I am a gun owner. I live alone on 17 acres in the middle of the woods with lots of wildlife around. My dogs have had altercations with porcupines and coyotes, and sometimes Mama has to get involved.

When I lived in cities, I had no desire to own a gun. I saw them as a risk more likely to be used against the person who owned them than against an aggressor. As a physician, I all too often saw the end results of their use throughout my training. Then I moved to rural Maine.

I was shocked at how easy it was to purchase firearms. I walked into my local hardware store and explained that I was looking for a gun for trail running. The woods are full of various-sized critters, and since I run with my dogs, who are stupid enough to engage, I wanted something powerful enough to take down whatever we might encounter while we get to safety.

The recommendation was a .38 special revolver, as they tend to not jam, are large enough caliber to get the job done and have few enough parts to not get caught on anything. I showed my driver’s license, and the gun and ammunition were mine. At the same time, I purchased my first long gun. Thinking I might get into the sport of biathlon, I purchased a rifle with a scope (a .22-caliber) along with ammunition (sporting and plinking). I felt strange walking out to my car, two guns and ammo in hand. It seemed surreal.

A year later, at the same store, I purchased a 12-gauge and a 20-gauge shotgun and two more handguns: the Glock that sits next to my bed and the Ruger my son prefers for shooting targets and vermin on our property. They were purchased all at once, along with ammunition. I purchased much more ammunition online at cheaper prices. No questions asked. I could not believe the ease with which I could buy bullets and shells — no limits. Yet in order to buy Sudafed cold medicine, I have to show my driver’s license, I can only purchase one box and the sales are tracked.

My firearms are kept in a safe and the ammunition in a separate safe when others are at the house. Right now, since I hear the coyotes howling, and one dog recently was maimed by a pack of coyotes, my 20-gauge sits loaded by the door at the ready. This is rural living.


With that background, I do not understand why we do not have sensible gun control. Why do we not have a national, central gun registry? Why do we not track ammunition sales? Why do we not have mandatory waiting periods? Why are bump stocks sold at all? I took a hunter safety course (as required by the state of Maine to get a hunter’s license) — why are gun safety courses not required for all gun owners?

I am not a member of the National Rifle Association, as they do not represent me as a gun owner. I am horrified that time after time, after mass shootings and children shooting others, nothing is done — under the pretext of the Second Amendment.

I have no problem with militias keeping their armament of high-capacity killing machines locked away at firing ranges, but no individual needs that type of weaponry. If the government were to attack its populace, there will be time to get to those weapons. They do not need to be stored at home.

While the Trump administration makes me nervous and a bit of a disaster “prepper,” no laws that would be proposed would interfere with that process. Yet the excuse of the Second Amendment is given as to why high-capacity magazines and assault weapons are needed for every citizen.

It is unbelievable that it is easier to purchase a gun than to purchase Sudafed. There are more regulations on a woman’s uterus than on guns. I find that offensive. Enough. We the people elected this Congress. We the people need to hold them to the job of representing us, not just their campaign donors. We the people need to demand sensible gun laws.

It is not a contradiction to own guns and to want sensible regulations. These types of regulations do not infringe upon the right to own arms. I am a gun owner, and I want sensible gun control laws.

Cathleen London, M.D., is a family physician and a resident of Milbridge.

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