Guns aren’t partisan. They aren’t Republicans or Democrats. They don’t vote, but they can kill. In our country, we face a multifaceted challenge. There are too many guns, it’s too easy to buy them, and too many places we can bring them.

This isn’t about the right to own a gun; nor is it about hunting. In other countries people own guns, but civilian ownership of assault-type weapons is banned; those countries see far fewer tragedies such as those we endure. They also have considerably more rigorous requirements in place for an individual to purchase any gun.

Don’t be distracted by the FBI missing cues about the shooter in Parkland, Florida. Surviving high school students have eloquently told us through their tears to focus on the real and present dangers: access to guns and assault-type weapons, and the money behind them. We must listen to these young people.

Let’s start by urging our Maine legislators to oppose L.D. 1761. This bill would remove the restriction prohibiting a firearm in a motor vehicle when a person drops off or picks up a student and remains in the vehicle, when the firearm is not loaded and is in either a locked container or a locked gun-rack.

A similar proposal was defeated only last spring. Schools aren’t meant to be secured facilities with armed guards watching for shooters. Teachers tell us that they are there to teach. Neither they nor school staff are there to check vehicles and assure that no one has even unintentionally brought a firearm onto school property.

Too many things could happen. Easy access means easier to use, and it’s a slippery slope. Keeping guns away from schools is our responsibility.

Let’s support our legislators in rejecting this proposal and let them know they’re doing the right thing.

Judith Feinstein


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