Universal background checks needed

Published Apr 6, 2013 at 05:00AM

I’m a swim meet judge, required by USA Swimming to have an annual third-party background check. It is not a problem for any of us. On a recent day, there were four AR-15s advertised in The Bulletin classifieds. Anyone who can scrape up the bucks can snap those babies up. A popular online sales site does not have a “gun” category, but it is still quite easy to trade for an AR-15. No one has to know who they are, where they’ve been, what they have done, what they might be up to. Why anyone is against universal background checks is beyond me. It makes me question their credibility.

A guy broke into our house early one morning. I took him down, my wife called 911, law enforcement arrived within two minutes and the intruder was cuffed on the porch in 20 seconds. No muss, no fuss, no traumatized family, no legal problems, no dad in jail.

Studies show that guns in the house multiply the odds of domestic tragedy, either by homicide or suicide. “The health risks of owning a gun are so established and scientifically non-controvertible that the American Academy of Pediatrics issued a policy statement in 2000 recommending that pediatricians urge parents to remove all guns from their homes.” (“The Health Risk of Having a Gun in the Home,” Susan Perry, MinnPost, 12/17/2012).

Although my gun-owner friends are extra careful and gun-smart, most law enforcement professionals will tell you that more guns tend to create more problems than they solve.

David Howe

Bend

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