I am incredibly sad for the residents of Lewiston as well as the state of Maine. I have hoped that we would not join the growing list of cities and states that have suffered a mass casualty event (i.e. a horrendous shooting spree). Alas, we are not immune.

Every day, 120 Americans are killed with guns and more than 200 are shot and wounded. Gun violence is the leading cause of death for children 1-18 years of age. In 2020, gun violence passed car accidents as the number one cause of death. In 2022, more than 6,000 children were killed or injured by gunfire. Where do we go from here?

Congress? Until congressional members love our children (the future) more than their money (and power) from the NRA, mass shootings will continue.

As a young man, my dad hunted deer in the woods of Maine. He owned a 30-30 rifle and a 16 gauge shotgun. I have no quarrel with people owning hunting rifles. I do not see an AR-15 as a legitimate animal hunting weapon.

Our current state motto, “Dirigo,” means “I lead.” Let us lead. Assault rifles have no place in our society except for the military. These are weapons designed to kill humans. It is time for them to be banned and if that means at the state level, so be it. More will die if we wait for the federal government.

Paul Roberts

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