I Get Letters…..

My Capital column last Friday on guns generated more emails than I could shake a stick at. Here’s a sampling, positive and negative.

Rod writes:

Great piece in the Democratic Capitol today….keep up the good work………Thanks for all you do.

Stacey said:

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I just wanted to say thank you. Finally, someone said what I’ve been dying to hear for so long. The “bad guys” will always find a way to get guns. Always. Like the drug trade, there will be a dealer out there more than willing to make a buck. Heck! Who am I kidding? They’re already out there. I honestly believe there are more illegally obtained guns than there are registered ones floating around our country. And no gun laws will stop them.

In this climate, you’re a brave man and I applaud you.

Kathy just sent me this as an emoji

Wayne in Annapolis wrote:

I very much liked your editorial today. As a former gun owner ( I am 80 years old) and father to two Maryland based sons who own guns and a Texas son in law who owns guns and does hunting every year, I remain strongly against the left wing group in this county that is determined to take away my right to own and use firearms. Please know that your efforts are very much appreciated. I only wish the Maryland Republican Party was more active in protecting our gun rights in this State.

“Normal Man” wrote:

Thank you for your article. I can’t believe the Capital printed it. Very seldom do I read anything there that makes sense! Thank you for stating things clearly for the masses.

Glenn said:

Good editorial, though surprised the very liberal Gazette and its Baltimore Sun owners let you have so much space.

But as I said, not all of the feedback was positive, some regurgitating the usual failed talking points that are always espoused during these situations.

Tom wrote:

Hey Brian, I’m getting tired of you writing these columns too. If you try a little harder, maybe you could write a more facile column about our gun carnage. You have to know that every simplistic argument you offer is debunked by the experience of every country that has strict gun laws and enforcement, and every such column like yours just adds to the carnage.
GUNS DO NOT CAUSE SHOOTINGS? How does one shoot someone without a gun? How does one shoot and kill scores of innocent people without a gun manufactured and sold into civil society that has one purpose, and one purpose only, to kill as many human beings as possible in the shortest time span possible? That’s right, Brian, these are weapons made for war.
Do you read your own columns? Do you ever fly on our commecial aircraft? Apparently you’ve failed to notice all the restrictions we’ve put in place to prevent a box cutter and a plane from ever again being used to kill innocent people. And surely you realize that cars aren’t war weaponry.
Do you really think that you can convince your readers that the answer to the gun carnage we are experiencing is more guns? Do you picture a society where we all strap a gun to our hips, or, better yet, sling an M-16 over our shoulder, to go off to work, or school? It sure seems like the gun manufacturers, distributors and lobbyists do.
I read where high school kids are taping a message to their ID’s that says that if they are shot and killed they want pictures of their lifeless, maimed bodies released to the public. They want us to see what happens when the weapons of war are turned on innocent kids. Have you ever seen what such weaponry can do to the human body? I have known such carnage, and it will haunt me to the grave.
Release those pictures from Sandy Hook, and Columbine, and Charleston, and El Paso, and they will only increase the overwhelming numbers of Americans, even gun owners, that support such sane measures as universal background checks for all gun sales, age requirements to purchase any gun, and a ban on the sale of war weaponry. Now, would any of those regulations ban “good guys from having guns?”
Here’s a column idea for you. Write about the fact that our democracy has been so corrupted that even when an overwhelming majority of Americans support sane gun regulations we can’t get them enacted.
Here’s another, write about what’s fueling young white men, filled with hate and irrational resentment of people of color, to stockpile weapons, ammo and Kevlar vests, so that they are armed like our military at war in the midst of a civil society. And, give a little attention to whether any of your columns are adding to that resentment, or the legal sale of war weaponry into civil society, or the ensuing carnage.
After reading some of your columns, I doubt you’ll give any of this a serious thought, but thanks for whatever consideration you give any of it.

Dave wrote:

You are quite correct in saying guns do not pull their own triggers. You do not address the fascinating question of what possible justification civilians could have for owning military or quasi-military weaponry which are optimized for the sole purpose of killing other humans, so I will not either.

However, your statement about guns rather misses the point, which you do refer to; namely that when seconds matter the police are only minutes away. In those sort of circumstances, anything to slow a shooter down is a good thing.

In that context, banning quasi-military or assault-style weapons or pistols, high-capacity magazines, assistive technologies like bump-stocks, body armor, etc., are positive trending responses to the problem of mass killings. As you correctly point out, banning these things will not end the problem; however, a perfect solution is not what these prohibitions would be any more than banning ‘Tommy’ guns or sawed-off shotguns was a perfect solution eighty-odd years ago.

What banning these technologies and types of weapons will do is make it harder and slower for our society’s bad actors to kill a lot of people before anyone can respond or stop them.

Case in point: it took Connor Betts 32 seconds during his rampage in Dayton, OH, to kill 9 and wound 27. If laws had been in place to keep him from buying or owning body armor, automatic weapons and large capacity magazines, he likely still would have killed or wounded some people. However, I doubt it would have been even a third the number he injured or killed simply because it would have taken him longer — up to a second between shots to ready and re-aim his weapon. He certainly could not have used the ‘spray and pray’ method of automatic weapon firing that he appears, from press descriptions, to have used. Also, his friend could not have bought him an automatic-firing-capable upper for his weapon nor could he have legally purchased the sort of 100-round drum magazines he used.

If you cannot stop people bent on slaughter, as you correctly point out, slowing them down at least somewhat and making them work harder and slower to create their desired atrocity is better than the situation we have today. Slowing such criminals down may also give police more time to get to where the killer is to stop the slaughter at a lesser cost in dead and wounded than today. The above sort of suggested gun controls are definitely not a good solution; however, they are elements of a better solution than what we are doing today.

And Peggy wrote:

Let me say this:

NO CITIZEN OF THE US NEEDS TO BE AWARDED THE RIGHT TO OWN ANY TYPE OF ASSAULT WEAPON!!!!!!!!!!! PERIOD…..AMEN……

You stated that we have homicides in our cities and that guns don’t kill. The statistics are sad about the homicides in our cities, but, they are not, typically, with an assault weapon!! They are usually about drug or gang issues!

The concern in the US is the amount of MASS shootings.

Let me guess- you own an assault weapon.

Has there ever been a citizen who has protected anyone with a gun, in any of these mass shootings, other than a police officer?

That was your opinion. This is mine.



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