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Ann Cooper-Ciccarelli and Marla Goldberg-Jamate: Gun laws concern Amherst group

To the editor:

As the Amherst-based chapter of Moms Demand Action (formerly One Million Moms for Gun Control), we are writing to express our concern over fast-track legislation to loosen gun regulations in Georgia which could lead to increased gun trafficking in the Northeast.

Although several states have moved responsibly to tighten gun laws since the Dec. 14 killings in Newtown, CT., recent bills filed in the Georgia legislature would allow people to carry guns in churches, bars and on parts of college campuses. Another proposed law would allow individuals who voluntarily underwent inpatient drug or mental health treatment in the last five years to obtain gun licenses.

Given the high degree of mobility in our society, reckless gun laws in any single state are likely to have severe consequences in others, and will only add to existing gun trafficking problems. Last month, for example, a Georgia man was arrested and charged with illegally transporting dozens of firearms and hundreds of rounds of ammunition to Rochester, N.Y.

It has become painfully clear in recent months that lax gun regulations do nothing to protect civilians, and indeed, result in grave danger to our nation’s children. In Chicago this past Tuesday, (March 12), a gunman opened fire on a minivan, where a 6th-month-old baby inside was shot five times. The baby, Jonylah Watkins, later died of gunshot wounds despite exhaustive efforts by surgeons to save her life.

Amid this crisis of gun violence in the U.S., it would be exceptionally foolish to ease gun laws in Georgia or elsewhere.

Indeed, the vast quantity of firearms and ammunition already in circulation must be brought under far better control.

Dr. Ann Cooper-Ciccarelli, Chapter Head

Marla Goldberg-Jamate, Events Coordinator Moms Demand Action, Western Massachusetts Chapter

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