I support the Second Amendment and favor responsible gun ownership for hunting and protection of property. But like most citizens, I believe government has a vital role to play in protecting the safety and well-being of citizens.
The prevalence of guns -- particularly the type that are modified to fire multiple rounds, outgun local law enforcement and kill large numbers of innocent civilians -- is fair game for reasonable regulation.
We're talking about unregistered assault rifles, machine guns and other munitions modified to escape regulation, not rifles, muskets, handguns and other firearms used by Americans for legitimate uses like protection of property or hunting. I don't believe every teenager should be allowed to buy an AK-47 semi-automatic assault rifle at a gun show.
I've been virtually alone in casting numerous votes against loosening gun restrictions in Maine, with the Legislature having voted to allow citizens to bring guns to the State House and state parks as well as their automobiles, where they can easily be stolen and used by criminals.
I respect Maine's hunting culture and the Second Amendment, but believe reasonable regulation of assault weapons and other killing-spree type weapons is an appropriate role of government.