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OPINION: "This year, however, I will not celebrate the 4th of July. Those fireworks with the loud booming and colorful bursts of fire are only a reminder of how militarized and unsafe we all are now. Each boom and each colorful burst of firepower now represents each if the lives lost to a hate-filled maniac with an assault rifle," writes Tucsonan Sharon Olbert. 

OPINION: "This is not to say that those lawmakers who vote down strict gun controls and those constituents who vote them into office actually want the slaughter of young children, or the fearfulness of schoolchildren everywhere. But they want the freedom around guns more. It's a question of priorities," writes Tucsonan Brent Harold. 

OPINION: "As Arizonans, many of us have friends or neighbors who are Americans of Iranian descent. They’re our doctors, our colleagues, our college classmates. They’ve been severely impacted by the continuation of Trump’s sanctions – locked out of their American bank accounts because of their heritage, unable to send mail to their loved ones, victims of hate crimes," writes Jazz Mimoun, a member of the Leadership Council for the Arizona Chapter of the National Iranian American Council.

OPINION: "The monthly child tax credit was an overwhelming success. They cut poverty and reduced hunger, and if we renew them they would cover the cost of inflation. Arizona’s political leaders would be on the right side of the policy and the politics if they would support renewing the monthly child tax credit payments this year," writes Ilana Lowery, Arizona director of Common Sense Media.

OPINION: "I feel strongly that with our tax dollars we can beat this and become a beautiful city again that we can be proud of. Please, City of Tucson, generate some funds so we can have our city beautiful again," writes Tucsonan Sandi Filipponi. 

OPINION: The foundation for our growth is found in the mountain ranges and desert landscapes. Likewise, the future of our communities, our economy, and our families depend on safeguarding and expanding our public lands, like the Grand Canyon. We’re counting on our elected leaders to make it happen.

OPINION: "Communities that are transparent exist to invite participation by all who are involved. They operate under democratic rights of those who wish to gather together. They exist to invite participants into the questions," writes Thomas J. Lindell, emeritus professor at the University of Arizona and a deacon in the Episcopal Diocese of Arizona.

OPINION:"I now work in the realm of death and dying every day. People often comment, with a heavy sigh, that it must be depressing. In fact, it’s the most inspiring, grounding, life-affirming work I’ve ever done," writes Sarah Super Ascher, associate vice president for the Arizona End of Life Care Partnership. 

OPINION: "We are high school students in Tucson, and watching children being slaughtered in their own schools makes us afraid. As students, our safety, our lives, our futures remain uncertain as gun violence surges in America," write Fida Bijin, Ellie Dorland, Mallika Sunder, and Jeffrey Williams.

OPINION: "As the saying goes, a picture is worth 1,000 words. We need a sea change for lawmakers to have the political will to put children before their careers and the gun lobby, and to get there, we need the shock wave that comes with graphic reality. Show us the photos," writes Star contributor Renée Schafer Horton.

OPINION: "Gone are the Saturday matinees with the cowboy heroes. Gone are the pretend reenactments of those movies. Gone are the days when a young boy’s innocence did not give a second thought to pretending to shoot a gun at someone else because it was all make-believe," writes Tucsonan Robert Nordmeyer. 

OPINION: "CRT is something that tries to explain why black people consistently pay more for cars, loans, and houses. It tries to explain why black people have a lower average salary and life expectancy. It tries to explain why my black friend tensed up when she drove past a police cruiser because she drove 'such a nice car,' she once told me," writes Kristen Hoggatt-Abader.

OPINION: "While not suffering the same extremes of symptomatic COVID-19 as adults, the collateral damage experienced by our pediatric population has been equally bad. Both children and adolescents have experienced huge climbs in rates of depression, anxiety, other mental health diseases and suicide," writes Dr. Sean Elliott.

OPINION: "The Moment of Silence specifically does not require or suggest that the children think about anything in particular during that moment. Their teachers do not tell them what to think about. Instead, they can ask their parents or guardians — which gives space for meaningful conversations to take place at home between parents and children," writes Rabbi Yehuda Ceitlin. 

OPINION: "The state Legislature has thus far avoided passing legislation that would ensure businesses like mine have a reliable water supply for years to come --but that could change. There is currently an opportunity before the Arizona Legislature to act on water policy and support small farms and businesses like mine in rural areas," writes Demion Clinco. 

OPINION: "So, the next time you hear demagoguery or comments intended to dehumanize the “other side” or something that you know is untrue, stand up! Take a stand for truth, stand up for democracy and freedom, show courage and integrity like Gen. Milley did. And, never accept lies from a leader because you like their policies on other issues," writes Patrick DeConcini, Col (Ret) Arizona Air National Guard.

OPINION: "George Washington recognized that due diligence will always be needed for the United States to persevere. He said, 'It may be laid down as a primary position, and the basis of our system, that every Citizen who enjoys the protection of a Free Government, owes not only a proportion of his property, but even of his personal services to the defense of it,'" writes Tucsonan and retired Army officer Robert Matte Jr.  

OPINION: "In this first year, PEEPs helped close to 700 children who might have missed out on preschool otherwise. Think of what that opportunity means for these kids and their futures! For their families and their peace of mind! For our community and its future! In the years to come, even more children will be served," writes Pima County Supervisor Rex Scott. 

OPINION: "Whole families could be shattered by a single encounter with a gun. Even though these events took place off campus, students carried the trauma responses of depression, anxiety, PTSD, and mood changes with them everywhere, including into school," writes Star contributor Heather Mace. 

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