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News Opinion Readers Respond

Sun shoots blanks in coverage of gun hearing

Reporters Erin Cox and Michael Dresser should be ashamed regarding the manner in which they recorded the recent hearing on gun legislation in Annapolis ("Gun control draws more than 2,000 to Annapolis," March 2). The article does not represent the truth. Hundreds came out to support the governor's bill while over 1,000 came out against it. The "1,300" number they cite was the number of Marylanders who signed up to testify against the bill. They failed to mention another number in the article — 32 — which is how many people signed up to testify for the governor's bill. Just let that sink in — 1,300-plus against and 32 for. If there are, indeed, 85 percent of Marylanders in support of this bill, where were they? Not there, not anywhere.

There's another newsworthy item — the testimony lasted until 3:45 a.m. Saturday morning. I realize the reporters had to publish Friday night, but why not write a follow-up on what really happened?

While I know they can't put this in a news report, I just hope that they both read this legislation and see it for what it really is — a facade of action. These measures don't do anything to address the violence happening every day on our streets. These measures hurt law-abiding Marylanders. People like my mother who raised my brother and me alone would no longer have been able to afford the fees this bill creates ($350 or more). Plus, she better be a pretty good shot if she's going to have any luck defending herself against an intruder with only 10 rounds. When adrenaline is running and things are scary, it's hard to hit your target. If this bill becomes law, it will be a sad day for our state — a day in which the right to defend oneself became even more difficult for the weakest and most vulnerable of our law abiding citizens.

You know what would make an excellent story — how many repeat offenders just in Baltimore commit crimes with firearms and are let go. You'll find that of the 195 murders in the city last year, 70 percent were committed by convicted felons and 40 percent were felons convicted of previous gun crimes.

Do you know what Gov. Martin O'Malley's gun control legislation does to address this? Nothing. Nada. Zip.

If the governor and our lawmakers really wanted to make a difference in gun violence, they would focus their efforts on eliminating plea bargaining and make individuals who commit crimes with firearms serve minimum sentences. I really encourage you to look up these statistics and make it known just how many repeat violent criminals get let off again and again and again, even when they pull illegal guns on Baltimore cops (that's in reference to one of the testimonies from a Baltimore policeman). Real gun control is controlling these criminals from committing more crimes.

Locking these people up rather than letting them go, that's a step in the right direction toward a safer Maryland. Saying that I, a 30-something female, can only have 10 rounds to protect myself? That's a step toward making me a victim.

Please do us right and write the truth.

Kelley Mesa, Laurel

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