GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

Letters/My View

April 20, 2013

Letter: Background checks need key qualifiers

To the editor:

Peter Johnson (the Times, Thursday, April 18) makes several good points, concerning background checks, for firearms purchases.

However, there is one type of check no one has considered, or looked into that could possibly have stopped the tragedy at Newtown, and Aurora. In both those cases, the weapons did not belong to the alleged shooter.

Therefore, let’s consider another weapon that is responsible for many deaths each year: The automobile. It matters not who it belongs to one needs a license to use it, and in order to obtain said license one needs to undergo a series of tests, both physical and written.

Applying that type process to the use of a firearm, would look like this: Filing an application for a federal firearms license, which would undergo background scrutiny, and then a written psych evaluation that would be used to determine the type of firearm the user would be allowed to use — just as a driver’s license carry’s a rating for the type vehicle one is permitted to operate.

The written evaluation would contain sections pertaining to Safety, personal temperament, and usage. Passing the evaluation and the background check, would allow for either the purchase or use of the particular firearm one is suited to.

Be it long gun, or sidearm. A written psych evaluation is a proactive action based upon the present individual state of mind, not upon strictly past actions.

GERALD MAHIEU

Langsford Street, Gloucester

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