On February 13, tragedy struck at Michigan State University as a shooting left three dead and five injured. Democratic State Rep. Ranjeev Puri responded with an official statement released the following day that expressed his anger and highlighted the need for more than just thoughts and prayers.
“F* your thoughts and prayers,” opened Puri in his statement — a powerful way of demonstrating the heartbreaking reality of gun violence in America now. He noted that going to school in America means risking one’s life due to mass shootings, but that active shooter drills and bulletproof backpacks are not enough solutions. This is unique to the United States — this level of desensitization from such events occurring so often — and action needs to be taken for gun reform rather than just offering up thoughts and prayers alone.
Since the MSU shooting, several Republican lawmakers have stepped forward with bills for gun reform legislation; however, many of these do not go far enough in preventing future deaths from gun violence. Ranjeev Puri has specifically pointed out that background checks should be mandatory for all firearm purchases — an aspect not included in many of these proposed bills — which would help prevent these guns from falling into dangerous hands. Additionally, he has advocated for raising the minimum age to purchase a firearm from 18 to 21 years old as well as training requirements for owning a firearm or ammunition. These efforts would help protect individuals at risk of being involved in another mass shooting event while also protecting individuals who may harm themselves through access to guns they cannot legally own yet.
It is clear that Rep. Ranjeev Puri is determined to make sure those affected by this tragedy are never forgotten and will fight until change happens; a sentiment echoed by other Democrats across America who want better solutions than just “thoughts and prayers” again. It is time we take concrete action toward gun reform now so future generations can feel safe when they attend US schools without fear of tragedy striking again.