We are not anti-gun; we value life | Opinion

We are not anti-gun; we value life | Opinion

The Rev. Sandra L. Strauss On an extremely hot summer evening in 2017, the deafening sound of gunshots and the sound of squealing wheels jolted my husband and I out of what had been a peaceful evening at home. We ran to the door to see a black SUV speeding away as children screamed on the city playground across the street. Hearing gunshots in the distance had been a disconcerting part of my life since moving to uptown Harrisburg in late 1996, but it never happened so close to home. The shooter, firing from a vehicle passing in front of our house, emptied an entire clip in the direction of a crowded basketball court. Miraculously only one youth was hit, a non-life-threatening injury to his lower leg. The cars—dented and windows shattered from bullets—probably prevented more injuries to those on the court, damage that might not have been so easily repaired. Gun violence has long been an intractable problem in cities like Harrisburg. Many guns used in crimes have been purchased illegally with the owner claiming they were lost or stolen. In one Pittsburgh study, 33% of crime guns fell into this category. Others are in the hands of people who for various reasons shouldn’t have them. We aren’t lacking solutions to this flow of deadly weapons, just political will. State lawmakers, citing “Second Amendment rights,” have for years refused to move bills that would save lives across the Commonwealth. They’ve gone even further, preventing local governments like Harrisburg […]

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