Dana is a proudly endorsed candidate of Arizona List
This article was originally published by The Daily Star
The following is the opinion and analysis of the writer. Allmond is a Democratic candidate for the Arizona State House of Representatives in Legislative District 17:
As a retired Army Lieutenant Colonel and a mother of four children, I am more qualified to speak on the tragic events in Uvalde, Texas, than most. Military service members know the destruction an assault rifle will always inflict on a human body. We must not allow weapons of war to be sold as recreational entertainment. Their sole purpose is to kill and to kill in a devastating fashion.
The Declaration of Independence holds that we are all entitled to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. There is a reason the word “life” is listed first. If you are not alive, you have no liberty. If you are dead, you cannot pursue happiness. The victims in Uvalde were slaughtered. Our children are absolutely not expendable.
The American gun lobby abuses the privilege of gun ownership. They are directly responsible for the death and maiming of American children. Consider for a moment, bullets from an AR-15 traveling three times the speed of a handgun. The shrapnel sends shock waves throughout young bodies. Bones are shattered. Organs explode. It’s a bomb going off in their bodies!
When originally written, the U.S. Constitution did not give blanket permission for citizens to own any future weapon that could possibly be created. In the world of the Founders, their point of reference was a musket. Tragically, in the seconds it might take for the mythical “good guy with a gun” to reach for their weapon, dozens of children can be mowed down. There is no time to react, let alone protect the innocent. While the children in Robb Elementary School were screaming in their classrooms, the police cowered outside putting their personal safety first. The loudest voices in the gun debate scream about tyranny, but real tyranny is being murdered in spaces that should have been safe. Places of worship. Grocery stores. Schools. The list is too long.
Polls reveal regardless of political party affiliation, over 80% of Americans want universal background checks for gun purchases. We want restrictions on assault weapons, high-capacity magazines and bump stocks. Require every individual buying a gun to view autopsy photos of the children slaughtered by their cluelessness.
Contrary to our shared public values, the gun lobby stomps its feet like spoiled brats while our children are forced to grow up too quickly; participating in active shooter drills and learning how to apply tourniquets to their classmates and teachers. My three youngest children have participated in active shooter drills since they were in preschool. Assault rifles are not toys and our children are not the enemy.
We demand Congress pass gun legislation now. Our children must thrive and live without fear of being gunned down. We will never stay silent!
Dana Allmond is a Marana resident, retired Army Lieutenant Colonel with more than 23 years of active duty service, a 1994 West Point graduate and a Democratic candidate for Arizona State House of Representatives in Legislative District 17.