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Mayors & guns

| Friday, Nov. 29, 2013, 8:57 p.m.

Mayors Against Illegal Guns is a bipartisan coalition that includes more than 200 Pennsylvania mayors in 55 counties — all of whom recognize that support for the Second Amendment goes hand-in-hand with keeping guns away from criminals.

Salena Zito's column “Defending their way of life” (Nov. 17 and TribLIVE.com) misrepresents our coalition's aims and ignores our successes.

Ms. Zito singled out a borough 160 miles away to argue that gun-violence prevention is bad politics. Had she looked at the results of elections in other communities, she might have learned that Pennsylvania members of Mayors Against Illegal Guns won more than 95 percent of our elections on Nov. 5. Had she included a comment from the mayor she unfairly targeted, he might have pointed out that violent crime in Chambersburg is down 21 percent since his first year in office, according to Pennsylvania Uniform Crime Reporting System.

We support the right to own guns for hunting and protection in the home. Many of us hunt or keep guns at home ourselves. We also agree with the 88 percent of Pennsylvanians who believe background checks are a sensible way to enforce our laws. Common sense doesn't always win out, but by and large, our mayors had a good election cycle.

Don Baumgarten

Castle Shannon

The writer is Castle Shannon's mayor and a member of Mayors Against Illegal Guns.

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