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MA Educators, Nurses Join Call for Federal Gun Legislation

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Friday, June 10, 2022   

This Saturday, groups across the country are taking to the streets to call for federal legislation to prevent gun violence, in the wake of the recent mass shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas.

Educators and nurses unions in Massachusetts are standing in solidarity with "March for Our Lives," the group organizing this weekend's protests.

Katie Murphy, president of the Massachusetts Nurses Association and an intensive care nurse at Brigham and Women's Hospital, thinks a good place to start would be a ban on assault weapons.

"People are taking to the streets and professional organizations are coming out and saying, 'There are real actions we can take to keep children and people safe. Let's do it, and they have to go beyond some red-flag laws,' " Murphy emphasized.

Some lawmakers in Congress are already getting the message, with the House passing a bill largely along party lines to raise the age for purchasing firearms from 18 to 21, ban ghost guns and require safe storage of firearms, among other measures. Republicans are largely opposed to the legislation, and the Senate continues to work on a bipartisan compromise bill.

Massachusetts ranks 4th in the U.S. for its strong gun-safety laws, but the annual average for gun deaths in the state is 255, according to the group Everytown for Gun Safety.

Murphy argued more needs to be done to repair the harm gun violence does to communities.

"You know, this is a public health issue, and we have to do everything possible to study gun violence and the effects on families and communities," Murphy stressed. "That would be an important place to start."

She urged lawmakers not to wait for more tragic incidents to occur before taking national action. At least nine March for Our Lives rallies are taking place in Massachusetts alone this Saturday, in Amherst, Boston, Ipswich and more.


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