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Readers Respond

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Gun licensing won't reduce crime

I take very strong exception to your recent editorial, "Meaningful gun control" (Feb. 26).

First of all, why should I need a license from the state to exercise a constitutional right? Should I need a license (and pay a fee and attend a training class) to write a letter to the editor? Should I need a license to worship (or not) as I please? Liberals were once in favor of civil liberties and constitutional rights, but that's all history when guns are the subject of discussion.

And as for the fingerprinting requirement, I'm 63 years old, and I've been fingerprinted twice in my life. The first time was when I joined the Army as a young man, and the second was when I applied for a building pass to the Pentagon, where I serviced computer equipment that was vital to winning the First Gulf War. But both of those were privileges, not rights.

I don't need to be fingerprinted to drive a car — which causes three times as many deaths in Maryland as guns do. And I don't need to be fingerprinted in order to vote, which arguably causes even more damage. Democrats strongly resist even showing a photo ID for voting so why should we require something as burdensome as fingerprints for owning guns, also a constitutional right?

The answer is because liberals don't like guns and they're quite happy to throw the Constitution overboard in order to get what they want. This whole law is clearly intended to make buying a gun in Maryland as difficult, time-consuming and expensive as the courts will allow.

And criminals, which as your editorial correctly states are the main problem, will not apply for gun licenses.

So how is this absurd law supposed to reduce crime? I would laugh at the whole idea if it were not such a serious infringement on our constitutional rights.

Doug McNeil, Baltimore

The writer was the Libertarian Party's 2010 nominee for lieutenant governor of Maryland.

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