Letter: Collins displayed conscience in gun vote

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Protection for our children should not be a partisan issue, and yet it has become just that. I am grateful to U.S. Sen. Susan Collins for putting politics aside and voting her conscience.

The legislation that was defeated in the Senate demanded nothing more than benign background checks for online sales of guns and for guns sold at gun shows. Ninety percent of Americans support this increased vigilance. And yet our nation’s leaders once again acted with shameful cowardice.

We are a violent country. Our murder rate is three to five times that of other industrialized nations. There are over 300 million guns in our country, and in the face of violence, many of us prescribe even more guns as a solution.

Guns are not going away. But thoughtful legislation that would slow the pace of reckless shootings, needless deaths, and endless hurting is surely a reasonable idea.

Will supporting such laws get one voted out of office? Maybe those who opposed this bill acted out of fear for their seats, but they will have to face that the blood of future victims will be on their hands.

Thank you, Sen. Collins, for breaking with your party and for standing up to what is right. Please continue your support for smart gun legislation.

Sarah Russell