Reduce gun violence, don't raffle them off

March 14 was the day school students left classes for 17 minutes of remembrance (or were prevented from doing so in Harford County schools) for shooting victims in a Florida high school. Seven thousand pairs of children’s and youth sized shoes were left outside the United States Capitol. The shoes were to remind us that 7,000 children have been gunned down in America since the Sandy Hook tragedy five years ago when 20 young children plus teachers were senselessly slaughtered by a misguided young man with an assault weapon (“‘We’re alive. They’re dead.’ Baltimore-area students join nationwide demonstration against gun violence,” March 14).

In addition, 57,462 people in the U.S. have been killed with guns since the Sandy Hook massacre. That comes to 30 people killed every day by gun violence, according to figures released by Rep. Michael Thompson, chair of the Gun Violence Prevention Task Force, which is working on legislation to make American life safer.

Representative Thompson's initiative would strengthen the background check process before a gun sale is allowed, and it would also prohibit the sale of assault rifles and ammunition, and bump stocks, among other measures. We also need to lower the temperature of our communications and increase the civility of our conversations with one another. The slightest disagreement and provocation should not be used as an excuse to go out and buy a weapon. More often a gun in the home makes life less safe for those in a home where the gun is more likely to be used in a family dispute or accident than in warding off a home invasion.

I have been upset that Harford County Sheriff Jeffrey Gahler believes that guns are the answer. He advocates for guns, is against control and buybacks, and he shamelessly promotes gun sales and raffles when his job is to be the top law enforcement officer in the county. The sheriff should be the top peace officer. As supervisor of process serving for the courts, this is a system for settling disputes peacefully, not for promoting violence as represented by guns. Mr. Gahler's behavior is one of the reasons why I am running for sheriff to replace him in this year's election.

Christopher Boardman, Joppa

The writer is a Democratic candidate for Harford County Sheriff.

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