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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

Concord

I’m sorry for the parents of Sandy Hook and also sorry that their grief was used as leverage to make them into political pawns. Criminals and the criminally insane do not obey gun laws. They didn’t obey the plus Torah of laws already in effect at the time this tragedy and they won’t new laws. The real problem here is that “background check” is used as the title on the cover of a book. But the wise reader does not judge a book by the cover. Sen. Ayotte at and her constituents were wise enough to look more deeply into the details of that proposal and found much that was inappropriate and would only criminalize law-abiding citizens with no effect on criminals and the criminally insane. We recently saw another multi-victim tragedy from stabbing-what would gun laws do about that? In addition, isn’t it funny how so many actors say they are against guns but it’s different story when they use guns in their violent graphic portrayals-TO MAKE MONEY!

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