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LETTER: Gun sale background checks save lives

To the Editor:

Each day, 33 Americans are murdered with guns, and of these, eight are children and teens.

Each day, 110 Americans are treated in hospitals for non-fatal gunshot wounds.

Each day, 51 people commit suicide with a firearm.

Each day, most of these gun deaths and injuries are preventable, and it's time for Americans to learn how.

This weekend is National Gun Violence Prevention Sabbath Weekend organized by Faiths United to Prevent Gun Violence and the Washington National Cathedral. The purpose of this Sabbath Weekend is to bring the issue of gun violence to places of worship and to educate people of faith on the realities of gun violence. The United Church of Christ congregation ANEW is a local participant in this effort.

Background checks work. Since the National Instant Background Check System was created in 1998, more than two million gun purchases were blocked from prohibited buyers. In states that require background checks for all handgun sales, there are fewer women killed by their intimate partner, fewer suicides and fewer law enforcement officers killed with handguns.

This means that lives are saved. Expanding background checks and closing the loopholes of private sales and sales at gun shows and over the Internet will mean that even more lives will be saved. For this to work, states must pass common sense gun safety laws and submit criminal and mental health records to the NICS.

People united together can keep guns out of dangerous hands. We pray for peace, so we must also act for peace. We owe it to the 33 Americans who die each day from gun violence.