March 10 — To the Editor:

I am writing in response to Alicia Preston’s opinion piece published in the March 10 Seacoast Sunday. She uses one example of how a red flag law was misused to argue against passage of this type of law in New Hampshire. She also criticized others who found fault regarding the legislators who wore pearls to the hearing. The pearls were supplied by the Women’s Defense League of NH. Many of these legislators also wore miniature assault rifle pins on their lapels.

On the Women’s Defense League of NH website they state: “From 7 day waiting periods to purchase a firearm to horrifying Red Flag Laws that deny law-abiding citizens multiple protected rights...the New Hampshire Legislature is out of control pushing outrageous gun legislation that egregiously and intentionally harms law-abiding Granite Staters.”

Two-thirds of gun deaths are due to suicide. Firearms used by individuals to cause self-harm are 85 percent effective in causing suicidal death. Other forms of suicide methods result in 5 percent success rates. Red Flag Laws reduce suicide rates as witnessed for example in a 14 percent reduction in Connecticut and 7.5 percent reduction in Indiana.

States that require universal background checks and mandatory wait periods showed a 0.76/100,000 reduction in suicides compared to a 1.04/100,000 increase in suicide rate in states without these laws.

In 2017, there were 39,773 Americans killed by guns or 12 fatal shootings per 100,000 people which is the highest rate since the mid 1990s. The leading increase was due to suicides.

Reg Flag Laws are also intended to help prevent the misuse of firearms by people who are unstable to harm others. In the US, women are 21 times more likely to be killed with a firearm than women in other high-income countries. Fifty women per month are shot by intimate partners in the US. Three million children in America witness gun violence annually. A 2017 study in the American Journal of Epidemiology of 45 states and using 34 years of data re: gun laws and emergency restraining orders in domestic violence cases show these laws resulted in 12 percent fewer murders of intimate partners.

It is estimated that over 1,300 children and teens in the US die annually due to firearms. On the Women’s Defense League of NH website they point out that more children die due to motor vehicle accidents than due to injuries due to firearms. They neglect to state however that deaths of American children and teens due to gun violence far exceeds deaths due to cancer, drowning, drug poisoning or overdose, heart disease, fire or burns. On their website the Women’s Defense League also states the statistics re children killed with guns also “include ‘children’ of gang banger age.” From their statement, this is a group of children that I assume they feel is unworthy and unimportant to be included in the statistics re: deaths caused by firearms.

The statistics used in my opinion piece were obtained from,, and Wikipedia. There has been a federal funding freeze for gun violence research since the Dickey Amendment was passed in 1996. This amendment was lobbied for by the NRA and mandates that “none of the funds made available for injury prevention and control at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) may be used to advocate or promote gun control.”

Deaths and injuries caused by gun violence is a public health crisis in America. Red Flag Laws aim to reduce deaths and injuries caused by firearms. Regarding the pearls and miniature assault rifle pins, the legislators might just as well have worn ear muffs and blinders because it signified they weren’t willing to listen with open minds to the concerns voiced by their constituents who were there to advocate for how gun violence had adversely affected their lives.

Donna Pare