Try digitalPLUS for 10 days for only $0.99


News Opinion

Gun control no answer for violent crime

Several recent articles in The Sun have focused on Gov. Martin O'Malley's proposed assault weapons ban ("O'Malley battling for gun controls," March 22). These articles all seem to have a common theme, the push for Marylanders to get on board the governor's agenda.

It seems this push for support comes after many thousands of Marylanders who support their Second Amendment rights and disagree with Mr. O'Malley's approach to the state's violent crime issue have stood up and made their voices heard. Opponents of this legislation have made multiple trips to Annapolis to testify and rally, sent millions of e-mails, made tens of thousands of phone calls and even recently packed the State House just to show the lawmakers that they are still around and are paying attention.

So why are so many Marylanders against the governor's legislation? The reality is everyone in Maryland would like to see a reduction in violent crime. There just seems to be a disagreement about what would really have the most impact and in turn do the most good.

From those opposed to the legislation we do hear some common themes. They realize that the overwhelming majority of violent crime committed in Maryland has nothing to do with these so-called "assault weapons." As gun owners, they understand that these commonly used semi-automatic firearms, in all of their different configurations, are no more dangerous than any other civilian weapon. In fact, these firearms are used safely by law abiding citizens daily for many different sporting activities. Again, according to FBI statistics, these firearms are not the ones being used by criminals in Maryland. Ultimately, criminals prefer stolen handguns which they obtain themselves, purchase out of car trunks, or through a drug trade.

Another common theme is that the focus needs to be on the criminals who are committing the crimes. The reality is the criminals do not follow the laws that are already in place and making new laws restricting law abiding firearms owners would really have no effect on violent crime. Representatives from the Maryland Sheriffs' Association have also made several trips to Annapolis to testify about the need to put more emphasis on the criminals. The Maryland sheriffs agree that the governor's proposed legislation is not the solution.

Unfortunately, Maryland does have a problem with violent crime. There are too many murders, rapes, armed robberies, etc. in this state. Most of the individuals committing these crimes are repeat offenders. The only true solution that is going to have a real effect is to really start to focus on these people and holding them truly accountable.

Again, everyone wants a safer Maryland. Ultimately, Mr. O'Malley's proposal is not the best solution to Maryland's violence that is played out every day on the streets of Baltimore and elsewhere around the state. Marylanders deserve an effective solution to those problems, not some feel good initiative meant to further the political agenda and presidential aspirations of our current governor.

Joseph Graves, White Marsh

  • Text NEWS to 70701 to get Baltimore Sun local news text alerts
  • Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
    Related Content
    • What gun rights and marriage equality (should) have in common

      What gun rights and marriage equality (should) have in common

      In the article, "A unique Maryland marriage sits at center of Supreme Court case considering gay nuptials" (March 13), Carrie Evans, executive director of Equality Maryland, is quoted as saying the following:

    • Maryland's gun law is working

      Maryland's gun law is working

      The gun lobby's lawsuit against Maryland's life-saving Firearm Safety Act described in Saturday's front page article does not challenge the constitutionality of the key provision of the act — requiring handgun purchasers to first obtain a fingerprint based background check and license from the...

    • Guns and the 'permanent darkness'

      Guns and the 'permanent darkness'

      By overwhelming margins, polls show Americans support universal background checks for those seeking to purchase a firearm to help keep guns out of the hands of criminals and those who are dangerously mentally ill. Clearly, the last thing you want is for some paranoid personality, ranting and raving...

    • NRA's paranoia is catching

      NRA's paranoia is catching

      The Sun's editorial reflecting on the National Rifle Association convention in Nashville is an important statement on how the NRA has devalued our lives and our society ("Guns and the 'permanent darkness,'" April 16).

    • NRA selectively interprets 2nd Amendment

      NRA selectively interprets 2nd Amendment

      As sure as nine people have been butchered by yet another gun-wielding maniac, there will be an outcry for more laws controlling the sale and registration of firearms, and the NRA will again claim they are heroically upholding the Second Amendment rights of every American citizen by opposing such...

    • Hogan, guns and the attorneys general

      Hogan, guns and the attorneys general

      During the recent gubernatorial campaign, The Sun and several thoughtful citizens were perplexed about the discrepancy between the National Rifle Association's notorious A- rating for Larry Hogan and the candidate's repeated promise that he won't overturn Maryland's gun law if elected. In fact,...