Letter: Gun carnage must stop
Re “The U.S. Senate sticks to its guns” (Grant Bosse, Sunday Monitor Viewpoints, April 21):
Francine Wheeler and the other parents whose children were massacred by a murderer using an assault rifle at Sandy Hook Elementary School have become eloquent and persuasive proponents for enacting common-sense measures regarding guns. They’ve courageously helped bring the American people together, with more than 90 percent now supporting expanded background checks for gun purchases. President Obama champions their cause and should be commended, not criticized, for giving family members of the “Sandy Hook Promise” organization a national platform favoring gun reform legislation. This enrages reactionaries like Rush Limbaugh, Sen. Rand Paul and local right-wingers such as Grant Bosse, who are very offended that the Sandy Hook victims of gun violence dare to express a perspective contrary to their own.
The FBI’s background checks are effective –1.8 million applications for firearms transfers or permits were denied between 1994 and 2008 – but loopholes must be closed. The U.S. attorney general’s office found that the assault weapons ban succeeded in lowering the criminal use of these guns in several cities by between 17 and 72 percent. The police report that since the 2004 expiration of this law there’s been an increase in criminals using assault weapons and large-capacity magazines.
Current law inadequately addresses gun trafficking as “straw purchasers” ship a flood of assault weapons from American gun dealers into Mexico, arming the drug cartels who’ve murdered thousands of innocent people. This carnage, both foreign and domestic, has to stop.
JOHN S. HANCOCK