A front-page article in the Kennebec Journal on Oct. 9, “Councilors favor selling forfeited guns,” discussed the decision by the Augusta City Council to “sell, not destroy, most firearms forfeited to police, but not guns used in homicides.”

Councilor Patrick Paradis is quoted later in the article as saying, “But if it has been involved in a violent crime … it should be destroyed…If it has been used in a crime to victimize somebody we ought to consider destroying it so it doesn’t victimize someone else.”

Let me see if I understand the logic of this discussion. If guns haven’t been involved in violent crime they can be sold. If they have, they should be destroyed so they can’t victimize again.

In other words, it is only the guns that have been previously used to kill someone that we should be worried about? Do we really believe that’s true? Do the councilors really believe that the guns not previously used in gun violence, if sold, would never end up in the hands of the wrong person?

Later in the meeting, it is suggested that the proceeds from the sale of these guns could be given to domestic violence prevention programs. I don’t doubt the sincerity of this suggestion. But I have a better idea, given the level of gun violence in our society (11 people recently murdered on three college campuses) and that close to half the homicides in Maine are domestic violence related. The City Council should vote to destroy all the guns that have been forfeited. Is the money raised from the sale of any or all of these guns really worth the possibility of another destroyed family, another victimized neighbor, another traumatized child?

Raymond Anderson

Jefferson


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