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Our school children must be safe when attending school. The Newtown, Conn., shootings Dec. 14 should never have happened, certainly not in America. I was very pleased when I heard that Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) was successful in getting through legislation in New York that would help prevent such a tragedy from occurring there. I was even more pleased to learn that Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) is supporting similar legislation for our state. I received a robot call from the NRA asking me to oppose Gov. O’Malley’s plan. Well, I don’t oppose his plan; I wholeheartedly support it.

Gov. O’Malley’s plan for better gun regulations does nothing to infringe on a citizen’s Second Amendment rights. So, when a state legislator or anyone else states, “Please be assured that I will not support Senate Bill 281 or any other gun control measures. Our Second Amendment rights must not be infringed but upheld. I will continue to fight with due diligence to defend our Constitutional right to bear arms,” I believe he either does not understand our Second Amendment, does not understand the bill he is refusing to support or is so indebted to the NRA that he cannot even think for himself.

I think we all know there is no one solution that solves gun violence, but through common-sense measures, we can surely make progress toward that end. Do military-style assault weapons have a place in an individual’s home? I don’t think so. They belong on the battlefield or in the hands of our police. The governor’s proposal will ban assault weapons.

A reduction from 20 to 10 in the capacity of magazines is another proposal in the governor’s plan that our legislature needs to pass. These magazines have one purpose — to shoot as many bullets as possible in the shortest amount of time. Magazines holding more than 10 bullets were used in the Tucson, Ariz.; Aurora, Colo.; Newtown, Conn.; and Virginia Tech shootings.

Another proposal in the governor’s legislation requires safety training for handgun purchasers. Can anyone get a driver’s license without knowing how to drive? This is common sense. Along with this is a proposal for stronger licensing requirements on handgun purchases.

Other aspects of the governor’s proposed law will update our state’s gun laws by ending loopholes to ensure that guns do not fall into the wrong hands. This includes background checks on all firearm purchases to help law enforcement prevent crimes, requiring registration of firearms purchased in places outside our state within a certain time frame and mandatory fingerprinting to help law enforcement be more effective at curtailing and investigating crimes.

Furthermore, the governor’s plan addresses all points of gun safety, including meaningful mental health safeguards and services, common-sense gun safety measures and strengthening school security by installing cameras at entrances, automatic locking doors, shatterproof glass and buzzer entrance systems. What the governor’s plan does not do is infringe in any way on one’s Second Amendment rights to own handguns or hunting rifles.



Norma J. Powers, Dowell