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LETTERS

A new day, maybe, for gun control

In this Feb. 18, 2018, file photo, people light candles at a makeshift memorial outside Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, where 17 students and faculty were killed in a mass shooting days earlier in Parkland, Fla.
In this Feb. 18, 2018, file photo, people light candles at a makeshift memorial outside Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, where 17 students and faculty were killed in a mass shooting days earlier in Parkland, Fla.Gerald Herbert/Associated Press

Focus should also be on the trauma surrounding gun violence

The Massachusetts Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence is glad to see a call to federal action on guns, both in the Feb. 15 Globe editorial, “Gun control, as urgent now as ever,” and in President Biden’s statement marking the anniversary of the Parkland school shooting (”Biden calls on Congress to strengthen gun laws,” Page A2, Feb. 15). Much of what is proposed mirrors legislation we already have in Massachusetts, policies shown to reduce gun deaths. But our work is far from done, and if we want to move the needle on gun violence, we must focus on the trauma that surrounds gun violence, not just the guns themselves.

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Even in Massachusetts, we experience far too many losses and far too much trauma as a result of firearms. Every shooting results in a ripple effect of emotional pain for all the individuals involved in the shooting, for their families, and for their communities. While federal legislation is of utmost importance, we must also focus on community-based solutions that support the neighborhoods most affected by violence.

We celebrate legislative efforts that address the proliferation of guns in our society, and we also call for a coordinated effort to support the communities that have experienced the most harm from the guns that are already there.

Ruth Zakarin

Executive director

Massachusetts Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence

Boston


How about respecting gun owners’ rights and enforcing the laws we have?

The Boston Globe crusades against the constitutionally protected right to possess and use firearms by claiming gun control is as urgent now as ever. But this time it adds a new twist in the baseless claim that “white identity politics” is “at the heart of the gun-rights movement.”

Amid the coronavirus pandemic, and given President Biden’s well-known antipathy toward guns, firearm sales continue to go through the roof, as evidenced by the record-setting number of background checks conducted by the federal government. Of note, however, is that the spike in sales is driven by first-time firearm purchases by Black Americans and women. So much for “white identity politics.”

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No need to mention how most gun crimes are committed with illegally-obtained firearms, or that efforts to defund police and curtail their activity have encouraged police reluctance to aggressively enforce the law while emboldening criminals to break it, or that successful defensive use of firearms is as common as the criminal use of them, or that law-abiding Americans, as they always do, will bear the brunt of Draconian new gun-control legislation.

What’s “urgent” isn’t gun control but rather respecting the rights of gun owners and enforcing the law.

Scott St. Clair

Canton