Recent events have demonstrated that we never know where or when evil will strike. Paris, Brussels, San Bernardino and Orlando have taught us we must be vigilant in our surroundings. So when groups such as Maine Moms Demand Action and Everytown for Gun Safety, which are financed by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, want to deny Maine citizens their Second Amendment rights, I have to wonder why they are trying to restrict our right to fight back.

This is the never-ending mission of anti-gun groups to slowly erode our Second Amendment rights to the point where eventually we will have to crawl to the government for permission to own a gun — much like applying for concealed carry permits today. Their current plan is to restrict our rights through a ballot initiative that bypasses the state Legislature and governor, an initiative that becomes law if a majority of voters cast their ballot in favor of it during the November election.

This particular initiative expands our current background-check system to include all private sales. So in order to buy a gun from your neighbor, you need to find a federally licensed firearms dealer and pay the dealer to run a background check. In fact, this initiative even prohibits you from lending a firearm to a friend to go hunting unless you give it to him or her in the field or at a certified range.

Consider how this will affect Maine gun owners. The people of Maine have bought, sold and handed down firearms to responsible persons for generations. Have there been a few examples of people knowingly supplying firearms to the bad guys? Sure there have, but we’re talking about a small minority of transfers. And when those people engage in that activity, they too are breaking existing laws. Remember, it’s already against the law to murder, steal and commit myriad other crimes, but bad guys still commit these crimes.

This initiative does nothing to restrict evil people from possessing firearms. From my experience, the majority of criminals still get their guns the old-fashioned way — from the black market and by stealing them.

These groups are trying to solve a problem that doesn’t exist. After all, Maine’s violent crime rate is one of the lowest in the country. Remember the hysteria last year when the Legislature passed the “Constitutional carry” law, in which there were many who predicted chaos in the streets as a result? It never happened.

But why would anyone expect a man like Bloomberg to understand problems facing Maine from his Manhattan penthouse? Furthermore, he is a hypocrite to lobby through his surrogates against the Second Amendment rights of the average Mainer while maintaining his own personal armed security force wherever and whenever he travels.

My friends, this is not what our forefathers had in mind when they drew up the Second Amendment. They still remembered the day when regular people stood up to British forces on Lexington Green on April 19, 1775, and later that day at Concord Bridge, the day they drove them back to Boston to keep them from confiscating their arms. Stand your ground and vote against this ballot initiative.

Scott R. Nichols is the sheriff of Franklin County.