Guns: Starting with Family

Dear Editor:

In October 1965, my aunt killed herself with a handgun. That trauma haunts some in my family 50 years later, particularly because a twin sister had also shot herself in 1948.

Today, more than half of all U.S. gun deaths are suicide by handgun, which is the most rapid and effective tool. The person most likely to die from a gun in the home is a family member. So there is no gun in my home.

Why do I support stronger background checks, which wouldn’t have stopped my aunts’ suicides? My granddaughters in Boston. And Interstate 95.

About 10 percent of the illegal guns recovered in Boston crimes are from Maine, because our gun laws have more loopholes than Massachusetts laws. Closing Maine’s background check loopholes for online and other private sales can reduce the gun risk to my granddaughters.

On Nov. 3, I’ll be near the Brooklin town office exit, asking voters to sign an initiative that would strengthen Maine’s background check law. I owe it to my family.

Peter Sly


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