NH at gun safety tipping point
Friday, February 15, 2013
To the Editor:
HB 135 is a bill being heard in the New Hampshire House that removes language incorporated in 2010. It states that you have the right to protect yourself and not retreat in your own home, but removes the language “or anywhere he or she has the right to be.” In other words, if you have the opportunity to retreat, that should be your first option. It does not take away your right to defend yourself. It also strikes the language that states, “the act of producing or displaying a weapon shall constitute non-deadly force. ”If you would like to read the bill, go to www.gencourt.state.nh.us and enter HB 135 on the State Legislation dashboard.
We have reached a tipping point regarding gun safety in America. When 20 children and six adults from Sandy Hook Elementary School were senselessly murdered, we could no longer turn a blind eye to this issue.
Attempts to pinpoint the cause cite mental health, violent video games, a desensitized society. Some interpret the Second Amendment to give citizens the right to use any gun, anytime, anywhere. A definition our founding fathers may well have rejected considering the world we live in today. How do we have a common-sense conversation about responsible gun ownership and gun safety if we don’t address all aspects, including our behavior, the type of guns used and ammunitions. Guns that spew 30 shots before you can yell, “Go get help,” might be part of the problem. Bills that encourage citizens to be on the offensive as opposed to defending themselves compound the issue.
Legislators who have attempted to support or create laws regarding gun safety have found themselves targeted by gun associations. These groups launch relentless campaigns to ensure legislators will not be re-elected.
I am open to having conversations with anyone on any topic. However, if we are going to seriously address this issue, it will take a grassroots effort to raise awareness and maintain focus on what all parties can do regarding gun safely while protecting Second Amendment rights. At Digital, we had a saying, “If you’re not part of the solution, you are part of the problem.”
Rep. MELANIE LEVESQUE
Hillsborough District 26
Brookline and Mason