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Letter: Two Helpful Responses to Newtown

To the Editor:

Surely most readers, including grandparents like me, are imagining themselves in the place of the people who lost their beloved child, parent, spouse or friend in the shootings in Newtown, Conn, on Friday. I hope we can raise our voices together to ask: Is our society so negligent that we cannot screen each person who seeks to acquire guns and ammunition, whether at gun shops, gun shows or online? Can we not require registration of every single gun? Can we not punish sellers who fail to screen all potential buyers? Can we not require gun owners to secure their weapons from theft and access by unauthorized people — and punish their failure when it results in crime? Can we not outlaw the sale of semiautomatic handguns, whose only function is murder?

I believe we can. First, give your financial support to two organizations working tirelessly to end the mayhem caused by handguns. On their websites you’ll see their recent successes: www.mayorsagainstillegalguns.org and www.bradycampaign.org. Your donation will add momentum now.

Next, let’s keep watch for ways to support the bereaved families in Newtown. It could have happened right here in the Upper Valley.

Kathleen Shepherd