Support gun control legislation


To the Editor:

In the wake of the school shooting in Parkland, Fla., which left 17 dead, at least 14 wounded, and countless bereaved, we stand with Attorney General Maura Healey when she says that this “is not a reality we can accept.”

We stand with her, too, when she adds that “every strategy to keep deadly weapons out of the hands of dangerous people needs to be on the table. That includes common sense reforms like universal background checks, giving police discretion to deny licenses to domestic abusers, and allowing the Centers for Disease Control to research gun violence.”

Massachusetts has been a leader in showing that thoughtfully written and effectively enforced gun laws can reduce gun deaths without impinging on the rights of responsible gun owners. At present, however, Massachusetts doesn’t have an extreme-risk protection order (ERPO) law, which would enable courts to temporarily prohibit a person from possessing or purchasing guns if law enforcement or immediate family members show that they pose a significant danger to themselves or others.

A crucial bill to rectify this — H3610, “the Decker bill” — is in the state legislature’s Joint Committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security. Our state representative, Dylan Fernandes, is a co-sponsor of the bill. Please consider calling the co-chairs of the Joint Committee to urge that the bill be reported out of committee favorably. The co-chairs are Rep. Harold Naughton (617-722-2230) and Sen. Michael Moore (617-722-1485). You can also call House Speaker Robert DeLeo (617-722-2500) to express support for the bill.

Before the Feb. 14 Parkland shooting, there had been frequent reports and complaints about the alleged shooter’s erratic and sometimes violent behavior. If Florida had an ERPO law (it doesn’t), his ability to buy firearms could have been curtailed and his arsenal confiscated.

Thoughts, prayers, and passing the buck have not solved the gun violence crisis and never will. It’s long past time for Congress to heed Maura Healey’s insistence that “every strategy to keep deadly weapons out of the hands of dangerous people needs to be on the table.”

For more information on these issues, including legislative updates, readers are urged to contact Everytown for Gun Safety and the Massachusetts Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence.


Ann Wallace

Cathy Walthers

Kathy Laskowski

Maggie Brown

Margaret Emerson

Max King

Nan Byrne

Sarah Nevin

Susanna J. Sturgis


  1. The 2nd Amendment was the most worthless 27 words ever written into the Constitution. The right to bear arms for the European invaders of this land was never in dispute. The 2nd amendment served no purpose then and it serves less purpose now (being detrimental to the health of the citizenry). The facts are if you remove firearms from a society that society becomes a safer place to live. This is indisputable. With no amount of AR-15’s would we be able to face down our own military should they decide to turn on us.

    One can cling to the nuances of what constitutes a “assault rifle” or “machine gun” until the dogs come home, but it doesn’t make one more valiant or demonstrate a heart for real justice. Resistance to gun bans or sensible regulations of guns is just fear, anger and confusion wrapped in nuances of nonsense. Most guns should be illegal for the general population. Any restrictions put between a person and a gun is a good thing for society.

  2. Any student expelled from High School should have an extremely high barrier to obtaining a gun permit, or perhaps have lost their right to gun ownership and possession altogether.

    • What about a probation? They must stay employed and get their diploma (night school or paid tutor) to complete.

  3. The number of guns in America rose almost 50 percent between 1993 and 2013. During that same period gun homicides fell by nearly 50 percent. The notion that more guns means more crime is naive and in error, Only 3 percent of guns used in crimes in Chicago are legally purchased. People who shouldnt be getting them are indeed getting them. As for mass shootings, almost all of them involve the mentally ill. People who shouldnt have weapons get them.

    • I think you’re reading a false correlation from the statistics. Crime in general as been on a steady decline since the 1960’s, but the vast majority of homicides and suicides were committed with a firearm in that same period. When you compare our country’s homicide by fire arm rate with other developed nations is where you’ll find the real data. Some strong data points can be derived from the various studies produced from Australia’s legislation banning firearms. Both homicide and suicide rates plummeted and they’ve had no mass shootings since the enactment of the gun ban. It is pretty safe to conclude that fewer guns in a society most likely leads to fewer homicides and fewer suicides.

      I’m not sure what you are talking about when referring to Chicago. To say one gun is illegal is really a misnomer. The vast majority of firearm related deaths are caused with firearms manufactured and sold in the United States. The gun manufacturers aren’t giving them away. They can be bought and sold online and and brought across State lines with virtually no regulations in place to stop it. The ease at which someone can buy a gun and the volume to select from makes the legality of a gun nearly impossible to discern.

      We do agree on something. There are clearly a great number of people who should never be able to obtain a firearm. I’d posit that the vast majority of homicides (with or without guns) are committed by people who have mental deficiencies. Guns just make homicide incredibly easy. Guns turn crazy people into bullies, and bullies into tyrants.

      • Both you and Andrew are wrong about who is doing the murdering. Roughly 50% of people with mental illness in this country are women and they are rarely involved in the kind of gun violence we are talking about. I understand that the old white guy who can’t tell the difference between a gun and a uterus is sadly misinformed and does nothing but promote a stigmatized view of those with mental illness, but you? Guns can turn angry males into murderers. Make guns very hard to get. The mentally ill are not likely to commit acts of violence, and female gun violence remains rare. Guns don’t kill people, angry, toxic males do.

        • maxz your post is incomprehensible. School and other mass shootings are done by mentally ill almost every time. That is a fact. Your female mentally ill statement is a non sequitor. The other statment I made was that with the increase in guns came a decrease in gun violence. There is no evidence that reducing guns will reduce crime. Then you insert reproductive vernacular. Are you ill?

        • Maxz let’s keep race out of it . Oh and gender stereotypes too. Or is it true that men and women are different. Or is this just womansplaning . I mean really.

          Andrew fairly close to being correct, vanadium here is missing the point that regulations are in fact in place, however they are not being enforced.

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