Joseph Eaton enters a West Bath courtroom on Thursday, April 20, 2023. Credit: Troy R. Bennett / BDN

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The young man who allegedly killed his parents and friends was just released from prison. Many questions need to be answered regarding his mental health status when he was released. Not the fact that he used a gun to kill his family, this was just the tool. Many Mainers carry firearms, and we probably have the safest communities in the country. Children are taught at a young age firearm use and safety. Many hunt at a young age and are aware of what happens when misused. 

In my opinion, this man never should have been released. On whose authority and assessment was he deemed competent to reenter society? Our penal system is the root of the problem, not the use of a firearm. If he killed them with a vehicle, would we be banning vehicles? We need to look at the whole system to get to the root of gun violence/use.

Susan Lara