Letter to the Editor: What’s your plan, Rep. Graves?

I need to hear your plan. I grew up in this congressional district, just north of the Missouri River in Kansas City. One hundred fifty people were murdered in KCMO last year, most by gunshot. I have lived in Kirksville for nearly 20 years now. Bullets took lives here in 2017, too. Yesterday, children were shot and killed at a high school in Florida. Nationwide, over 15,000 people died from gunfire last year. An additional 22,000 people died from suicide with a gun in this country.

That is over 37,000 people in the United States of America who died last year from gunshot wounds.

You and I are on opposites ends of the political spectrum. We differ on much, just as all Missourians do throughout this district. Having and working with differing views is American. I would fathom a guess those differences extend to our thoughts on reducing gun-related deaths. You disagree with me on expanding background checks, increasing taxpayer funded mental health support and banning firearms that are designed to rapidly kill multiple people. You and I disagree.

I need to hear your plan. If not my ideas, what are yours? We cannot prevent all gun-related deaths, but how about a plan from you to reduce that number by 20,000 people a year? We can surely agree that a plan with real efficacy could do that, right? When can the voters of Missouri’s Sixth Congressional District expect to read an advance of your bill with a comprehensive strategy? When will you and your co-sponsors bring this bill to the floor of the House? When is the Rose Garden signing ceremony slated for? I will tune in to watch the President sign his name to your bill.

What we cannot abide is inaction… again… on the part of the US Congress.

Show us and fight to pass a plan that works to save 20,000 lives a year, and I will be a liberal Democrat out there urging voters to support you at every campaign rally from Palmyra to Platte City. I’d be honored to support that kind of political courage.

I need to hear your plan, Congressman. We all do. Simply doing nothing to comprehensively reduce gun-related deaths just isn’t cutting it.


This piece was written by Zac Burden on Feb. 15, 2018 as a letter to Congressman Sam Graves.