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News Opinion Readers Respond

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).

The problem in Baltimore City isn't guns, it's gangs. The overwhelming majority of shooting deaths in this city are drug- and gang-related.

Furthermore, these homicides are committed with illegally owned guns. Those who legally own guns are statistically among the most law-abiding citizens in this country. Those with concealed carry permits are even more so, and they almost never use their firearms except for hunting, sport or legal self-defense.

If Ms. Ranney wants to see any "real end to the madness," the city needs to earnestly address the many, many drug and gang problems Baltimore faces — starting with refocusing and increasing the Baltimore Police Department's resources and increasing community involvement.

Further limiting the ability of law-abiding citizens to own firearms to protect themselves from criminals, who will always have access to illegal guns, only further emboldens the criminals.

Mike Berry, Baltimore

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To respond to this letter, send an email to talkback@baltimoresun.com. Please include your name and contact information.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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