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Letter to Gov. Abbott: 'We are dying on your watch. What will you do about it?'

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HOUSTON – A national organization took out a full-page ad in the Houston Chronicle to showcase a letter to Gov. Greg Abbott about action on gun control.

Everytown for Gun Safety is "movement of Americans working together to end gun violence and build safer communities," according to its website.

The letter, signed by Texas students affiliated with March for Our Lives and Students Demand Action, read in part, "We appreciate your thoughts and prayers, but without policy change, this crisis will not end."

"We are dying on your watch. What will you do about it?" the letter ended.

Here's the full letter:

File: Ad with letter to Gov. Abbott

"Dear Governor Abbott,

Our job is to be good students. Your job is to keep us safe. You have failed at your job. Like so many politicians cozy with the NRA, you have steadfastly opposed any reasonable measures that might protect us from gun violence. Instead, you've signed dangerous policies to force public colleges in Texas to allow guns on campus and make it legal to openly carry firearms in public. You've continued to push the notion that guns everywhere for everyone make us safer. By that logic, shouldn't we be among the safest states in the nation?

In the past, you've tweeted that you were embarrassed that Texas was second in the nation on gun sales—and that Texans needed to step up and buy more guns. A few months later, you said that gun violence was happening because of “hearts without God.” Do you think that the children who were shot in class this week died because they hadn't prayed enough?

What about the 26 who were killed while they were worshiping in Sutherland Springs? Do you think they are to blame, rather than yourself and other politicians who refuse to allow even a meaningful discourse on reasonable gun violence prevention policies?

We were happy to hear you mention background checks and responsible gun storage when you spoke on Friday. But here's the thing: Words only matter if they're followed by action. And you have no track record of fighting for anyone other than the NRA. The majority of gun owners support laws that disarm domestic abusers or require a criminal background check on all gun sales. Do you?

Why is our safety less important than the check you get from the NRA? We know that common sense gun laws make us safer. Since January 2009, Texas has experienced at least 20 mass shootings—more than any other state in the country. Do you think that a culture of guns everywhere and our lax gun laws might have something to do with that?

You've said that straying from Jesus is the cause of gun violence. Well, let this be your “come to Jesus” moment. Children are dying. We're being shot and killed in our classrooms, homes, movie theaters—even as we walk home from school. We have become collateral damage in a country whose lawmakers refuse to stand up to people who just want to sell more guns—regardless of the body count.

We appreciate your thoughts and prayers, but without policy change, this crisis will not end. And what we're asking for isn't unreasonable. In fact, most Texans, gun owners and even NRA members support common sense gun laws.

You've met with the NRA in the past, and just a few weeks ago you spoke at the organization's annual meeting. We'd like a chance to speak with you, too. To tell you how it feels to go to school everyday terrified that we won't come home. To ask you to be brave enough to stand up for public safety instead of pandering to the gun lobby, and work with Texans who, frankly, are terrified.

We are dying on your watch. What will you do about it?

Sincerely,

Logan K., Dallas March for Our Lives Organizer, StudentsMarch.org 
Chet M., Dallas March for Our Lives Organizer, StudentsMarch.org 
Ashley L., Dallas March for Our Lives Organizer, StudentsMarch.org 
William M., Dallas March for Our Lives Organizer, StudentsMarch.org 
Ava T., Dallas March for Our Lives Organizer, StudentsMarch.org 
Arlene G., Dallas March for Our Lives Organizer, StudentsMarch.org 
Abby T., Dallas March for Our Lives Organizer, StudentsMarch.org
Phoebe M., Dallas March for Our Lives Organizer, StudentsMarch.org 
Nyasha M., Dallas March for Our Lives Organizer, StudentsMarch.org 
Claire C., Dallas March for Our Lives Organizer, StudentsMarch.org 
Samira C., College Station March for Our Lives Organizer 
Parker H., Denton March for Our Lives Organizer 
Rachel W., San Antonio March For Our Lives Organizer 
Sophia M., San Antonio March For Our Lives Organizer 
Bailey K., Corpus Christi March for Our Lives Organizer
Isabel O., Corpus Christi March for Our Lives Organizer 
Gabriella B., Corpus Christi March for Our Lives Organizer 
Lillie Z., Corpus Christi March for Our Lives Organizer 
Madeleine D., Corpus Christi March for Our Lives Organizer
Elaine Z., Plano-based member of Students Demand Action 
Jack K., Austin March for Our Lives organizer 
Kari S., Austin March for Our Lives organizer 
Matthew H., Austin March for Our Lives organizer 
Sydney D., Woodlands-based member of Students Demand Action 
Olivia N., Woodlands-based member of Students Demand Action 
Alanna M., Southlake-based member of Students Demand Action 
Katie S., Southlake-based member of Students Demand Action 
Kristen K., Dallas-based member of Students Demand Action 
Rebecca F., Woodlands-based member of Students Demand Action 
Paige C., Houston March for Our Lives Organizer 
Marcel M., Houston March for Our Lives Organizer 
Madie L., Houston March for Our Lives Organizer 
Manju B., Houston March for Our Lives Organizer 
Lorena S., Round Rock, Williamson County March for Our Lives Organizer 
Jacquelyn K., McKinney March for our Lives Organizer 
Minha V. Plano-based member of Students Demand Action 
Waed A., Dallas March for Our Lives Organizer, StudentsMarch.org 
Rebecca T., Dallas March for Our Lives Organizer, StudentsMarch.org 
Sela G., Dallas March for Our Lives Organizer, StudentsMarch.org 
Azhalia L., Dallas March for Our Lives Organizer, StudentsMarch.org 
Sophie C., Dallas March for Our Lives Organizer, StudentsMarch.org 

Legislative advertising paid for by Everytown For Gun Safety Action Fund, P.O. Box 4184, New York, NY 10163. Publication authorized by John Feinblatt, President."