‘We must act now’: Sen. Raumesh Akbari urges further action to reduce gun violence

MEMPHIS — Tennessee Sen. Raumesh Akbari (D-Memphis) issued a statement calling for action to reduce gun violence in Tennessee. Her message comes hours after Gov. Bill Lee signed an executive order related to school security without taking any direct action to address the crisis of gun violence.

Her full statement is below:

Gun violence is now the leading cause of death for children in America. We are the only country in the world with a major political party that chooses to do nothing to stop gun violence from killing our kids.

Unfortunately, Gov. Bill Lee’s executive order on school security is more of the same. While I am again disappointed, I am not surprised.

Taking action to reduce gun violence shouldn’t come down to party politics. This is a clear emergency and we must act now. We cannot allow another person to be murdered in a school, grocery store, or place of worship.

There have been nearly two dozen mass shootings in America since the Uvalde massacre at Robb Elementary. At least 54 people were injured and 11 were killed in separate mass shootings this weekend — one of which was in Chattanooga, where three Tennesseans died.

It’s not video games. It’s not our teachers or library books. It’s guns.

We cannot continue to let gun industry lobbyists decide what’s best for public health and safety. It’s killing us.

I reject the notion that we are helpless against confronting gun violence. Tennessee families believe in responsible gun ownership and they support laws that would deny firearms and weapons of war to people who can’t pass a background check. That’s not radical. That’s just common sense.

For all the talk about freedom, remember that our families and kids deserve the freedom to live.

There are plenty of evidence-based solutions to reduce gun violence that work. If we can save another family from the pain and anguish of burying an 9-year-old child, I feel morally obligated to try.

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