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baltimoresun.com

It's time for sensible gun laws in Maryland [Letter]

12:08 PM EST, February 28, 2013

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Over 2,000 people — 38 of them children — have been killed by guns in America since the massacre at Newtown two months ago. The U.S. firearm homicide rate is 20 times greater than other high-income countries. We have brought down the death toll from cars, toys and medications through careful study and thoughtful legislation — why can't we do this with guns?

Taking steps to keep guns out of the wrong hands doesn't violate the second amendment any more than prohibitions against shouting "fire" in a crowded theater violate the first amendment. Licensing and regulating cars doesn't stop people from driving — but it saves a lot of lives. When will we realize that the NRA's apocalyptic fantasies, underwritten by the gun industry, are not a sound basis for public policy? It's time for a common sense approach. In poll after poll, the majority of Americans support effective background checks on gun sales and bans on assault style weapons and high-capacity magazines.

For these reasons we applaud Governor O'Malley's legislative initiative to reduce the toll of gun violence in Maryland and urge our representatives in Annapolis to pass the legislation as proposed.

Liz Kato

Central Maryland Committee to Prevent Gun Violence

Columbia