I enjoy reading Abdi Nor Iftin’s columns. His perspective is interesting, he writes well and I learn new things.

After recently reading his book, “Call Me American,” I wondered how he might view the gun issues plaguing America. Thus, his June 9 piece, “Conversations about gun violence should begin at home,” immediately caught my attention. His premise that conversations about guns between parents and children will end mass shootings seems overly optimistic.

I do agree that gun violence in the USA, in Somalia and anywhere is a tragedy. According to his book, in Mogadishu, guns were handed out “like candy,” and unregulated, unsupervised, clan-driven young militia executed men, women and children.

Our country (now Iftin’s country, too) does have a long history of gun violence, both in and outside the home. This is certainly more nuanced than “a love affair with lethal weapons.” Notably, we did have a national ban on assault weapons from 1994-2004. During that period, mass shootings went down, but politics ended the ban.

So how do we fix this? What solutions have worked in other countries? What was it in Iftin’s own life that kept him and his brother from being attracted to serving in an armed militia (particularly given Iftin’s boyhood infatuation with the 1984 movie, “The Terminator”)?

We can hardly expect parents’ conversations with children about gun violence to defeat the profit motives, advertising, fear-mongering and related political power of gun manufacturers. Is there anything other than money that will persuade elected leaders to promote gun safety? Or are we no better than the countries, such as Somalia, where only the payment of bribes (or bodyguards and more walls) will protect us?

I urge Mr. Iftin to give these questions more serious thought and research. I am optimistic that he can come up with some better ideas.

Lucinda E. White
Freeport