As an advocate and supporter of the Second Amendment "individual" right to keep and to bear arms, I felt a need to respond to letter writer John A. Pica Jr. ("Maryland needs tougher laws on gun access," Jan. 4) First of all, I have no problem with Mr. Pica, as long as his interest in better control of access to guns means access to guns which are already in the legal possession of law abiding citizens. If however, he intends his reference to be a need for more control over a citizen's right to purchase (legally "access") a gun, I differ with him.
Certainly, legal, law abiding, gun owning citizens assume an obligation in the possession of their firearms, that obligation being keeping those weapons out of the hands of children, mentally disturbed individuals, and burglars and thieves. I am not talking, as many of the anti-gun people are, about gun owners locking their weapons up in such a manner as to make them effectively useless as a means of protecting life and property. Nor do I agree with those who would insist that the weapons actually be disassembled or the ammunition be kept in such a remote (from the weapon) location, so as to once again, render it ineffective for its intended use.
What I do condone is responsible gun ownership. Millions of legal gun owners are responsible, and their firearms are never in the hands of anyone who would intentionally use them in violation of the law.
Mr. Pica shows that he, as others who seek to diminish the Second Amendment, lack a full understanding of the issue. One sentence in the very last paragraph of his letter speaks to my point: "These weapons are meant to indiscriminately spray deadly bullets." Mr. Pica, weapons do not discriminate, that is a human ability. it is people Mr. Pica, who discriminate, or alternatively act indiscriminately, not their hammers, knives, automobiles or guns. Next, the word "spray," once again an overused term and designed to scare, or misinform the general public. Those weapons of concern do not "spray" bullets, Mr. Pica, only fully automatic weapons may spray bullets, but even then, only when a person indiscriminately uses them to do so! Fully automatic weapons are not available to the general, gun-owning public.
Liberals, such as Mr. Pica appears to be, refuse to face reality, that being the fact that the real problem is people, not their particular weapon(s) of choice. Solve the "people problem" first, Mr. Pica, that is the real issue here!
Robert DiStefano, Abingdon