Summer Savings! Get unlimited digital access for 13 weeks for $13.
Readers Respond
News Opinion Readers Respond

In certain situations, large-capacity ammunition clips are necessary

Letter writer Jonathan Reidy quoted my testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee out of context ("High-capacity magazines mean more stray bullets," Feb. 11). I would like to correct the record.

I told the committee that magazine capacity was a matter of personal choice regarding my ability to protect myself and my family. We are currently limited to 20-round magazines in Maryland, yet only the law-abiding are likely to follow that restriction.

After my testimony was complete, one of the senators asked me if I thought fully automatic weapons were OK on the street. I said no. He asked me about the 1934 machine gun ban, which I pointed out was not relevant to SB 281. I went on to say that as part of my own weekly target practice we sometimes practice under duress scenarios, and that in one such exercise I only hit the target (a 6-inch circle) with four of the 10 rounds I fired.

I also said that I would prefer a 12- or 14-round magazine if I were attacked by a group of individuals, and it was in that context I was talking about handguns — not rifles — for which I believe we should continue to be able to use 20-round magazines.

The letter writer relied on an abbreviated quote in The Sun, then concluded, without actually hearing my testimony, that I must have been talking about being in a crowded theater, classroom or store.

When I testified that day it had already become clear to me that several members of the committee were completely ignorant of the mechanics or attributes of the firearms they are seeking to ban. Worse, there was intentional distortion by some of the Maryland employees who testified and there were false statements made by some of the committee members, either intentionally or unintentionally.

The cameras that were in the room were taken down and most of the press left following the testimony of the first panel, which included the governor and other high-ranking state officials.

As the reader from Towson points out, even expertly trained police officers do not hit their targets 100 percent of the time. Virtually all departments choose to use rifle ammunition magazines larger than ordinary citizens can purchase in Maryland today.

Some on the committee stated mistakenly they think the guns and magazines they are attempting to ban can spew hundreds of rounds in seconds. Committee Chairman Brian Frosh made comments that were completely inaccurate in this regard. The Baltimore County state's attorney went down the same inaccurate path.

Most Marylanders are not able to exercise their Second Amendment rights to carry firearms outside their homes. I am fortunate to be one of the few that can carry a concealed firearm. As an NRA-certified pistol instructor who practices weekly I am certain Mr. Reidy would welcome someone like myself if he ever found himself in an unfortunate situation.

Put criminals who assault or murder people in jail for a long time regardless of the weapons they use. No plea-bargains, no deals, no early release. Predictable, consistent incarceration will help begin to rid our streets of the violent criminals who won't be obeying the more restrictive gun laws anyway.

Sonia Mangum

Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
Related Content
  • Another mass shooting, and who's responsible?

    Another mass shooting, and who's responsible?

    I am a cinema buff, and I went to the Charles Theatre recently to see a wonderful film. While there I realized that another mentally ill person decided to vent his furies in a movie theater. This time in Lafayette, La. ("La. shooter a drifter with 'hate in his heart,'" July 25). This is the USA,...

  • Fix the background check

    Fix the background check

    As inspiring and overdue as America's reassessment of the Confederate battle flag has been since last month's Charleston shootings, those who wish to truly honor the victims need to set their sights to an even higher purpose. Late last week, FBI director James Comey acknowledged that alleged shooter...

  • License gun purchases

    License gun purchases

    Thanks to Rep. Donna Edwards for her eloquent op-ed on the need to do more to prevent gun violence ("Dealing with guns demands more than another moment of silence," July 7).

  • 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...

  • Do concealed guns reduce crime? Let's find out

    Do concealed guns reduce crime? Let's find out

    Despite expert opinions, statistics and moral condemnations, the debate on gun control continues. Until the law permits everyone who wants to carry a concealed weapon to do so legally, there is insufficient data to decide for or against ("How to reduce gun violence," June 12).

  • How to reduce gun violence

    How to reduce gun violence

    At a time when Baltimore could desperately use some good news when it comes to the prospects of reducing violence, research from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health suggests we may already have taken a key step toward preventing gun homicides — it just may take a few years for us...

  • 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).

  • 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...

Comments
Loading
79°