Open letter to Stefanik on Las Vegas shooting

To the editor:

Now is the time for nationwide mourning. Now is the time for Americans to deeply feel the loss of so many to senseless violence. However, now is not the time to let that grief incapacitate, or to carefully avoid conversations on gun regulation by using the grief as a shield. You, as my elected representative and as a critical piece of the legislative process in my country, have a privilege and a responsibility today. You have the privilege of being able to make a crucial, immediate difference to make this not just the latest, worst incident of gun violence so far. You have the privilege of being able to take action toward making this the last incidence of mass shooting in America. Will you accept this privilege? You have the responsibility today to say “too far.” To say “never again.” To say “domestic terror is absolutely unacceptable, and here is what we’re going to do about it.” Will you take on this responsibility?

There are many easy things to do today. One would be to take a pause on gun legislation just long enough to let today’s horror and grief die down, and then quietly move forward on legislation that will allow the next massacre to happen. That would be easy; that would be following the status quo. Be better than that today. Let today be the day that you stand up for the cultural change that will bring an end to this violence, to the deaths of our fellow Americans. Let today be the day that you acknowledge that banning high-capacity magazines and lethal assault weapons is about domestic terrorism prevention and not about the Second Amendment. Unless you are ready to call mass shootings “sport,” this is not an infringement of any right to bear arms.

Do not do the easy thing today. Do the right thing, and let this be the last day we live in grief, terror and disgust over a mass shooting. Let me work as a physician one day soon and never have to see my hospital flooded with victims of gun violence. Let a generation of Americans grow up safe from horrible days like today. Now is the time for you to take action. Please do.

Arianne Wilson

Lake Clear