To the editor of THE EAGLE:

I recently moved from Vermont to Massachusetts and in the course of researching Massachusetts’ gun laws came across some interesting facts.

Vermont, which has perhaps the most lax gun laws in the country, has a lower murder rate than Massachusetts, which has some of the strongest. Both states have a significantly lower murder rate than the national average.

This led to more Internet research on what does cause violence. It appears that crime, particularly drug crime combined with poverty, are the leading causes of lethal violence. While preventing felons and the mentally unbalanced from gun possession is a worthy goal, most other gun control measures are not worth the effort.

If we really want to lower the violence rate, greater police efforts at stopping drug and gang violence, along with anti-poverty measures are what will lower the murder rate.

BLAKE MCCLENACHAN

Lenox