Dear Editor: Many of us have written and called Sen. Tammy Baldwin in recent months regarding our concern for gun safety. We appreciate her acknowledgment of our concerns and her endorsement of the need to have a common-sense approach to gun safety. We are pleased to know that she supports universal background checks on all gun sales, giving law enforcement additional tools to crack down on illegal gun purchases, and restoring research funding to study gun violence and gun safety. We also appreciate her call for the full implementation of the mental health services parity law, while recognizing that most people with mental illness will never become violent.
However, we are still waiting to hear a stronger endorsement from her regarding the president’s proposals to ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. First, it is important to note that research indicates household gun ownership rates have been declining, while the number of guns in circulation has increased dramatically. This suggests that gun ownership is becoming more concentrated and fewer American households own guns. Second, it is important to remember that many gun owners, including some of us, also support common-sense gun regulation. Support for access to assault rifles and high-capacity magazines may not be as strong as claimed by the NRA and the gun industry.
We encourage her to stand up for the majority of Americans who believe strongly in the Second Amendment, but who also see the wisdom of implementing new approaches to help ensure that the tragedy of Newtown is never repeated.
Sam Romano, Amanda Peterson, F. Jerry Tyler, Judith Sadowsky, Beth Cox, Sheila Spear, Nancy Murphy, Michael Wunsch, Beth Whittemore, Kelly Sullivan, Oregon
Carlene Bechen, Barbara Feeney, Rick Bechen, Brooklyn
Charles Uphoff, Fitchburg
Valerie Murphy, Madison