Maine has a history of responsible gun culture. I was trained by the NRA in gun safety in the 1960s, and have respected gun use in our state.

Most gun owners support sensible gun laws, like a ban on assault-style weapons, universal background checks, waiting periods, registering and tracking guns.

We are naive if we think mass shootings will not happen here. As divisiveness and fear is stimulated hopelessness will increase, and lack of community support leaves individuals in despair. And it is our sons, brothers, neighbors and friends who commit these acts of violence.

Sensible gun laws will not end all mass shootings, but they can slow them down, give space for individuals to pause, maybe be noticed and supported and avoid killing.

The mental health of our country is deteriorating with fear and attacks, and guns are too easy to access. We need community resources and support, a compassionate way of intervening when an individual shows signs of violence, and support for them.

Slowing down access to guns is a means of addressing violence. Sensible gun laws will help.

Linda Littlefield Grenfell

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