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People use guns but, in a sense, guns use people too. When we have the technology for violence easily to hand, our choices are skewed and we are more vulnerable to being manipulated into violent action.
Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury

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1. Keep guns from ineligible buyers:
Current Virginia law requires Federally Licensed Firearm dealers (FFLs) to complete background checks on prospective gun buyers; however, unlicensed sellers may sell any number and type of guns, yet are not required to perform a background check on the buyers of their guns.  Background checks on buyers should be required for all commercial gun sales and permanent transfers of ownership outside the immediate family of the seller, including:  sales at gun shows, pawn shops and sales through newspapers or online ads.
 

To the editor:

The recent article by Mark Bowes, entitled “VA  gun sales surge” did a very good job of analyzing the recent increase in Virginia background checks and showed that this trend is not a reliable indicator of a similar increase in the number of gun owners. However, what I think was missing from the piece was any comparison between the “beliefs” that were said to be associated with this apparent trend and actual reality.  Many people may indeed believe that violent crime would increase with a downturn in the economy, but the hard facts point to a continued decline in violent crime, both in VA and across the country.  It is also possible that many people believe that owning a gun would increase their personal security, yet the facts show that gun owners continue to die from gunshot injuries at rates much higher than non owners.

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