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It will take unified force to stand up to NRA on gun control

RE “STATE panel urges new controls on guns” (Page A1, Feb. 4): The panel commissioned by House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo should be commended for its efforts; the many gun control organizations throughout the country also deserve commendation. However, it has long been evident that, regardless of their praiseworthy efforts, the results they generate will be largely negated by the financial power and discipline of the National Rifle Association and the fear it instills in officeholders at virtually all levels of government.

Gun-control proponents must begin to speak with one voice to really make themselves heard. They also must raise funds and have a disciplined membership to remind office seekers that what they may lack in money for political contributions is more than made up for at the ballot box.

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In addition to changing the political climate, gun-control advocates must realize that the problems facing virtually all states can only be solved by federal legislation. Strict state gun-control laws, no matter how tight, as in Massachusetts and New York, are watered down by the loose or virtually nonexistent ones in other states.

Gun controls are intended to protect people and save lives, not deprive gun owners of their weapons. As Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, a gun owner, has said: The Second Amendment is not without limits.

Harvey Burstein

Dedham

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