Rev. Agabus Lartey, pastor of Family Life Fellowship Church in Boston, Massachusetts, left the lights on for his daughter Kristen before going to bed last August. But Kristen, a 22-year-old who had just graduated from college, never came home that night. Instead, she and three other young women were gunned down that evening while sitting in a car on a nearby street. Three of the four women died from their wounds, all victims of senseless—yet, for many Americans, frighteningly frequent—gun violence.
“I went into her room, and she wasn’t there,” Lartey told The Boston Globe. “I had an inkling, I started connecting the dots, and at that moment my doorbell rang, and there was a cop, and I knew that she had passed. … My birthday is the day that my daughter died.”
Stories such as Kristen’s are all too common in the United States, but they don’t have to be. Millions of Americans have been affected by gun violence in their communities, and millions more are calling for an end to the killing—and their voices are growing louder. In the wake of the tragic mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, last December, an overwhelming majority of Americans called for common-sense gun regulations that could help prevent future killings: Polls show that 91 percent of Americans, including 85 percent of gun owners, support universal background checks for gun purchases.
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