Matthew DeVito, president and lead instructor at Down Range Firearms Training in Woburn, Mass., finds it hard to get behind the raft of recently proposed firearm restrictions in the state as he doesn’t believe they will reduce gun violence, but rather needlessly limit people’s right to bear arms.
“All (the laws) are doing is making it harder for legal, law-abiding citizens to purchase firearms, but nothing is done to cut down on crime and crack down on criminals that use them illegally,” said DeVito, who travels the nation training law enforcement officers and civilians on proper firearm use.
One of the biggest problems with the proposed restrictions, he believes, is that they are based on fear and misinformation propagated by non-gun owners.
“It’s unfortunate because it’s an irrational fear that causes more restrictive gun laws. Most people are not doing any homework, but rather are doing things to appease people, and that’s the real issue when you boil it down and look at facts and numbers,” he said.
Rather than implementing new gun restrictions, DeVito believes a shift in attitude and an emphasis on firearm safety and education in Massachusetts are key to lowering instances of gun violence.
Massachusetts organizations like Gun Owners Action League (GOAL) and Commonwealth Second Amendment (Comm2A) are working to turn things around, he said.
“We need to spread awareness in the community and practice gun safety. More youth and ‘women on target’ programs that encourage females, without the ego of males, on the shooting range are important,” DeVito said. “Through education we let people know that it’s a gun, not a toy, and that people need to use them properly and safely in all aspects of life.”