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Legal gun owners are not the problem

Regarding the recent column by Susan Reimer ("Rage and resignation at the gun control town hall," Feb. 7), it has got to be the worst piece of racist diatribe I have read in years.

In her view, because I am a white male who owns a firearm, I am a racist? There is absolutely no logic in her argument nor any basis in fact. But, I suppose in her mind, anyone who does not parrot her own view on life is automatically deemed to be of despicable character and lacking in sound judgment. To me, this is just a continuation of the petty and divisive garbage that was constantly spouted during the last presidential election campaign.

I just don't see why liberals such as Ms. Reimer can't understand the meaning of "illegal." Criminals with guns always possess them illegally. Making firearm ownership more difficult for law abiding citizens is never going to change that. Convicted felons are not allowed to own or possess firearms; that is the law. Criminals do not obey the law; that's why they are deemed to be criminals.

Ms. Reimer mentions a statistic that 51 percent of those killed by guns between 1980 and 2008 were black. The implication here seems to be that white gun owners are somehow responsible for this. How many of those murders were black-on-black crimes?

This excerpt, which cites 2005 statistics, was taken from the website of the Black-on-Black Crime Coalition, a project of the Women's Council on African American Affairs, Inc. in Little Rock:

"The U.S. Justice Department provides a breakdown of homicides by the race of both the victim and offender. Looking at the data for 2005 (the latest year available), we find that whites committed 48 percent of all murders and blacks committed 51.2 percent of all murders. However, whites outnumber blacks in the population. In fact, non-Hispanic whites are about 69 percent of the population and blacks are about 13 percent. These statistics alone, showing that blacks are 13 percent of the population but commit 51.2 percent of the murders, indicate that blacks commit a seriously disproportionate number of murders."

This excerpt, is taken from the same website:

"In 2010, a total of 45 homicides were committed in Pulaski County, 54 percent of which were committed by blacks against blacks. Nationally, homicide is the leading cause of death for black young men ages 10-24 and the second leading cause of death for black women ages 15-24."

If you want to get mad then be angry that so many black people are hating each other to death. Help them treat their problems and don't blame me for their actions because I am white and own a gun. If I commit a crime or discriminate against someone, you are justified in pointing your finger at me. If I have not committed that act, do not call me names or accuse me of those acts.

The vast majority of "mass murders" that have been committed in this country have been perpetrated by individuals of certified mental instability or otherwise questionable sanity. You want to fix the problem? Work on placing people who are not in control of their minds on a prohibited-persons roster just as criminals are supposed to be included. Stop making excuses for them. Again, making firearm ownership more difficult for law abiding citizens is never going to change that.

Even more basic, start teaching our children to respect themselves and others and dump the Doctor Spock mentality that has swept our country these past several decades. I don't condone beating or abusing children but that should not preclude a certain amount of punishment when deserved. Our children have grown up believing they are entitled to a reward just for showing up. I think many of them have given up on trying to actually achieve anything. I believe that attitude leads too many of them to a point where they do desperate things just to get attention. I was raised to respect authority and to accept responsibility for my actions and was always given the choice to accept my level of achievement or to improve upon that achievement. Sometimes I did well; sometimes not so well. But, I never got a trophy by just showing up for the free pizza.

As for the actual ownership and use of firearms by law abiding United States citizens, the Second Amendment does not say we can own firearms to go hunting or target shooting, it says we may own them — period. "A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."

One of the primary reasons for including the Second Amendment was to allow the citizenry to be armed in the event that our government leaders became too fond of the power of their office and decided to keep that power for life. Our current Democratic regime certainly doesn't seem to care how many laws it tramples.

Looking at just one part of Gov. Martin O'Malley's gun control parody, the suggested licensing fee, it is certainly unconstitutional. Where in the U.S. Constitution does it authorize the government to tax a fundamental right? What's next, requiring journalists to pay a fee on each article they write? How about a licensing fee to be allowed to vote?

You want to improve school safety? Do something to improve the physical security on campus. There are a multitude of well-recognized methods of controlling access to sensitive facilities including locks, alarms, enhanced construction, armed security personnel, and educating staff and students on what to watch for. Arbitrarily making schools gun-free zones is a fool's mistake. It does not protect anyone but it does invite attention to easy targets.

There is one point in Ms. Reimer's column with which I wholeheartedly agree — "Silence is the problem." Too many people who believe in the Constitution and all of its amendments are remaining silent. If you don't speak up for your rights, then they will be stripped away.

John Berling, Sykesville

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