Common sense gun laws protect lives

FI-Letter-to-the-EditorTo the Editor

I have noticed a flurry of recent letters questioning the value of universal background checks on legal gun purchases. I fear this is the early volley in favor of repeal Connecticut historic gun safety and public health law enacted last April.

We have had federal universal background checks for many years but currently they only cover licensed gun dealers, not sales at gun shows, Internet sales or private gun sales.

It is long past time to tighten up our gun laws to protect public safety and realize gun violence is a real potential threat even in affluent communities like Greenwich, Darien and New Canaan. By itself, the universal background checks will not stop mass killings, but it will set a right tone in balancing public safety with the legal rights of gun owners.

Even the conservative U.S. Supreme Court has recognized the “right to bear arms” is not absolute. In the case U.S. vs. Castleman, the Supreme Court expanded powers of the federal government to ban people convicted of domestic abuse from owning a gun. The court unanimously upheld a 1996 law that expanded the gun ban to those convicted of a misdemeanor of domestic violence.

National domestic violence groups praised the ruling noting women are three times more likely to be killed by their husbands or boyfriends than by a stranger. Kim Gandy of the National Network to End Domestic Violence stated, “Firearms in the hands of abusers play a large role in the lethality of domestic assaults.”

We all have a stake in common sense gun regulation, not just gun owners or victims of gun violence. The mass murder at Sandy Hook could have happened anywhere and local law enforcement needs the tools to keep us safe from gun violence.

There is no single solution to gun violence, but parading around chanting about the rights of Second Amendment will not stop anyone from being killed by guns. Our federal government needs to follow the lead of Gov. Dannel Malloy and our local legislative delegation in Hartford to stand up for common sense gun regulation.

 

Robert Nixon
Old Greenwich

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