In his March 15 letter to the editor, Linc Sample of Boothbay Harbor opined that many members of Congress did not understand the 2nd Amendment’s prohibition of the right of the people to keep and bear arms.
Violent crime is driven by considerably more causes than merely the "gang and drug business" that Mr. Sample refers to. Though Maine indeed has a "drug problem," we also have a significant firearm problem.
According to the Center for American Progress:
--From 2008 through 2017, 1,353 people were killed with guns in Maine. “In Maine, a person is killed with a gun every three days” “Domestic violence and access to guns is a lethal combination in Maine.”
--From 2007 through 2016, 23 women were fatally shot by an intimate partner in Maine.
--In Maine, 49 percent of female murder victims are killed by an intimate partner; out of those, 64 percent are killed with a gun.
--Gun suicides are also substantial problem in Maine, as is firearm theft.
--From 2008 through 2017, 1,173 people in Maine died by gun-related suicide.
--From 2012 through 2018, close to 210 firearms were stolen from gun dealers in Maine.
--Overall, an estimated 3,033 firearms were stolen in Maine from both individual gun owners and gun dealers from 2012 through 2017.
Unfortunately, these are the facts of the reality we are dealing with. I am in no way suggesting nor recommending that individual ownership of firearms be curtailed nor banned. What I am suggesting is that rational strategies be put in place to prevent and reduce gun injury and death in Maine.
Ronald J. Riml
West Boothbay Harbor