I’m posing a question that many will consider the pinnacle of naïveté: I’m wondering if (some?) Maine gun dealers would voluntarily consider removing the AR-15 and similar weapons from sale in their stores.

I know. I’ve heard all the arguments from both sides, and I won’t take up any of those issues. I was a hunter until about age 40, when I switched to hunting with a telephoto lens. I spent time in the Army during the Vietnam conflict. I know that a semi-automatic .30-caliber deer rifle would cause far worse wounds than a military cartridge with a full-metal jacket. However, for whatever reason, the principal weapon for hunting schoolchildren is the AR-15. Removing that weapon from sale could help reduce the danger of shootings here in Maine.

If it’s true that a huge majority of Maine’s hunters are concerned about mass shootings and support stronger background checks, removing military-style weapons from sale in your store could increase your business, or certainly not reduce same. Especially since many of Maine’s hunters have children in school.

Please consider this option, and from those of us with children and grandchildren in Maine schools, thank you!

Bruce Bartrug

Nobleboro