Editor: I am deeply concerned about gun violence. As your constituent, I implore elected officials to address this epidemic plaguing our nation and destroying our communities.

Congressional inaction is not only a national shame, it is a threat to our safety, the safety of our children, and the well-being of our communities. Gun violence is a public-health issue and it is taking an unacceptable toll on our society.

They must act now. No more time must be wasted. I need our officials to take action to ensure that:

• Every person who buys a gun must pass a background check. No longer should we allow for loopholes, such as the gun show loophole, the boyfriend loophole or other gaps. We need to require universal background checks on all gun purchases.

• High-capacity weapons and ammunition magazines should not be available to civilians. There is no legitimate self-defense or sporting purpose for these military-style, high-capacity weapons and magazines whose only purpose is to kill large numbers of people in a short amount of time. We need an effective assault-weapons ban now.

• Gun trafficking must become a federal offense. Gun trafficking fuels the flow of guns nationally and internationally, and is a major contributing cause to extreme gun violence like that in Chicago, New York and elsewhere.

Whether it is a mass shooting in Texas, Ohio, Florida, Virginia, Colorado, Connecticut, South Carolina or California; or the day-to-day gun violence in metropolitan areas like Chicago, Los Angeles, Philadelphia and New York; or the suicides that daily plagues rural and urban communities alike, we need to work to eliminate the gun violence in this nation.

Amanda Shaffer, Arlington

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