How many deaths will it take?

In 2019, we have recorded 251 mass shootings in the United States. A mass shooting is defined as any incident in which at least four people were killed. Sebring is one of them. After three mass shootings in 15 days, people of good will can no longer be too scared, too busy or unable to admit their role

White supremacists feel empowered by the president and efforts to improve our gun laws are blocked by Republicans in the Senate. The carnage will continue until we vote these people out of office. We do not need to wait until 2020. There are things we can do now in our local community.

I challenge the gun dealer who sold the SunTrust shooter his weapon to send a large donation to the sheriff’s gun buy-back program.

I know some people feel that the buy-back program is hopeless since the number of guns that the buy-back program melts down is overwhelmed by the Highlands County Fairground Association’s efforts to flood the county with military-type weapons. I am referring to gun shows at the fairgrounds. The Fairgrounds Association is trying to keep the list of their board members secret. But, if you know someone on of the Fair Board, ask them to stop facilitating these gun shows across the street from Sebring High School.

Finally, when the president got off his plane from a golfing holiday, he said nothing about guns and focused blame for the recent shootings on mental illness. This straight out of the NRA line. Other developed countries have about the same percentage of mental illness, but suffer a small fraction of gun deaths per capita when compared to the United States. The difference is our gun policies. That said, mental illness is a factor and we need to learn more about what can be done. I am working with a group called Indivisible and we are planning a forum on mental illness and guns. If you would like to help us, please email me at

James Upchurch



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