I own a gun. I have owned a gun, or guns, for 62 years, since I was 14. I have hunted and target practiced. I respect the Constitution like most other citizens in the United States.

I do not respect the fanatics who believe they’re entitled under the Constitution to unfettered gun ownership.

I believe a practical and common-sense solution to changes in gun laws in this country is universal registration of every gun in the country. Unless Congress bans certain types of guns, multiple-round magazines and accessories that permit full automation of semiautomatic guns, universal registration does not infringe on anyone’s right to own a gun, or guns. Guns purchased legitimately under existing laws, and with full background checks, would be registered. Guns owned that were purchased outside the law would be illegitimate; anyone caught in possession of one would be subject to penalties under the law.

Ownership of registered guns, and their ballistic markings, would be entered into a national database for identification purposes if the guns were ever used to commit a criminal act. It would therefore be incumbent on the registered owner to promptly report a lost or stolen gun.

Critics will say this proposal is not workable, too far-reaching and not sufficiently detailed to deal with every scenario, and I recognize that. It is intended as a framework on which to build a workable solution to regulate legitimate gun ownership and stop senseless killing in public places.

This solution would neither eliminate any guns already owned nor bar such ownership or future purchase unless the background check turned up a valid reason to prevent such a purchase. Guns would still be illegally possessed and perhaps held in secret, but someone determined to buy a gun at a gun store or gun show in order to then commit mass murder would be stopped before going through with his or her plans.

Warner Price

Harpswell