M.D. Harmon’s column on April 5, “More guns, less crime, just got proved all over again,” was intended to bolster my constitutional right to own and use firearms. I’ve been a hunter since I was 10 years old and have owned firearms ever since.

While I appreciate his intended support, I sincerely wish that Harmon not offer arguments that make gun advocates look like idiots. Most personal security consultants (and law enforcement) tell us that a handgun or an assault rifle will not make us safer.

He and the National Rifle Association would like us to forget data that compares the United States to other industrialized nations. We do not compare well. With a much higher rate of firearm ownership, our crime rates are not lower (or even close). I remind everyone that a legislator offered a bill that would have allowed concealed-weapon carry in the State House.

As far as Harmon’s assertion that states have banned assault weapons for cosmetic reasons, the idea that an AR-15 is just like a Winchester Model 94 lever action or a Remington model 760 semi-automatic is pure horse manure. They are designed to kill humans, not deer. They come standard with 15-round clips (10 more than allowed by Maine law for hunting rifles) and a 30-round clip is easy to get.

We do not allow weapons that enable an idiot to spray the woods with 30 rounds in a few seconds in the general direction where there may be a game animal. It greatly increases the danger to other people and practically eliminates the likelihood of a humane kill.

Permits are not a great inconvenience. Pick up the newspaper almost any day, and we read about people who should never be near a gun, let alone carry one concealed.

Dean Crocker Manchester and Estero, Fla.

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