Unlimited Access. Try it Today! Your First 10 Days Always $0.99
News Opinion

Gun control a hot issue for O'Malley, Obama

I am writing to share my perspective on the rush by President Barack Obama and Gov. Martin O'Malley to enact more gun control legislation ("Gun control at front of O'Malley's legislative list," Jan. 19).

I feel that both are using the school shooting tragedies to further their political agendas. Background checks and gun show loopholes had nothing to do with the Sandy Hook, Conn., school shooting.

The gun that was used was owned by the perpetrator's mother, and he killed her with it. The president and governor want to limit ammunition magazines to 10 rounds. This will not stop the murderous rampages by people wanting to commit heinous acts.

Many citizens have purchased high-quality firearms with standard 12- and 15-round magazines. The firearms were purchased legally for collections, shooting sports or self- protection. If legislation was passed to prevent possessing such magazines, many law-abiding citizens who have never been charged with a crime would be in violation of the law if they didn't surrender their magazines. That, in my opinion, would be the real crime.

Maryland requires a background check prior to the purchase of a handgun. I support this as I do not want to see guns in the hands of someone who is disqualified to possess a firearm. I can also support legislation for sales at gun shows. Maryland already requires that.

But Mr. O'Malley's idea of requiring people to be fingerprinted before they purchase a handgun is ridiculous. How does he think a fingerprint will prevent a straw purchase?

What would help is if we had the guts to send someone to jail for five years mandatory for completing a straw purchase. But we can't do that because we are too "civilized" and that would be "cruel" — just like the governor is too civilized to execute people convicted of murdering another human being.

Most of those murders were probably committed with a gun that the killer wasn't allowed to have, but we don't execute people for that. They didn't commit the murder; the "bad" gun did it.

So instead we prevent law-abiding citizens from legally buying and possessing handguns if they have magazines with more than10 rounds.

I would like to see the existing gun laws enforced more vigorously. If straw purchases are the problem, and the guns are being used in crimes, where are the prosecutions of those who purchase such weapons?

I'd also like to stop seeing the National Rifle Association being demonized because it lobbies for gun owners' rights. The NRA is made up of ordinary citizens who are as law-abiding as the people who oppose gun ownership.

Ron Wilhelm

  • 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...

    • Md. gun law is working [Letter]
      Md. gun law is working [Letter]

      Jack Mccauley's letter belittling the Firearms Safety Act fails to mention the most important parts of the new law — the requirement that handgun purchasers get a fingerprint-based license and the authority for the state police to regulate firearms dealers ("O'Malley, Brown are kidding...

    • Gun law doesn't make Marylanders safer [Letter]
      Gun law doesn't make Marylanders safer [Letter]

      Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown's recent commentary on Maryland's 2013 Firearms Safety Act is disingenuous and deceitful ("Brown: I will enforce gun safety law," Oct. 2).

    • A wasteful death by Uzi [Letter]

      Though I seriously doubt it, I wonder if a gun advocate or a member of National Rifle Association could explain to me why a 9-year-old girl needs weapons training ("An Uzi, a 9-year-old and American exceptionalism," Aug. 31). When I first read about the 9-year-old girl who had accidentally...

    • The city's problem isn't guns, it's gangs [Letter]
      The city's problem isn't guns, it's gangs [Letter]

      While I agree with letter writer Pat Ranney that Baltimore has a serious gun violence problem, she is incorrectly placing blame on an inanimate object. Guns don't pull the trigger, people do ("Baltimore's violence won't end until we stand up to the gun lobby," Aug. 14).