Letter to the Editor

Gun problems in Missouri

As I sit here writing this letter, I am still shaken from the shooting that took place less than a block away from my apartment Friday in broad daylight. I continue to use my voice to support those like myself who have been impacted by the senseless gun violence that continues to happen in BIPOC Communities on a daily basis.

As we mark the fifth year of National Gun Violence Survivors Week from Feb. 1 to 7, 2023, we must do our part and amplify survivors' voices and let them know that we stand by them continuously. Gun violence not only affects the families and friends of the victim but the community as a whole as well.

In an average year, 1,288 people are killed by guns and 2,312 are wounded by guns. In Missouri, guns are the leading cause of death for children and teens. An average of 116 children and teens die by guns every year of which 34% are suicides and 60% are homicides.

Missouri has the seventh highest societal cost of gun violence in the U.S. at a cost of $2,875 per person each year. Missouri has the fifth highest gun rate in the U.S.

If you want to learn more about Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, feel free to join me at the Semo Moms Demand Action next monthly meeting on Jan. 19 at the Cape Girardeau Public Library.

LESLIE ANNE WASHINGTON, Semo Moms Demand Action, State Legislative Lead, Cape Girardeau