In his Sunday, Aug. 7, guest column, Executive Director David Trahan of the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine raised numerous objections to the wording of the Background Check Referendum. While focusing on some trees, he ignores the forest.

Just why is this referendum important and significant? It will help keep dangerous weapons out of the hands of those who don’t deserve them, such as felons, domestic violence perpetrators, and drug dealers. In the 18 states that require background checks for private gun sales, fewer intimate partners are killed by guns, fewer people commit suicide with guns, and fewer police are killed by handguns — almost 50 percent fewer in all three categories according to the ATF in 2009. Such substantial numbers of lives saved surely outweigh the inconvenience to hunters and friends who would have to have their transactions monitored by federally licensed firearm dealers.

Not only that, Mr. Trahan knows full well that if by some miracle the Legislature rewrote the background check law to the satisfaction of SAM, our governor would veto the bill, as he did in 2013. The result? Still no background checks on the 40 percent of firearm transfers that are done privately and no decrease in the sorry toll of firearm trauma.

How about passing the background check referendum first and then asking the Legislature to make some adjustments?

Edward Walworth, Lewiston


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