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Letters to the Editor

Letter: An open letter to Congressman Roskam

'How many dead kids are too many?'

To the editor:

Congressman Roskam, I'm writing today to register my utter shame in the display of cowardice the GOP has shown in the face of continued gun violence. How many children, in our schools and on our streets need to be murdered before you and your colleagues will stand up and say enough is enough? 100? 1,000? 10,000? How many dead kids are too many?

You, your colleagues and even our remarkably uninformed president continue to insist that gun violence is often linked to poor mental health care. What actions have you taken to even address that issue?I know at least one; make that over 60, which is the number to times you and your fellow GOP congressmen have voted to repeal or alter the ACA, which for the first time required parity in mental health care coverage. How should I interpret that?

With three children attending public school in your district, I've come to the realization that even though we are fortunate enough to live in a safe community where my kids can walk to school without fear, they are in truth no safer than the kids in Parkland, Sandy Hook, Marshall County, or any of the hundreds of other communities that have been ripped apart by gun violence over the last 10 years.

So what do I ask? Stop living in fear of the NRA. Stand up and say what you and any caring human being must believe: We need to change. I recognize that changing gun laws, for instance, is a heavy lift. But we need to start somewhere. Lets' enshrine mental health insurance parity into permanent law that the GOP can agree on. Let's get a robust system of background checks in place for all gun purchases. Let's make sure the FBI and other law enforcement agencies have the tools they need. Most importantly, keep the conversation going. Make this an issue that lasts until well after the victims of the latest tragedy have been buried.

Jared Sponzilli
St. Charles

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