Bill Horner wrote a letter to the editor that was printed on Sept. 20. Tragically, his son was murdered in San Antonio, Texas, in 1998. His son, Mark, was a gifted trombone player. Perhaps the best in the country. A local artist shot Mark in his home. The artist then drove home and committed suicide in his vehicle with the same gun.

Horner noted that George Smith was incorrect when Smith had previously written that criminal use of firearms in Maine is not much of a problem compared to the potential inconvenience passage of Question 3 would be on law-abiding sportsmen. Horner pointed out that until one has had a son murdered he probably cannot understand how that one event can alter a life even if it is statistically unlikely that it might occur.

Although I sympathize with Horner’s loss, in all likelihood the perpetrator of the murder of his son probably obtained his weapon legally. Passage of Question 3 would not have required the perpetrator to go through a procedure that would have resulted in his not being able to obtain a gun. If he had no disqualifications he could have walked into a gun shop and purchased a pistol in a few minutes. Similarly, if Question 3 passes and he wanted to purchase a weapon at a gun show or from a private owner, he probably could do that. It might just take a little longer than from the licensed firearms dealer.

Horner wrote that Question 3 is flawed as are the federal statutes. I agree with him. That is why I see no point in passing Question 3, creating yet another flawed Maine law, simply to feel like we did something that probably will not matter in the long run anyway.

Anne P. Schaad


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