The recent mass shootings bring to the forefront that my innocent granddaughter will be starting kindergarten in a few weeks. As part of her learning experience she will take part in active shooter drills where she will be taught how to duck and cover. Her innocence will be lost forever.

Is this the America we want for our children? Where fear is normal, safety not ensured and hate is acceptable. Is this the America we want?

Our government’s primary responsibility is to keep its citizens safe. Whereas first responders are heroic in their efforts to keep us safe, our central government has failed its responsibility in those efforts. It is time to speak out and demand effective gun control. Universal background checks, banning assault rifles and demanding that our leaders support these actions.

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Until we, the citizens of the United States — who share the democratic ideals of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness — decide that we have had enough and join together to demand change, others will lose more than their innocence.

Dennis Erb

Iowa City

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