Regarding Rep. Chris Van Hollen's letter on gun control legislation, the congressman fails to mention that the real answer to the crime problem is not new gun legislation but rather a return to the Judeo-Christian values of love, responsibility and accountability ("Congress' refusal to curb gun sales is a national disgrace," Jan. 6).
People who commit crimes do so because they never really have the opportunity to have a loving father and mother.
A firearm by itself can't hurt anybody. It takes a human being to pull a trigger. An individual learns criminal behavior from peer group members who never had the opportunity to know what it's like to have responsible parents.
Another contributing factor in the crime surge is the downfall of public education, which has been a dismal failure at teaching students how to get along with each other.
Another factor in the crime crisis is the glorification of violence that has permeated our popular culture of TV, movies, music and social media.
Real criminals do not go around getting permits for guns. Instead, they look for human beings they can prey upon. New gun legislation might sound good as a momentary solution but it lacks the substance of a long-term solution.
It's not the inaction of Congress on guns that is a national disgrace, but rather the failure of politicians like Mr. Van Hollen to tell the truth about the real causes of crime.
Ralph Jaffe, Baltimore
The writer is a candidate for U.S. Senate in the 2016 Democratic primary race.