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Student from Hood River speaks at D.C. gun violence hearing

Student from Hood River speaks at D.C. gun violence hearing

WASHINGTON D.C. -- Senator Patty Murray, Senator Ron Wyden, and a student from Hood River came to a public hearing to talk about protecting children from gun violence.

Shooting survivors, parents of victims, and senators shared how gun violence has hurt them--and many also shared their solutions.

“We're not the ones who really need the help,” said Francine Wheeler, whose son was murdered in the Sandy Hook shooting. “The ones who need the help are the fresh ranks of the grieving. The shattered family members that have to sort out how to make sense of the insanity. And every single time, the previous group moves one place further back, and watches more families line up in front of them.”

"School-wide murder has been so normalized by gun culture that we approach these like a fire drill,” said Eva Jones, a sophomore from Hood River. “This makes me sick. Millions of children are rationally preparing for student slaughter, and this is normalized. We cannot allow our nation to go along with this any longer.”

People suggested banning high capacity magazines, implementing universal background checks, and urged lawmakers to work across party lines.

Back in Washington, Representative Dan Newhouse also weighed in on gun violence.

“Find out where the system broke down--that's where we need to put our attention,” Newhouse said. “Make sure that the solutions being put forward will actually solve the problem, because everybody wants our schools to be safe.”

Newhouse said he's open to any solution that would work--whether that be raising the legal age to buy a gun or focusing on mental health.

“We have to make sure that we recognize if an individual needs help, needs attention, to be able to prevent this kind of thing from happening in the first place,” he said. “Make sure they get the help they need. Make sure that they don't have a firearm.”

Newhouse said he thinks the root of the issue is identifying those at-risk. And he said arming teachers in schools should be a local school district's decision.

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