In the wake of the nation’s latest mass shooting incidents, Republicans and Democrats remain starkly divided on how to address the problem, or even what the problem is.

U.S. Rep. Susan Brooks has proposed legislation to provide grants to incentivize more states to adopt “red flag” laws, which allow law enforcement to seize guns from persons who are deemed to be a threat to themselves or others. The person may then petition the court for the guns to be returned.

Indiana has had such laws in place since 2005, and 16 other states have similar laws.

While this effort by Rep. Brooks is commendable, the Republican congresswoman maintains that it is a “state issue,” a statement which we think lacks perspective.

Over the last several years, mass shootings have occurred in urban and rural areas throughout the U.S., affecting all ages, races, sexual orientations, religions and income levels. When a problem transcends state boundaries, it is appropriate for the federal government to take action.

Whether we believe this to be a gun problem, a mental health problem or a societal problem, it is most definitely an American problem.

Just as these violent acts aren’t limited by state lines, neither guns nor mental health problems are bound within a certain state.

Guns can be transported across state lines, and people with mental health issues can travel across state lines. We function as one nation.

We are affected as a nation, we grieve as a nation and we must act as a nation to put a stop to this violence plaguing our nation.

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