Las Vegas, Nevada (58). Orlando, Florida (49). Blacksburg, Virginia (32). Newtown, Connecticut (27). Sutherland Springs, Texas (26). Parkland, Florida (17). San Bernardino, California (14). Fort Hood, Texas (13). Binghamton, New York (13). Aurora, Colorado (12). Washington Navy Yard (12). Thousand Oaks, California (12). Virginia Beach, Virginia (12). Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (11). Geneva County, Alabama (10). Santa Fe, Texas (10).

These names, seared in our collective memories, represent the U.S. locations of mass shootings since 2000 where 10 or more individuals were killed (the number of deceased victims is shown parenthetically). Now El Paso, Texas, with its 22 victims, can be added to this growing list of municipalities remembered for horrific killings of innocent citizens at the hands of radical shooters.

In addition, over 30,000 die annually from homicides, suicides and accidents using firearms. These grim statistics do not account for the thousands injured during these cowardly attacks, other criminal activities or self-inflicted nonfatal wounds.

After New Zealand recently suffered a domestic terrorist attack that killed 51 of its citizens, its government took decisive action to outlaw assault rifles. When are we Americans, the majority of whom support meaningful gun control legislation, going to force our Congress to defy the National Rifle Association and enact common-sense laws to protect our children and grandchildren from these devastating attacks? Have we had enough yet?

Although legislation to control guns is necessary, by itself it is not enough. The divisive rhetoric of President Trump must stop! His racist utterances and tweets embolden white supremacists to act on their ideology of hatred. Congressional leaders must rise above partisanship and denounce anyone who fosters terrorism, be it domestic or foreign, even if that individual is the president. Silence broadcasts tacit approval of bigotry and racism.

George Lambert


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