Thetford resident Joy Gaine, whose niece's life was taken by gun violence, writes about why she supports criminal background checks on all guns sold in Vermont.

A survivor's perspective on background first thought is 'no brainer' - survivor or not.  As for my niece and her friend, whose lives were taken at the age of 20, such a no brainer might have saved their lives.  The young man who committed these murders was mentally ill - he'd called the police seeking help because he was suicidal.  His firearms were not taken away, and he was also able to purchase ammunition.  

For most people, this is just another issue they are for, or against, or somewhere in between.  For my family, it is in your face real.  That is a perspective that never goes away.  

All rights - including purchasing and owning firearms - must have limitations.  Think about texting and driving accidents; when incidents of injury and fatalities rose, campaigns were launched and laws were passed.  Not everyone complies, and not everyone agrees, but people understand that this is a problem and we can talk civilly about solutions.  Why then, when there are 33 gun related homicides every day, can’t we work together to bring that number down?  It is not personal; it’s not political.  It’s not about confiscating guns -- those who are trying to prevent texting-related accidents aren't confiscating cell phones. Background checks are common sense gun sense.