Today, as a board member of GunSenseVT and more importantly, as a parent of a student currently under lockdown at Bates College in Lewiston, I am heartbroken by the horrifying tragedy that unfolded last night in that city. The chilling proximity of this event further shatters any illusion of safety we might have previously felt. It is a harrowing reminder that no community is immune to this sort of heartache.

On behalf of GunSense Vermont, we extend our deepest sympathies to the families and loved ones of the individuals who lost their lives in this act of violence. Our hearts also go out to those recovering from injuries and to the entire Lewiston community, who are grappling with this immense tragedy.

The number of mass shootings in our country is an outrage that we can not continue to accept. It brings to the forefront the urgent and undeniable reality that we, as a society, must address how and why these incidents occur and insist that action is taken to prevent them in the future.

GunSenseVT remains committed to advocating for common-sense gun laws that can save lives and reduce the risk of such tragedies. A full ban on semi-automatic assault weapons has been a long standing tenet of our legislative agenda.Today's incident, close to my heart as a parent and as an advocate, strengthens my resolve and the resolve of all of GunSense Vermont to demand this life saving policy for Vermont and on the national level.

We call upon leaders at every level of government to join us in this effort to protect our communities and put an end to this senseless cycle of violence.