Every one of our local legislators either opposed or refused to actively support two very basic pieces of gun-safety legislation last session.

The first would have closed the loophole in Minnesota’s background check requirement so that even private and online sales would be checked. The second would have established a court-supervised system for temporarily removing guns from individuals with demonstrated mental-health issues deemed to pose a threat to the person or others.

It took the gunman in the Ohio shooting less than 30 seconds to kill nine people and injure 27 others using a .223-caliber high-capacity rifle with 100-round drum magazines. Thankfully, police already on the scene prevented a worse massacre.

You know what else takes less than 30 seconds? Leaving a voicemail with one of your state representatives (look up “Winona state senator/representative” on Google) asking him to actively support common-sense gun legislation in the upcoming session.

Will you please step up and make that call? Because until responsible citizens start holding our elected representatives accountable for securing public safety, we won’t be able to go anywhere -- not stores, workplaces, churches, festivals, government buildings or even schools -- without fear of being shot…without some small part of us making a plan in case the next bloodbath happens here.

We don’t have to live like this. We can fight back -- not with bullets, but with simple acts of citizenship.

Jerry Windley-Daoust, Winona

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