I have to wonder if some of our representatives are too deep in the pockets of the National Rifle Association to see the facts. Can they see that Alaska has the highest gun death rate in the nation, double the national rate? Do they know that nearly 67% of these are by suicide? Even more alarming, firearms are the first leading cause of death of children and teens in Alaska. Sixty-one percent of these are by suicide.
Have they seen our state’s 2019 Youth Risk Behavior Survey? It reported nearly half of Alaska high school students say they can access and be ready to fire a loaded gun. One in four high school students in Alaska has seriously contemplated suicide in the past 12 months.
I’m not urging gun control. I’m urging gun safety. I’m urging our U.S. Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan to vote for background checks. I’m urging our Alaska state legislators to support secure storage of guns, and the temporary removal of guns from people in crisis. These are things I can’t do and you can’t do. Only our representatives can vote on laws to keep our children safe. Only they can say no to the deep pockets of the NRA.