The mass shootings that have stretched from Santa Barbara to Sandy Hook have rocked the country. These shootings, however, only tell part of the story of the gun violence epidemic that is plaguing the nation. In 2014, about 12,000 people were murdered by guns; another 21,000 killed themselves with guns.

This year, Mainers can make a dent in these numbers by voting yes on Question 3, which will close the unlicensed gun-sale background check loophole. By closing the loophole, it will make it more difficult for people who are prohibited from owning guns (felons, domestic abusers and the profoundly mentally ill) to buy a gun.

Opponents of Question 3 have termed it a “New York City solution.” Domestic abuse, suicide, and illegal gun trafficking are Maine problems. FBI statistics show that in states that have enacted similar measures, 46 percent fewer women are killed by their partners, 48 percent fewer people commit suicide with firearms, and illegal gun trafficking is reduced by 48 percent. Question 3 will reduce deaths in Maine and in our neighboring states. It is not a New York City solution, but a Maine common-sense solution to address a Maine and national problem.

That’s why I am voting yes on Question 3.

Chuck Cohen


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