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Voices / Letters from readers

What about relationship between lax gun laws and opioid crisis?

RE: “The leftist case against gun control in Vermont” [Viewpoint, Feb. 21]:

Thank you, The Commons, for providing such a vibrant forum of ideas and opinions in your Voices section. I really appreciated this piece.

Although I’m not yet entirely in agreement with the writer David Van Deusen, he certainly provided clear reasoning behind his opinion and led me to hesitate in my full support of gun-control legislation. The article has sparked much contemplation for me personally and led to some thoughtful dialogue with others.

No political topic stands alone, however, and the piece that was missing for me in Van Deusen’s writing was acknowledgement of the clear connection between Vermont’s loose gun laws and the underground import of heroin into our state [“The Vermont-New York heroin-and-guns carousel that can make dealers a 1,400% profit,” In These Times, July 13, 2015, reprinted in The Commons on July 22, 2015].

Gun murders may not be Vermont’s most pressing issue, but I believe that the opiate crisis is, as it is affecting every aspect of public life, costing us in both human and financial capital.

The statewide effects of this epidemic include draining resources from our police forces, foster-care system, medical facilities, and homelessness-support organizations; introducing trauma to and stunting the development of our children; and causing otherwise-great citizens to become unemployable.

How do we solve one problem without opening the door for others?

I don’t have all the answers, either, but let’s keep brainstorming, listening to one another, and sharing what we’ve learned.

Viv Woodland

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Editor’s note: Our terms of service require you to use your real names. We will remove anonymous or pseudonymous comments that come to our attention. We rely on our readers’ personal integrity to stand behind what they say; please do not write anything to someone that you wouldn’t say to his or her face without your needing to wear a ski mask while saying it. Thanks for doing your part to make your responses forceful, thoughtful, provocative, and civil. We also consider your comments for the letters column in the print newspaper.

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Originally published in The Commons issue #449 (Wednesday, March 7, 2018). This story appeared on page E2.

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