With all of the tragedy surrounding the coronavirus pandemic, there’s one bit of good news - no school shootings in March or April.

We all know why - schools across the nation were closed in order to keep kids safe from COVID-19. It’s sad that the only way our kids can be protected from gun violence at school is for us to keep them at home. They deserve better!

Sadly, they may get worse. Gun sales have soared during the pandemic. More guns will be available to more people when social distancing ends. So it’s likely a “return to normal” will mean returning to higher levels of gun violence - shootings in schools, in homes, on the streets, at concerts, everywhere.

It needn’t be that way. A month without school shootings could inspire us to pass common sense gun legislation - background checks and red flag laws to help prevent dangerous people from getting firearms and assault weapons bans make the kinds of guns that have no purpose but to kill many people, quickly unavailable. Before kids return to school, let’s muster the will to create a new and better normal when it comes to gun violence.

Steve Gehlert

West Newbury

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