In the March 9 op-ed (“Do not punish Mainers for Lewiston shooting”), the writer employs some of the same dishonest language Second Amendment absolutists always use when faced with reasonable ideas about how to make us all safer in the face of increasing gun violence.

The writer asserts, for instance, that the Maine Legislature “appeared poised to punish my friends and responsible gun owners across Maine for an unspeakable mass shooting that none of them committed.” Really? Having read the proposed bills of which he speaks, I see nothing that would “punish” responsible gun owners. Nor do I see anything that would “criminalize” his friends who own guns for the purpose of defending their homes or for hunting. If a waiting-period law is passed, no one applying for a gun permit is “criminalized” any more than someone applying for a driver’s license is.

The writer is entitled to his opinions, and his friends in Lewiston are entitled to their responsible gun ownership. No one is questioning these rights. But the inflammatory language he uses to paint a false picture of reasonable gun legislation adds nothing to the conversation about public safety. Rather, it parrots the rhetoric churned out by the gun lobby, whose only goal is to shut down, rather than honestly debate, attempts to strike a balance between the legitimate rights of gun owners and the public’s legitimate concerns about safety.

Michael Lee
Kittery Point

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