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Letter to the editor: An 8th grader’s take on gun laws

Two Thousand Three Hundred Twenty-Six days
Of pain …
Two Thousand Three Hundred Twenty-Six days
To regain hope …
… Only to be shot down again
And again.
Two Thousand Three Hundred Twenty-Six days
Since the deaths at Sandy Hook,
Since the murder of 26 people
To guns.
But guns
Commanded by people.
 
Four Hundred Thirty-Eight days
To grieve,
Four Hundred Thirty-Eight days
To suffer,
Four Hundred Thirty-Eight days
since the massacre at MSD,
since 17 lives lost
To guns.
But guns
Commanded by people.
 
One Hundred Twenty-Two Days
Of Almost
One Hundred Twenty-Two Days
Of an Almost shooting
At my school,
Where I should be safe.
One Hundred Twenty-Two Days
To be glad of the legislation that was put in place,
To seize the Almost weapons,
To stop the Almost deaths
By guns.
But guns
Commanded by people.
 
One. Day.
To read,
And read again.
The story of Another.
Shooting.
This time
Against my people,
Jews who were celebrating our freedom from Egypt
So many years ago.
 
Now, It doesn’t feel like I’m free does it?
With these threats constantly at my back.
All of our backs.
 
So one day,
To mourn the loss of life,
To a gun
But a gun
Commanded by a person.
 
Guns,
Do not follow brains,
Or hearts
They only obey
Releasing endless death
 
People,
Follow brains,
And hearts
To release death
 
Because people
Are the ones
Who can be commanded
by laws.
 
Laws that keep them safe.
 
Laws that keep us safe.
 
Laws that keep me
And my little brother
And my moms
And my friends
And cousins
And teachers
And acquaintances
And fellow human beings-
Who I don’t even know-
But who I don’t want to be lost-
 
Safe
 
But who die
Every
Single Damn
Day
By guns
Commanded by people.
 
But bills like H.159
will keep us
and so many others
 
Safe.
 
We need laws
that will keep people safe.
 
Guns,
Can be safe
If used
With precautions
With training
For hunting
And sports.
 
Guns,
Bought by people
without universal background checks
Without 72 hour waiting periods
With bump stocks
With semi-automatic capacity
And with the use of high capacity magazines
Of 20 rounds
Or more
Are not safe.
 
These Guns
Hurt people,
Kill people,
And tear families apart.
 
And this is why
 
We need Guns
To be bought by people
with universal background checks
With 72 hour waiting periods
Without bump stocks
Without semi-automatic capacity
And not using  high capacity magazines
Of 20 rounds
Or more.
 
because yeah,
guns don’t kill people,
they just make it a hell of a lot easier
 
 
And now
It is us,
The people
Who must change our laws
So that I don’t have to be afraid
of a person with a gun
Anymore.
 
Thank you.
 
Arianna Graham-Gurland
Middlebury
Grade 8, Middlebury Union Middle School

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