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Opinion: Why is it easier to buy a gun than get a driver’s license?

The rising gun violence in the U.S. is a tragedy we can’t ignore — especially when elementary schoolers don’t make it home

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Police investigators scan. the ground behind the red brick school sign for Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, TX.

Investigators search for evidences outside Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, Wednesday, May 25, 2022. Desperation turned to heart-wrenching sorrow for families of grade schoolers killed after an 18-year-old gunman barricaded himself in their Texas classroom and began shooting, killing several fourth graders and their teachers.

Jae C. Hong, Associated Press

On May 23, I received a call from my children’s elementary school alerting us the school was sheltered in place because a mountain lion had wandered into the neighborhood. Animal control ended the episode fairly quickly. Every student and teacher went home that night.

The next day and a few states over, I imagine similar phone calls were made, but with a more tragic ending. Unlike our incident, 19 children and 2 teachers did not make it home.

Schools should never face such violence. Yet not much has changed, except the rate at which mass shootings occur.

As a Utah native, conservative Christian who grew up safely owning guns, I am finally asking: is protecting the Second Amendment more important than protecting the life of a second grader?

While I support the right to bear arms, we need regulation. Why is it harder to obtain a driver’s license than it is to buy automatic high caliber rifles, especially now that guns have statistically surpassed traffic accidents as the leading cause of child fatalities?

While my conservative counterparts across the country fight fervently to protect unborn babies’ rights, I worry we are missing the mark by failing to protect kids on the playground.

I challenge my elected officials to do something about this preventable tragedy. It’s time to pass sensible bipartisan legislation requiring more checks and balances for those wishing to own a weapon capable of killing.

Chase Rigby

Newport Beach, California