of lives by an angry, sick person with a gun. As the rest of us share the pain of the families and victims in Florida, we can't even begin to fathom the depth of loss they feel. Seventeen individuals, loved by family and friends, students, teachers, coaches — all gone and leaving grief that will never end, wounds that will never heal.

The time to do something about this is now. Shame on us for not acting after Sandy Hook, and for that matter, after the massacres like Columbine going back decades. We can't wait for the shock of this to fade. The brave teenage survivors have said as much, though politicians say now is not the time to discuss gun control. God bless those kids for summoning the strength and courage to seize this time to make changes so long overdue.

No, it is not just a problem with the guns that can kill 17 people in three minutes. Certainly mental health issues, social media's role, societal woes and many more pieces need to be addressed to understand why an individual would commit such a horrific act. Admittedly, I know nothing about guns. But I believe that passing laws to ban the ones that are essentially efficient high-powered, human killing machines might be a place to start. This is not about taking away your Second Amendment rights but about common sense gun laws. Tighten up the background checks if need be. This is a multifaceted, complicated problem but we need to start somewhere.

Please contact your representatives and senators and demand they address the plague of gun violence that threatens our children and all Americans. When the excuses come, as you know they will, don't accept them. As one brave, young survivor of the Florida shooting implored the crowd, "We call B.S.!" We need to channel her bravery and do the same.

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