Since 1970, more Americans have died from guns – 1.5 million – than Americans who died in all the wars – 1.2 million — according to published reports.

 On Monday, we asked people if they favor a ban on bump stocks, devices that allow semi-automatic weapons to fire rapidly, and if that will be enough. Their answers follow:

Shawn Hanson of Lewiston. “There should be regulation on any high-powered assault rifles, not just the bump stocks. I don’t think anybody needs an assault rifle to hunt or for personal protection. Those weapons are for the military or police. … If you’re going to go hunting with an AR-15 or M16, you ain’t going to have no deer left. If a robber’s coming through your door, a pistol is going to stop him as well as an assault rifle. Those types of weapons are meant for war.” 

Paul Melanson of Lewiston. “No. Guns don’t kill people, it’s people who kill people. Whether it’s a knife, a gun or rifle, it’s a tool being used to kill people. A bump stock is not accurate, a semi-automatic is much more accurate.” Better background checks are needed, he said. “If you’re going to buy a weapon, make sure they do a better background check on people. The law is inadequate. (We need) a good waiting period to find out the character of the person. We need thorough, background checks.” 

Pauline Melanson of Leeds. “Yes, absolutely. Because if someone wants to do like the guy in Vegas did, it allows him to kill many, many more people. If he’s going to do bad with a rifle, it’ll be a certain amount. A bump stock allows him to do more damage, more injuries.” She said she doesn’t favor other gun control laws. 

Joan Morin of Minot. “Yes, I think so.” There should be stricter laws to reduce the number of guns in society, she said. “There’s too many. It’s too easy to get them. Why did that guy have to have 40-some-odd guns? I’m against guns anyway. If you use it to go hunting, fine.” 


Bob Morin of Minot. “Yes. I’m pro-gun. I’m pro Second Amendment. But we don’t need fully automatic guns.” He’s opposed to doing more than banning bump stocks. “I’m worried about people who want to change the Constitution. Where does that stop?”

Dylan Hanna of Lewiston. “No. I don’t think it has anything to do with the shootings.”

Cindy Labrie of Turner. “I think they should be banned after what happened in Las Vegas. Too many people got killed. You might not be able to control who buys them behind the scenes.” She doesn’t favor further gun laws, “not right now.”

Dan Labrie of Turner. “I’m OK with a ban on bump stocks. No further than that.”

Julian Sweet of Portland. “Yes, and there should be a ban on weapons designed for combat. There’s no reason for private individuals to own 42 weapons designed for combat.”

Jim O’Connell of Cumberland. “Yes, there should be a ban and no, that would not be enough. I think citizens should not be allowed to accumulate the kind of weaponry we saw this guy have.” Citizens should only have guns for recreational purposes, O’Connell said.

Celia Feal-Staub of Lewiston. “Yes, absolutely. It’s unethical for any person off the street to buy something that makes it so easy to fire shots so rapidly and kill so many people at once.” She favors more gun control. “I don’t think anyone should be able to buy a semi-automatic gun at all. And to buy a gun of any type you should go through a rigorous screening, a background check, an interview. The process for buying a gun should be similar to a woman wanting an abortion.”

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