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According to the Gun Violence Archive, the school shooting in Florida was the country's 1,607th mass shooting (defined as four or more shot or killed, not including the shooter) since Sandy Hook.

What does it say about our elected officials on Capitol Hill when major retailers, such as Dick's and Walmart, have to take the lead to stem the tide of this American-on-American carnage. Tragically, integrity is no longer a prerequisite to get elected in this country, NRA money is.

The Second Amendment was written in 1791 for a population of 4 million. To assume that the framers of the Constitution intended it to be the law of the land in the 21st century for a population of 326 million and assault weapons in civilian hands that can fire 60 rounds per minute is beyond absurd !

The NRA and Republican lawmakers want us to focus on mental health rather than assault rifles, but the Las Vegas shooter exemplifies that mental instability is not always obvious and the lack of a criminal record does not guarantee that a "law abiding citizen" will not commit mass murder. It's not the mentally unstable that we have to fear, it's the availability of mass murder weapons.

Amongst 22 developed countries, the US ranks near the bottom in scholastic aptitude tests, but at the top in gun violence. Is there a correlation? I am appalled that school districts take money from the NRA, mind you, not to teach reading and writing but to teach the students how to shoot. The Florida school shooter was well taught.

The only reason why the NRA is doling out $7.3 million to schools is to assure weapons manufacturers a steady flow of future customers.

MARGRIT NOVACK

Flagstaff

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