I’m writing to you in response to the March 18 front-page Maine Sunday Telegram story titled “We are gun owners.”

The article missed the main point on why we’re currently having yet another debate on guns and gun violence.

I am neither a hunter, target shooter nor gun collector. I’m also not against any of these activities by law-abiding citizens, nor do I blame them for our current state of affairs. The real issue here is public safety and the prevalence of gun violence in our country.

According to a recent study of 27 high-income countries, we have the highest rate of gun deaths per capita of any nation in the developed world. Period. When public safety is at stake, we have regulations as to who can drive a car, drunken-driving, seatbelt and cellphone laws, what we can and can’t bring on airplanes, building codes, etc. These are in place to keep Americans safer.

We need to look at guns and gun ownership in a similar way, as a public safety and health issue. The majority of Americans agree that we need sensible gun laws that include thorough background checks, closing loopholes to gun purchases, waiting periods, keeping assault weapons in the hands of the military and banning high-capacity magazines and bump stocks. Yes, they may cause gun buyers some inconveniences, but that is the price we all must pay to live in a country where men, women and children are safer in their homes, schools, movie theaters, concerts, places of worship and shopping malls. It seems like a small price to pay.

Pam Lanz


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