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Letter to the editor icon2

Letter to the editor icon2

Gun laws would make difference

The recurrence of school shootings and lack of government response is discouraging. But here are a few hopeful facts:

First, fewer guns DO result in less violence. Research comparing US shootings to elsewhere in the world consistently shows that our higher rate of shootings is caused by our higher number of guns. For example, a New Yorker and a Londoner are equally likely to be robbed, but the New Yorker is 54 times more likely to be killed in the process due to guns.

Second, Americans are NOT inherently more violent, but our easy gun access makes us much more effective at inflicting it on others. Switzerland also has high gun ownership, but its gun homicide rate is a small fraction of ours because of effective laws regarding buying and selling guns.

Third, potentially dangerous things, even those that are generally used safely, such as cars, alcohol, medicine, even pets, are regulated in the US. The second amendment does not exempt guns from this. Even free speech has limits when it harms others.

These three simple, limited changes are both popular and ranked as most effective:

1. Banning assault and semiautomatic weapons, and high capacity magazines. These are weapons of war. (supported by 2/3 of Americans)

2. Banning sales to violent criminals, convicted stalkers and people deemed dangerous by mental health professionals (supported by over 85% of Americans)

3. Implementing mandatory background checks for all gun sales (supported by 89% of the public)

Yes, there are still deeper issues to address, but starting here makes sense. Please join me in deciding that today is the day you decide to do more. Make your politicians accountable — call, write and show up to let them know sensible gun control is your priority voting issue.

Anna Galindo, Bozeman


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