Fighting for safety

To the Editor:

Why can’t we have common sense gun legislation passed into law after there have been 1,624 mass shootings in 1,870 days?

We have more than 265 million guns in this country. How much is enough? The world is watching. The children and adults of America are waiting!

Americans are sick of the excuses, distractions and lies told to protect gun owners and the National Rifle Association.

The prevailing excuses, like “Guns don’t kill people; people do,” are just another way for the government to say, “We aren’t going to do anything to protect you.”

Given that logic, we need to regulate people who own guns as we do with drivers of automobiles. To quote Ozzy Osborne, “If guns don’t kill people, why do we give people guns when they go to war? Why not just send the people?”

After every mass killing, 186 school shootings now since Sandy Hook, legislators quip that it’s “too soon” to discuss gun control. This is not worthy of a response despite being repeated ad nauseum.

My favorite argument is “more regulations won’t work.” We only have to look to the numerous countries that have enacted legislation in the aftermath of massacres there to know that is untrue. This is the case for Australia, Norway, Japan, Great Britain and Canada.

“It’s our right.” The Second Amendment does not give the right to own any type of weapon. What ever happened to right to life, for the countless victims of gun violence?

“It’s a mental health problem.” As a mental health professional, I contend that our society as whole is deranged for allowing individuals bent on mass murder to easily acquire weapons capable of unspeakable destruction of human life. Many of the same legislators who obstruct all measures to enact any gun legislation are the same ones who vote to defund mental health services in the United States.

On Feb. 28, 2017, Congress passed a law revoking an Obama era regulatory initiative that made it harder for people with mental illness to purchase a gun. I discovered that both of my senators from Maine voted in favor of this, and Rep. Poliquin was a sponsor of the bill. Republicans and Democrats alike are so quick to legislate against terrorism overseas to protect Americans, but when it comes to domestic terrorism, where are they?

Where is the courage? Where is the morality?

I will make it my mission to continue this fight for the safety of citizens on the streets of America, students in their schools, worshippers in their church, employees at their jobs, etc. and will fight against the NRA as I have since the Brady Bill was introduced. I will not relent. And I will work to unseat the politicians who stand with the NRA instead of with the majority of Americans who want meaningful gun legislation. We can’t afford to wait any longer.

Starr Gilmartin


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