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Meanwhile, gun shops are back in business

Gun shops in Massachusetts were allowed to reopen this month after a court decision overturned their closure by Governor Baker.Barry Chin/Globe Staff/The Boston Globe

Violence prevention movement is not about hostility to guns

In the article “After lawsuit, gun shops reopen their doors” (Metro, May 10), a gun retailer reflects on the recent closing of gun stores to slow the spread of the coronavirus, stating, “The state’s hostility to guns in general bled through.” This statement represents the crux of a tension between gun rights activists and the gun violence prevention movement.

The work of gun violence prevention is not about hostility to guns. It is about saving lives. It is about ensuring that when people are angry, in crisis, or making impulsive decisions, they do not have easy access to a lethal weapon. It is about decreasing the trauma to communities most affected by gun violence. It is about decreasing the lethality of hate, something brought into stark relief by the searingly painful video of Ahmaud Arbery’s brutal murder.


Ultimately, gun violence prevention is about safety. We often hear the narrative that guns make us safer. Gun owners want to feel safe. But so do the children of Dorchester, Brockton, Lowell, and Worcester. No matter how we feel about whether gun stores should be open or not at this time, I hope we can all agree that all children deserve to feel safe — every child, in every ZIP code. That is what gun violence prevention work is about.

Ruth Zakarin

Executive director

Massachusetts Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence


As with quarantine protests, it’s a cry of ‘me’ over 'us’

I read selfishness disguised as patriotism in the comments of a gun shop owner who sued to reopen, when he said that “the Second Amendment should not be suspended during a health pandemic.” I realized how close the connection is between the quarantine protesters and the gun lobby. Both are all about “me” instead of “us.”

Guns make it easy to sit in a high window and randomly pick off dozens of people listening to country music in Las Vegas. Not my problem. Uncontrollable virus racing through nursing homes, hospitals, and neighborhoods? Ditto.


The Second Amendment, written, ironically enough, to protect the community, with a “well-regulated militia,” is now the cover that people use to turn their back on the community so that they can sell a few more guns.

As for the people who turn their backs on the request to pitch in and sacrifice until we find a way to keep the virus from randomly picking off their neighbors? What an ugly way to live.

Jeffrey Halprin