I’m sure I wasn’t alone in quietly and privately shedding tears for Americans whom I’ve never met following the horrific shooting in Las Vegas. As a firearm owner I also realized it was only a matter of time before this happened. I did contact Sen. Susan Collins’ office a couple years ago to express my concerns about bump stocks. Of course, my concerns were dismissed.

The fact is that there are thousands of bump stocks in the hands of the public. Most people have no intention of using them for evil. I’m not trying to defend the sale of bump stocks as our lawmakers rush to outlaw them. In our haste to blame an object though, we seem forget it could have been an airplane or truck that was used to kill. We certainly won’t ban airplanes or trucks. We as a society accept the risk.

In the past I have considered buying a bump stock. I would have hurt no one. It would have been a toy to go with my small collection. Sadly, those who are being hurt by this sick murderer are the millions of us who have done nothing wrong. Law-abiding citizens are the ones hurt by criminals. I’m very sorry and dismayed for the loss of life. I’m also sorry for our country as we continue to chip away at our freedom, liberty and individual rights. Where will this end? Is our government planning to pay people for their private property? Or as a society are we just going to steal the bump stocks that are already in private hands?

Also, who’s going to pay for the business and jobs lost? Does anyone even care? These are some of the questions I ask myself? I only hope our politicians are asking the same questions?

John Hopkins

Manchester