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To fight anti-trans violence, it's time for sensible gun laws

So far this year, at least 24 transgender individuals have been killed, most of them by a gun. And we cannot forget that most of these victims were trans women of color, the majority of them being black. Last year, a list compiled by The Advocate showed that more than half of the 27 homicides of transgender Americans were by gunfire. This all has happened while the gun lobby has pushed a reckless agenda of guns everywhere, for anyone, at any time – no questions asked. Some gun lobby-backed members of Congress have pushed for legislation that would gut state gun laws on who can carry hidden, loaded guns in public. Other lawmakers have pushed dangerous legislation that would roll back gun silencer safety laws and make it easy for anyone to buy a gun silencer without a background check. For too long, lawmakers have listened to the gun lobby rather than the American people. It’s time to remind them that they work for us.

Stories of loss, love and hope

Asked what she thinks accounts for Clinton’s loss, she says, “I still don’t know. I feel like I lost all faith in humanity after that one.” Lafferty, who now works for advocacy group Everytown for Gun Safety, says she is comforted by the people who have made the issue a priority, even without being personally impacted by it. “If they can get up and do it out of the kindness of their hearts, I better be able to do it for my mother,” she says. After the mass shooting at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando last year, Lafferty could not function. She lay on her couch, watched the news coverage, and cried. But this year, after Las Vegas, she felt stronger, and immediately began to work to respond to the shooting, and to rally other people to call and email their elected officials and get involved in fighting for tougher gun laws.

Our mass shooting problem is a domestic violence problem, too: Immediate steps we can take to disarm abusers

Next, Congress can finish a job it started over 20 years ago. Back in 1994, it barred abusers under restraining orders from having guns. Soon after, it did the same for convicted abusers. But those prohibitions only apply if the abuser has been married to the victim, or if they cohabited or had a child together. This so-called “boyfriend loophole” remains in federal law to this day — despite the fact that, if you look at the data, as many women are killed by boyfriends as by spouses. Legislation already introduced by Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Mn.), Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-Mich.), and Rep. Dan Donovan (R-N.Y.) proposes closing the “boyfriend loophole” — and keeping guns from abusive dating partners and convicted stalkers nationwide.

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