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Letter: Time to Vote on Gun Control

To the Editor:

A powerful moment was reached during the State of the Union address when President Obama spoke of America’s responsibility to survivors of gun violence. The president said, “they deserve a vote” — on gun reform. Representatives from Virginia should heed this call.

“They” also applies to the countless Americans who, like myself, remain concerned and disheartened by horrific gun violence. Though I was hundreds of miles away at school in Washington, D.C. on the day of the Virginia Tech massacre, just watching the images on television and knowing I had friends at Va.-Tech at the time invoked a tremendous sense

of shock and sadness that I still have to this day.

Congressman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) has the responsibility, in his capacity as chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, to make a serious effort to find ways to make our communities safer. Our Congressman Frank Wolf (R-10) should, too, take this opportunity to strengthen our state’s, and our nation’s, gun laws.

The time for a vote is now. It is time to close loopholes and increase preventative measures that were not, but should have been, in place.

These are just some of the meaningful reforms that will reduce gun violence.

Some lawmakers may declare that today’s most pressing issue is the economy and looming sequester, but that should completely not rule out a plan for gun reform. Simply sweeping any chance for gun reform under the rug is foolhardy. It’s time to tackle the issue head on, because we, as concerned citizens of Virginia and of the nation, deserve a vote.

Velginy Hernandez

Great Falls