As I flipped through TV stations, hoping for an update on the 34th school shooting of 2018 (according to the Gun Violence Archive) but mostly finding commentary on the royal wedding, I couldn’t help but fear that my community could be next.

Throughout my career, advocating for sensible gun laws both here in Maine and at the national level, I oftentimes feel helpless in the wake of such senseless tragedies. Fortunately, it is an election year, and there’s one important action we can all take June 12: voting for candidates who support closing loopholes in Maine’s gun laws. I’m supporting Janet Mills for governor because she has the expertise and proven leadership necessary to bring together sportsmen, gun-safety advocates, law enforcement and other stakeholders to make our communities safer.

I’m concerned about who will work toward reducing Maine’s domestic violence epidemic. Domestic violence shootings account for half of Maine gun homicides and are the most dangerous call for responding law enforcement officers. Janet Mills has long been committed to protecting Maine’s women from abuse and death. As attorney general, her office has worked tirelessly to enforce existing laws and keep firearms out of the hands of domestic abusers.

Last month, I witnessed firsthand her commitment to passing evidence-based laws that reduce gun violence while respecting the Second Amendment. While other candidates were making speeches on the campaign trail, Janet Mills spent many hours in the Judiciary Committee advocating for Sen. Mark Dion’s community protection order bill, which would have given law enforcement a vital tool to prevent tragedies.

The causes of gun violence are complex, which means there are no easy answers. If Maine is going to pass and implement effective gun laws, we need a proven leader who can craft and build consensus around gun laws that make sense for Maine. That’s why Janet Mills has my vote in the June 12 Democratic primary.

Nick Wilson


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