EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

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June 10, 2014

Editorial: NH, nation must toughen gun laws

To the editor:

Recently, this disturbing statement surfaced: “Your dead kids don’t trump my constitutional rights.”

Samuel Wurzelbacher (better known as Joe the Plumber) actually stated this right-wing belief.

Erica Lafferty, whose mother, Dawn Hochsprung, was the principal of Sandy Hook Elementary School and one of 27 victims of the massacre, responded, “I’m sorry my loss inconveniences you, Joe. But you’re the one who’s out of touch.”

Wurzelbacher’s comments, Lafferty wrote, “encapsulate the ID of the small faction of extremists who are influencing our country’s gun laws.”

In a shocking way, Wurzelbacher’s eight words — “Your dead kids don’t trump my constitutional rights” — encapsulate what the NRA and all of the politicians who vote against stricter gun laws are saying.

Every week in New Hampshire, we seem to have another police officer shot, another domestic dispute, another shooting of some kind or another.

Nationally, we’ve just had the Santa Barbara shootings. I’ve visited Santa Barbara, and it is the dream of where I’d want my son or daughter

to go to college — a beautiful, peaceful environment — if I had young sons or daughters. At this point I don’t know what I would do.

Between campus violence and rapes, it’s a tough decision as to whether to let your young people go out into the world or try to keep them safe at home.

New Hampshire, with it lenient gun laws and less-than-adequate funding to help people with mental health issues, is ripe for a real disaster.

The Santa Barbara story could be a UNH story.

New Hampshire ,at the very least, must change its Republican, right-wing, Free State, “anyone can carry” gun laws and start vetting gun owners.

We have been less than well served with our current representatives in Concord. We must have representatives and senators in Concord who will take on the Republican, tea party, Free Stater contingent and stand for stricter gun control in New Hampshire. We must have representatives and senators in Washington like Annie Kuster and Jeanne Shaheen who will vote for stricter gun control laws.

It’s up to us — the voters — to make this happen.

Dee Lewis

Salem, N.H.

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