I am not anti-gun. I own guns that I use for target shooting and a handgun that is primarily designed for personal defense.

I grew up in 1950s rural Connecticut, where everybody owned guns. I spent autumn weekends on our family’s 150-acre farm with my dad, learning safety, responsibility and hunting. More than once I proudly brought home a Thanksgiving supper.

I have a clean legal record. I pass a firearms background check on state and federal levels.

But today, between 22 percent and 40 percent of firearms transfers (NRA numbers vs. the CDC’s) are between private parties and don’t require a background check.

Today, young people whose only experience with firearms is a virtual one from video games, will turn 18 and be eligible to purchase a high capacity military-style-sport-rifle. Or turn 21 and be eligible to buy a handgun. No other qualifications.

I’m not anti-gun, but I am pro-common sense:

All firearms sales and transfers should go through federal dealers with 100 percent background checks.

First-time buyers should complete a safety/responsibility training course.

We need a mandatory 48-hour waiting period. (Research shows this prevents crimes of passion and suicides.)

These simple changes will reduce the chances of guns ending up in hands of those that should not own them. These changes will improve the understanding of the responsibility that comes with the ownership of firearms, and will reduce crimes of passion/suicides, while having little impact on law-abiding owners.

I am anti-gun violence, not anti-gun.

CHRIS BALCH

531 Lyndeborough Center Road

Wilton

(This writer, a Democrat, is a candidate for N.H. House in Hillsborough District 38.)