To the editor:

I am opposed to our county adopting any form, statement or policy that labels Dubois County as a (2A) sanctuary. There are systematic ways to change laws with which we disagree, ignoring them is unsafe and sets a dangerous precedent. As for sending a message to the federal government indicating displeasure with any gun control measures, find legitimate avenues that do not reflect on all residents of Dubois County.

Twice in his remarks Commissioner Hostetter stated that gun control laws have no impact on crime or criminals. We could debate statistics all day, however, I will list just a few. Two Boston University studies indicate restricting who has access to guns significantly reduces rates of firearm-related homicides. Universal background checks and red flag laws were specifically studied. In Indiana the rate of suicide by gun was reduced by 7.5% 10 years after passing a Red Flag law. I agree in part on comments concerning mental healthcare. Being a healthcare provider, I am qualified to comment on the lack of access to mental healthcare which disproportionately affects rural areas such as Dubois County. However, citing that fixing mental healthcare would fix “the gun problem” is wholly inaccurate. Two separate studies at Duke and Columbia indicate that if all mental illnesses in the U.S. were to be cured overnight, violent crime would fall by only 4%. In 2015 only around 22% of mass shooters had diagnosed mental health problems.

While I do not have statistics specific to Dubois County, in the U.S more than 80% of Americans polled support universal background checks and 65% support stricter gun control. It's unlikely the majority approve Dubois County becoming a 2A sanctuary. I want my children, family, and community safe and protected. Ignoring laws to prevent violent crime has the opposite effect. It is the job of elected officials to uphold the laws of the county, state, and country in which they live.

—Emily Klein