Stricter gun laws are needed

We have had one accidental gun death in our family involving a child in recent years. Growing up on the farm 50 years ago, hunting rifles were necessary for providing supplemental meat for the table. My brothers never loaded the family gun until they were outside the yard and they unloaded the gun before they came back into the yard.

There is a lot of talk about our “rights” under the constitution and the Second Amendment. I think our forefathers would be appalled to hear the justification for assault rifles and high-capacity magazines today. The NRA used to support background checks too but have since changed their minds. Shame on some officials who say that if stricter gun laws are put in place, they will not enforce them.

Jess Mancini wrote an article recently about gun safety quoting from an open letter by 300 college presidents. “Among the world’s 23 wealthiest countries, 80 percent of all gun deaths occur in the United States and 87 percent of all children killed with guns are killed in this country, according to the Journal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery.” Common sense tells us that this is not acceptable.

The majority of people favor stricter gun laws, but if we don’t bring pressure on our representatives, nothing will be done and the slaughter will continue. President Obama’s proposal is a good first step and I agree completely with the college presidents’ open letter for gun control. And let’s keep guns out of the grocery stores, libraries, schools – all public buildings – except for the people in law enforcement. That’s why we pay taxes and support a police force.

Carol Lazear Mitchell