To the Readers' Forum:
We know many of your readers share our concerns regarding the appalling number of senseless gun violence deaths each year. My husband and I both come from families with a long tradition of hunting. He was a hunter and still owns two of the many shotguns he once owned. We know most gun owners too are responsible folks who realize that gun control does not mean taking their guns away from them. Most also approve of background checks when guns are purchased or exchanged.
Nevertheless, this country continues to face a crisis, recently heightened, which must be addressed on many levels. As a starter, it would seem that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms should be given the tools necessary to thwart gun violence. To date, not only has Congress blocked the hearings to approve a full time director for six years, but legislative restrictions prohibit the bureau from creating a federal registry of gun transactions! Currently, when law enforcement officers recover a weapon, they must make a series of phone calls to manufacturers, wholesale and retail dealers, who may or may not have readily accessible records. Clearly this is a laborious and lengthy process. Advocates for sensible gun regulation feel confident that a central registry would help keep firearms out of the hands of criminals and incompetent people.
We support many arguable measures designed to prevent violent crime. A reasonable step, however, is for our representatives to give to the Bureau of ATF a director and the necessary tools to carry out its intended responsibilities. The current nominee, R. Todd Jones of Minnesota, a lawyer, a eminently qualified for the position and should immediately be confirmed for this critical position. Letters or emails or Congress could expedite the process. Letters or emails to Congress could expedite the process.
Mary and Ted Parran