Recently, I heard that gunshots were fired in my hometown of Iowa City. This concerns me because guns have already had a profound impact on my life.
At age 8, I was pulled out of 2nd grade to be told that my grandfather had shot himself. Understandably, that had a profound impact on my childhood. The man who I wanted to be - the engineer, the carpenter, the farmer, the family man - was gone.
After that incident, I have treated guns, depression and suicidal thoughts very seriously. As an individual who struggles with depression, I am alarmed at how easily people can obtain firearms, which are the most effective method of suicide. According to Everytown for Gun Safety, 59 families go though the trauma of losing a loved one to gun suicide each day.
Words could not quantify how much I suffered after losing my grandfather, and to think that this happens to 59 other U.S. families every day is unbelievable.
Guns are not only killing citizens, they are killing their owners. I urge Sens. Joni Ernst and Chuck Grassley to support strong background checks for all citizens that obtain firearms so that no one else has to share my suffering. Our government should be interested in protecting lives, not protecting guns. It’s time we start putting people first.