Editor: Passing a proclamation declaring June 7 as Gun Violence Awareness Day in Leesburg is not “weaponizing the proclamation process for partisan purposes,” as Gina Wooden wrote in her letter to the editor June 2. What is being weaponized is the Second Amendment, which is not absolute. Distorting its intent and ignoring the fact that the second-leading cause of childhood deaths in this country is due to firearms will lead to even more deaths if we don’t do something.
Twice as many kids died from gun injuries in 2016 as died from cancer. I didn’t make this up: These numbers come from The New England Journal of Medicine. These deaths are not only because of criminals, as Wooden alluded to, but domestic violence. Of children under the age of 13 who are victims of gun homicides, 85 percent of those deaths occur in the home and nearly a third of those deaths are connected to intimate partners or family violence. I didn’t make this up: These numbers come from the journal Pediatrics.
The purpose of the proclamation is to raise awareness of this public health issue so we, collectively, can find ways to address it. Nothing more. And for the record: Criminals aren’t criminals until they commit their first crime, like the Virginia Beach man who who shot and killed 12 people and wounded four others Friday.
Kristin Jones, Ashburn