As the founder of the nonprofit organization, Stop Handgun Violence, Rosenthal spoke of the issue as one of a public health concern.
“We have an epidemic and let’s do something about it without banning these firearms,” Rosenthal said. “I own firearms. I love to skeet shoot. I can pass a background check and I am a firm believer in the Second Amendment. But even (George W.) Bush’s Supreme Court said that you can’t ban handguns but you can put reasonable restrictions on how they are sold.”
Rosenthal cited statistics showing the national average of 87 deaths each day due to gun violence, eight of which are children or teens.
“We have this public health epidemic in America that, if you wanted to reduce deaths and injuries from guns without any unreasonable restrictions upon law-abiding gun owners, what you would do is what we have done in Massachusetts,” he said.
Also on the panel was local gun safety advocate Ann Marie Crowell of Mothers on a Mission Inc., who shared the story of losing her 12-year-old son, Brian to an accidental shooting by his best friend on Christmas Eve 1997.
“In seeking out how did this happen, why did this happen, how could this happen, I found out that this gun that was used to kill my son was a legally registered gun,” said Crowell of Saugus. “But it was left loaded and unsecured. It could have been avoided, had that gun been locked. Had this happened today, the owner of that handgun would’ve been held responsible.
“And I just want to bring a personal level to the moms, the pops, the grandmothers, the grandfathers. You have the right to own a gun and you have the right to ask if there is going to be a gun in the home where your son or your daughter is playing,” she added. “You have the right to ask a question. And if you’re a gun owner, you shouldn’t be offended by that question. I tell people, if you’re afraid to ask a question, close your eyes and imagine yourself without your child.”