I Am Your Public

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Last week, gun violence prevention legislation was introduced in the Minnesota State Senate, and on Friday, concerned citizens were invited to testify and share their thoughts with the Senate Judiciary Committee. Tasya Kelen was one of several JCA members who testified at this hearing, where we let legislators know that we believe universal background checks, among other measures, could prevent future gun violence in our community. Read her powerful testimony below. If, like Tasya, recent violence in our nation has woken you up, please join our gun violence prevention campaign today.


Mr Chairman, members of the Committee, thank you for inviting this public hearing on legislation 520.

My name is Tasya Rosenfeld Kelen and I am your public: I am a lifelong resident of Minneapolis, I am a member of the faith community and I am a mother of two young children.

On December 14, I woke up. When Adam Lanza destroyed the future and took the innocent lives of 20 PRECIOUS CHILDREN I knew I could remain quiet to the devastation in our communities no longer! That is why I joined with other members of my faith community to raise my voice against senseless gun violence. The Newtown shootings made me realize that gun violence is not limited to neighborhoods victimized by gang violence. It takes place in Bryn Mawr at Accent Signage, at Red Lake, and just two weeks ago in Oakdale.

Devin Aryal was riding home from school in his mother's minivan chatting about his day, when out of no where came a spray of bullets and little Devin was shot multiple times. He DIED in his mother's arms. I can only imagine that mother's overwhelming GRIEF at having a child DIE IN HER ARMS: anyone's grief at having a child DIE IN THEIR ARMS. These deaths are happening all over. To me, that says there is too much easy access to guns!

Do I not have a RIGHT to drop my daughter off at school and have her come home alive?? I AM SCARED!! I live in a quiet neighborhood but Sandyhook Elementary was located in a quiet neighborhood. Today, I stand with others to say ENOUGH IS ENOUGH! How many more children have to DIE before something is done??

Take action! Pass common sense gun legislation, close the gun show loophole and pass universal background checks! These may not be the perfect fix but it's better than doing nothing--and children continue to DIE when you do NOTHING. The children are our future--DO THE RIGHT THING--make sure they have one! Thank you.

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