Anti-Gun Activists Hope to Leverage Lewiston Shooting

AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty

The mass shooting in Lewiston, Maine was a terrible event. The English language lacks the words to adequately describe how awful it was. I can only imagine that those caught in the horrors of that day would would tell me I can’t grasp how bad it was.

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And I probably can’t despite a pretty vivid imagination.

But what I had no problems imagining were how anti-gun groups in Maine would try to use Lewiston.

We already know that anti-gun lawmakers plan on using that tragic event to pass gun control but now we also know that anti-gun groups are doing the same.

The Maine Gun Safety Coalition (MGSC) is hosting a protest Wednesday morning at the Maine State House to pressure lawmakers to pass new restrictions on firearms, using the Oct. 25 mass shooting in Lewiston to reinvigorate a gun control agenda that has stalled under Democratic Gov. Janet Mills.

“Mainers from across the state will descend on the State House in Augusta to demand that our legislators pass strong gun safety legislation in the legislative session that begins that day,” the MGSC said on its website.

The protest, the Gun Safety Day of Action, is intended to convince the legislature to enact “common sense” gun laws, including background checks on private transfers, a three-day waiting period to buy a gun, “red flag” laws, and a ban on so-called assault weapons.

The MGSC protest is also supported by various medical groups, such as the Maine Medical Association (MMA) and the Maine Association of Physician Assistants (MAPA).

These groups claim that a vast majority of Mainers support their gun-control laws, despite nearly 47 percent of Maine adults having a firearm in their homes.

“After the massacre in Lewiston, it’s time for our legislators to hear from the vast majority of Mainers, who WANT these bills,” the MMA said in a statement.

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Of course, anti-gunners always claim that the vast majority of people support them, even when there’s evidence to suggest that they really don’t.

Even if they do actually support these measures, I question just how long they’d support it. We know that historically, furor over guns that follows in the wake of something like Lewiston dies down over time. Many of those clamoring for gun control laws might still want them, but those who won’t do more than say “yes” in a poll will change their mind.

Particularly in Maine, a state that has long favored gun rights and has long has a remarkably low homicide rate.

How low?

The death toll from Lewiston is roughly the same as the total number of homicides the state has had in some years.

I get why folks are rattled, truth be told. When your murder rate nearly doubles from a single event, you’re going to be shaken up.

Yet let’s remember that none of the laws being proposed have stopped mass shootings in numerous other states. The laws on the books in Maine that were meant to prevent this didn’t stop this. Gun control isn’t the answer.

But we know they’re going to push it just the same.

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