The lead Maine Sunday Telegram story March 18 focused on gun owners in Maine. Nothing was said about assault weapons. Not one of the people featured said they own an assault weapon or a bump stock. Thus, the articles were unrelated to the current outcry among high school students who are calling for a ban on assault weapons and bump stocks.

Very few people are calling for an outright ban on all guns. And with vast support among Americans for the constitutional right to bear arms, chances are nil that such a ban would ever take place.

“The whole point of what we are trying to do is not to take your hunting rifles away,” Kennebunk High School student Elona Bodwell told the York County Coast Star. “We’re not trying to take away your guns, but we do want stricter gun laws. The whole point is to take away the assault weapons that are meant to kill people. That are used to kill us.”

Something else many students want is universal background checks. Until background checks are universal, they are nearly useless. If someone is refused permission to buy a weapon, he/she has only to attend the next gun show or call Uncle Henry’s to buy one.

Better mental health services are also high on the list of student requests. What a shame that Congress recently gutted the Affordable Care Act, which required coverage of mental health care! What a shame that in 2004, Congress lifted the ban on assault weapons!

Let’s stop discussing empty threats to the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Instead, we must demand universal background checks; ban assault weapons; and provide services for all who suffer from mental illness.

A Feb. 22 Washington Post Wonkblog analysis (“The real reason why Congress banned assault weapons in 1994 – and why it worked”) shows huge drops in mass shooting fatalities during the assault weapons ban.

Victoria Adams


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