Gary Foster (“Letter to the editor: Gun ownership not cause of society’s ills,” Feb. 22) ascribes the increase in mass shootings (which, according to the Gun Violence Archive, occur on nine out of every 10 days on average in the United States) on societal ills. Among these, he writes, is “the decline of Christian principles.” (Apparently Mr. Foster believes that Christianity alone, out of an estimated 4,200 world religions, has the ability to keep violence in check.)

The ownership of firearms, he writes, is affirmatively not one of the many factors that have contributed to this epidemic; he urges that we “dispense with opportunistic propaganda and face the real problems.”

May I suggest that the fact that Americans own an estimated 265 million guns – more than one for every adult – is about as real a problem as they come?

Ellen D. Murphy

Portland