Finding a common ground to move forward from gun violence

Published: May. 25, 2022 at 5:01 PM EDT
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BANGOR, Maine (WABI) - Another mass shooting in the United States.

This time, again, at a school.

As the heartbreaking details continue to emerge about what happened in Texas it begs the question, how do we stop this from happening again?

“After Sandy Hook, something would be done I thought sure. Okay, this is finally the point where enough is enough and something’s going to be done and nothing happened,” said Mark Brewer, UMaine political science professor.

Brewer says as he can recall, the debate over how to fix the issue goes back 40 years to the aftermath of the assassination attempt on President Ronald Reagan.

“Mental health care improvements as one, increased background checks, closing loopholes, cracking down on illegal firearms, you know, ground that different of people, people of different political persuasions in the United States can find on an issue like this to at least start moving forward,” said Brewer.

Gun(Cropped Steve / Wikipedia / CC BY-SA 4.0)

We asked people what they hope that road forward looks like.

“I’m personally for gun control. I in that regard I know a lot of people aren’t or there are some people that feel that if the Army could have it, citizens could have it and, but I personally don’t see the need for an average citizen. I know it’s very controversial. I wish citizens could vote on these things in a referendum,” said Ruth Kaplan, Bangor resident.

“I believe in gun rights, and looking at the Alaska’s history, with their gun rights, the fact that everybody has open carry, it’s a little bit more safer place to live, historically speaking, so I think they’re onto something,” said Nicole Sproul, Glenburn resident. “Open carry: if you go into a building that 10 other people have a gun, as well, then you’re less likely to pull your own.”

We spoke with Mary Casement. A Canadian visiting Bangor on vacation.

“I’m just appalled at the the pain and the anguish that those families must be going through and what I really can’t understand is your gun legislation and how anybody can just mean basically walk into a Walmart and buy a gun. It’s beyond me,” said Casement. “I think the politics involved are just a nightmare that it’s, this isn’t politics, it’s life and death. And now it’s young children. I mean, grade schoolers, like, could you possibly imagine sending your kid off to school and getting a call saying I’m sorry, he’s just been shot. You know, it’s a nightmare. Just a nightmare. every parent’s nightmare.”

“There’s got to be someplace that we can find common ground to at least get started. And I think if we can get started and maybe make some progress that makes it easier to keep going and make further progress,” said Brewer.

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