Letter: Background Checks Save Lives

To the Editor:

Notably absent from Jim Rubens’s commentary “A Seven-Point Plan to Reduce Gun Violence” (April 24) was any mention of stronger background checks, a proven public safety tool for saving lives. Here are the key facts from states that vet every gun purchase:

∎  a 38 percent drop in women killed with a gun by an intimate partner (U.S. Department of Justice/FBI).

∎  a 49 percent decline in firearm suicide rate (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention).

∎ a 48 percent dip in gun trafficking (Journal of Urban Health, July 2009).

∎ a 39 percent decrease in police officers shot to death with handguns (FBI, 2001 to 2011).

When you consider that 40 percent of gun sales every year take place without any check at all, you realize the danger we enable. Imagine the mayhem on our public highways if traffic signs applied to only 60 percent of drivers. Fix this and gun violence would be reduced significantly. Tell your state and federal lawmakers.

Bob Williamson

Board member, GunSenseVT

South Woodstock