The objections to the state's current and proposed gun laws raised at a North Adams forum Monday hosted by state Representative Gailanne Cariddi were familiar. Largely absent were suggestions to address a gun violence problem that plagues Massachusetts and the United States.
It was stated that lawmakers should go after the people causing gun problems as opposed to law-abiding gun owners, but problematic gun owners don't manifest themselves until after they have killed or crippled someone. For this reason, gun laws must be strict and applicable to all. It was remarkable that efforts to keep guns away from the mentally ill actually came in for criticism. That would seem to be one area of common ground but maybe there is no such ground in polarized America.
The gun laws proposed and on the books do not pose a specific threat to veterans, as one speaker suggested may be the case. The objections to a one-gun-a-month restriction on purchases were perplexing as it is not hunters who buy that many guns. It is, say police, those who fuel gun mayhem and domestic violence in communities by selling guns illegally.
Massachusetts has aggressively addressed gun violence legislatively. Absent constructive suggestions beyond better gun education, which is part -- but only part -- of the solution, there is no reason for the state to abandon its mission.