In response to Liam Verses’ opinion piece, published on Tuesday, Oct. 10:
I would like to point out that, based on what he wrote, Verses appears to be poorly versed on the issue of gun violence prevention in America. Verses claims that “condemning all gun owners is not the way to respond to a mass shooting” and that “chastising Americans who cherish their guns does not set the right tone.” While I agree that these are not productive actions, his sources of information appear to be biased. I have been an advocate for gun violence prevention since my daughter’s friends were killed in the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012. My view of our work is quite different than that of Verses, perhaps because my years of experience have made me better versed than he is.
Some of the most prominent organizations committed to reducing gun violence that operate at a national and state level are Americans for Responsible Solutions, Everytown for Gun Safety, Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America and the Brady Campaign. None of these organizations condemn gun ownership. Quite the contrary, they support the Second Amendment and, in the case of ARS, specifically look to engage with gun owners. The Brady Campaign’s signature issue is closing the loophole that allows for firearm purchases without background checks, fully supporting purchases with background checks. Everytown’s work includes education around safe storage of firearms and ammunition.
Verses mentions that his priority is “finding comprehensive measures to combat mass shootings and death.” I urge him to look beyond his current sources of information to partner with groups looking to do the same thing. After the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, Connecticut passed bipartisan gun violence prevention legislation. Every gun purchase in Connecticut now requires a background check. The sale of semiautomatic weapons is now prohibited, and those guns that were in the state prior to the legislation are now catalogued. In the nearly five years since, Connecticut has seen a reduction in gun violence.
Doerr Morosky is a STEM Education graduate student from Austin.