Letter to the Editor: Our children need more bluebird powder days, not guns

Kate Gueldemeister

As we grapple with more school shootings, Murdoch’s Ranch and Farm Supply is again advertising their gun and ammunition sales. After the shooting at Robb Elementary in Uvalde, during which 21 people were killed with a semi-automatic rifle, Murdoch’s was advertising everything we “need and want,” including firearms. Now as we process, or avoid, the most recent school shooting in St. Louis, Murdoch is advertising their “stock-up” sale, including firearms. These ads are reprehensible. 

In the St. Louis shooting, a 19-year-old male with an AR-15 and 600 rounds of ammunition legally bought, with our current gun laws, and killed Jean Kuczka, a teacher and mother of five, and Alexandra Bell, a student. I called Murdoch’s about these ads. The manager did not acknowledge the content or timing of them, but was proud to tell me they were a sergeant in our U.S. Marine Corps. With all due respect for our military, does that justify the promotion of firearm sales for financial gain after another tragic shooting? Will Jean Kuczka’s children receive a Purple Heart for her gallant service in the line of duty? Teachers are also combat veterans. 

Also, does a 19-year-old need to buy a firearm? Studies show that 18- to 20-year-olds are four times as likely to commit gun homicides as people over 21. Uvalde was perpetrated by a 18-year-old male — and Buffalo by an 18-year-old, white-nationalist male. We need to raise the age to buy firearms nationwide. 

As a mother, I vote for gun sense candidates. Please join me. Colorado has some of the most comprehensive gun laws in the US. Reps. Dylan Roberts, Julie McClusky, U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet, U.S. Rep. Joe Neguse and Gov. Jared Polis acknowledge our constitutional right to own a firearm — and recognize that with that right comes responsibility to sell them responsibly. Our children need more bluebird powder days, not guns. 

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